Cloaking SE Guidelines and SEO Professionals "The Real Deal"
A comment Webmaster T saw the other day prompted this response here:
Also, according to Brett, some engines publish nothing against cloaking. AV is one that he mentioned. So nobody can say that cloaking for AV is wrong if AV don't say it themselves. Maybe they've said it at a conference but that's not quite the same thing.
Well, meet nobody, and many are in agreement on that. How is that not quite the same thing? For a newbie or non-professional, I agree, but when you receive payment for providing SEO, then IMHO, you are held to a higher standard, by both the SE's and consumers. Isn't full knowledge of SE content guidelines one of the reasons professional expertise is sought?
This is not just the concern of SEO's but consumers and SE's alike. Should consumers not expect the person they are entrusting their livelihood to be competent and a professional in every respect. A full understanding of the content guidelines is, IMHO, necessary for providing professional services for which
an SEO receives payment.
Anything of any benefit coming from SES's or other conferences gets published somewhere, isn't that another reason why buyers choose a 3rd party? Everything I've seen written on the topic of choosing an SEO always mentions that an SEO's expertise and specialized knowledge of these guidelines, is one, of many, advantages to hiring a specialized firm.
Brett's, is similar to the usual, flimsy
**excuse** that every non-compliant company I've discussed non-compliancy with
uses. Not just for cloaking but hidden text and links as well. SE's have a good
reason for being vague in the content guidelines on their site. They are for
newbies and "non-professionals".
SE content guidelines provide the basic
information a layperson is likely to understand and requires to
submit content themselves. That is their primary reason for being posted and
they should be used within the context of the purpose for which
they are posted to the site. It is obvious from the tone and type of information
that they aren't meant for professionals. The only, perhaps, exception would be
the webmaster guidelines on Google.
Why should a SE inform them of that option, when they do not see it as being in their best interests to do so? What value is derived from it? It only provides the information for those who wish to subvert the guidelines and confuse the "issue" the fodder to do so! SE's being "mum" on the
public content guidelines is an intelligent, and because of some in the SEO "community", wise decision.
Could this sort of statement being brought forward by someone, who is respected as knowledgeable, in some circles, be behind
SE's reluctance to work towards, as partners, with SEO's, in establishing a
standard of "best practices".
Why should they support a standard for "best
practices" for the industry when it is obvious the level of "professionalism" of
some, possibly many, is suspect. Not to say that Brett is unprofessional or not
knowledgeable, I have never meant, or talked to him so I only have this comment
to form an opinion. I am only making the point that this could be perceived by
SE and consumers as such.
IMHO, It is just plain stupidity for anyone to
think that cloaking is OK because it isn't in the content guidelines published
on the SE sites. Is it acceptable professional conduct for a professional SEO to
use that excuse? A professional **should** and often **does know** "the real
Whether they choose to hide behind, "I didn't know", is a reflection of their professionalism.
Should ignorance of the content guidelines be a defense for a professional?
Perhaps the "shadow" guidelines which SE have placed in the public domain should
be archived for the profession to use as a reference. But then, what in the
he-double-hockey-sticks do I know, nuthin', or, so I been told.
SE, IMHO, have made a concerted effort to make sure that those that should know, do know, by being willing contributors to SES and putting the information needed by professional SEO's in the public domain. Professionals who need to know, are, or should, be motivated enough to find it. That is why they are paid for providing these services. That, IMHO, is how a professional conducts himself within his chosen profession.
But, what do I know?
........... and the foot print grows.
Da' Tmeister, Editor
[Note, Danny Sullivan
wrote an insightful article on
XML Feeds, providing yet another article worthy
of a careful read. Alan Perkin's article on
cloaking and Danny's article are in the links archive under
the "best practices" links. The other is not for obvious reasons. T isn't a
disciple and will not promote such self serving.......................... shite,
meant solely to confuse the "issue".]
............... see ya at the top!
Da' Tmeister, Editor