Google Guy vs. Black Hat


The gimmick behind this SEO comic is that Google is a protector of our wonderful Internet City and his/its main foe is the black hat techniques so many SEO companies utilize. As an honest SEO company you do your best to follow the guidelines and try to avoid any of those black hat techniques. But, when sites are ranking well using tactics that Google forbids, it can be hard to stay the course.  Do you fall in line with the Black Hats of the world and follow their bad practices which may end up hurting your client’s rankings in the long run but might save the account in the short run? Or do you stick with Google’s request that you “write quality content” and hope that people will naturally link to it but risk losing your client because of poor short-term rankings?

Google isn’t the villain here to be sure. I believe they try to give the best search results, (when they aren’t filling 60% of the space above the fold with their own advertisements), but their efforts in policing the search results often seem half-hearted. It’s difficult to tell a client who checks the rankings daily that the site ranking above them is doing well even though they are breaking the rules.  Of course you tell them the dangers of being banned or penalized, but if business is bad, your client’s desperation can make you consider doing things you normally wouldn’t. Due to the sheer volume of web sites, Google must sometimes rely on companies to police themselves. This can result in your client’s competitors speeding past them to higher rankings while your client is doing the posted speed limit, figuratively speaking.

I am concerned at the seemingly randomness of Google enforcing their guidelines, especially when so many sites that are blatantly ignoring these rules rank very well. Many web site owners may feel they don’t have a choice BUT to trust dishonest SEO companies and their black hat practices if they are to stay in business. There must be a better way to weed out web sites gaming the system and Google certainly has the resources to do it. My hope is Google implements a way, soon, so that the sites that are finding success, while ignoring Google’s guidelines, stop being the standard bearers for achieving high rankings.

I just wonder what is taking them so long.

No animals were hurt during the making of this comic. Good boy, Cutter. Good boy.

6 Responses to “Google Guy vs. Black Hat”

  1. Mosley says:

    It’s not like google’s search results are that great anymore anyway. Sure, back in 2000 they were fantastic. Now…. not so much. if I understand this correctly, i think that it is obvious that “blackhat” deceptive methods are being used but i believe that google cannot detect it, even though it is “obvious”. It is likely that google has or will have a very understanding of what is going on and will take appropriate action, along with the zillions of other pages that it indexes and analyses. If i truly are seeing some benefit from “blackhat” methods, it could well be a temporary phenomenon and completely unsustainable.

  2. Great illustration! I sort of believe in gray hat seo…if there’s such a thing. 🙂

  3. Steven G says:

    I agree that Google has to rely on the public for the most part and so instead of Panda, Google really just needed to have a search result blocking tool, which they did create, and was highly successful at getting rid of what each user didn’t like to see in their results. The problem would have taken care of itself and Google could have carried on with their small little tweaks and testing throughout the year without any major hiccups like Panda caused.

  4. Andy says:

    I love this. Was just researchering into doing something similar but you’ve beat me to it. I see this article was done before Panda and Penguin, Someone at google must be listening, they are definately moving in the right direction.

  5. Adrian says:

    Nice one. Interesting topic for debate and a great cartoon to boot! 🙂

  6. Yarry says:

    I agree andy, someone at google has to be listening. FINALLY, they can now, as you said, start to move in the right direction.