It used to be that forums like WebmasterWorld.com and DigitalPoint.com were the “underground” of the SEO community. Those in the know shared tips, secrets, and hard-earned knowledge with other practitioners of the not-yet-commoditized “dark art”. For a newbie looking to break into the SEO industry, these sites were a gold mine of information and cutting-edge tactics.
Many of us learned SEO by hanging out in these forums, practicing what was shared, and experimenting with our own ideas. It was relatively easy to see what worked and what didn’t. Over time, it was also clear who the real experts were and who was just there to shout louder than the others.
Today, these forums are flooded with amateurs and speculators that are looking to become the next SEO kingpin. True, there are some great threads on beginning and advanced tactics that anybody can study. But, in the recent years more and more threads are nothing but dangerous and misleading speculation posed by amateurs and conspiracy theorists.
“I think i’m gonna hire some arabs to bomb google..”
“ – SEO has been directly attacked with most black hat filters being lifted just to complicate things even more.
– Commercial sites are being devalued so they have to buy Adwords.
– Google has monopolised PPC with their Yahoo “purchase” (let’s be honest, this was the only way they could take over Yahoo without getting into trouble with anti-competition laws).
– Results are being rotated so that people give up trying SEO and buy Adwords.
– Results are being rotated to confuse users so that they look harder on the page and hopefully run into more adverts. (opinions?)”
“Crawler speed dropping recently, switching results and so on are all linked to the new algorithm. It is a learning algorithm (AI anyone?) which is why Google are hush-hushing so much during this quite obviously HUGE software change.”
Quotes like these are not productive (or accurate) and could be misleading to anybody just starting to learn SEO. Perhaps the only lesson to be learned from these conversations is a repeating theme that has never, and will never, change:
“Google is totally unpredictable!”
Thank you Captain Obvious! ‘Nuff said.