I ran across Mike’s Marketing Tools while doing some research for a colleague on shady SEO practices. Under it, I found Ten Controversial Search Engine Optimization Techniques, and stopped there.
Seven mentions of the word “spam” in a ten point list of SEO trickery.
What really hit me about this list was the reasoning behind it – counterproductivity.
Everyone is jockeying for PageRank position, and has forgotten about just getting the content right. I know someone over at Techdirt mentioned something similar when discussing how whiny bloggers have become over syndication and aggregation of their content – I believe Techdirt put it as such: If people quit worrying about protecting their content and just putting together good content, they wouldn’t have to worry about people not reading it…kind of an if you build it RIGHT, they will come type concept. Anyway, if someone finds the original from those guys, please post as a comment, so I can re-read it, and ponder its absolute, 100% accuracy, in a world of inaccuracies.
As for the SEO spam, well is it spam or isn’t it. Spam is usually defined as unsolicited commercial email. If a search engine sends a robot out to check your site, is that unsolicited communications? Only if your robot.txt file says don’t look, don’t cache, or something like that. It certainly isn’t email, and its direct commercial applicability is questionable.
Let me know what you think, on both the stupidity of gaming the system for short-term results, as well as the “is it spam question.”