What's your view on Ben Johnson? Was he stupid for taking drugs to enhance his performance, leading to temporary gold medal glory, or was he just stupid for getting caught?
What about Marion Jones? She had to forfeit all her medals dating back to 2000 and retired in 2007 having 'achieved' virtually nothing, and even spent a few months in prison for her troubles.
Both of these people were without doubt superb athletes but in their desperation to take their performance to the next level they gambled on slipping through the net and not getting caught, a high risk strategy. High risk because in the world of athletics, success is inevitably met with a drugs test to make sure it's legit.
So where does this fit into the world of SEO? Well surely it's pretty obvious?
Mr Page and his clever employees spend their waking hours stressing over their search results. They desperately want to stay ahead of Bill's boys and they know just as they were once the new kids on the block, the daring upstarts, then there are many more such people coding away in the wings trying to create algorithms that give better results than Google.
Should one of these upstarts create such an algo, Google's search dominance would be threatened along with the huge revenues their paid search brings in as a direct result of their natural search dominance.
So Google are working night and day to rank sites that deserve to rank, it's that simple. They are even turning to the social phenomenon to try and make their SERPs better.
Are Google only ranking sites that deserve to rank right now? No way, but their recent Panda update showed everyone they mean business and take spam in their index very seriously.
So what's a website owner to do? It's certainly a question that seems to perplex and confuse many, but it shouldn't. In simple terms you need to create a website that deserves to rank and any other approach will one day end in tears, of that I'm 99% sure, and it's certainly what we preach at our agency in Aberdeen.
Anyone who thinks they can outwit Google is almost sure to come unstuck at some point, even the big boys with six and seven figure marketing budgets have found this out the hard way as a I mentioned in this article.
I can hear the spammers and black hatters laughing at this notion. They've been taking the piss out of the SERPs since God was a boy and they are not about to change now. But ask yourself this, if it's easy and cheap for you to spam your way to the top of the search results then it's just as easy for your competitors to do it. Create something that's hard to replicate and you'll set yourself apart.
Over to you.....