The Nofollow PageRank sculpting topic was not the only heated debate at last week's SMX Advanced conference. We have some SEOs claiming Google sees all SEOs as criminals before being innocent.
Michael Gray's How Google Profiles SEO’s and Lisa Barone's Google Openly Profiles SEOs As Criminals are both well written pieces arguing that Google doesn't treat SEOs equally to all personalities on the internet. Let me quote one section to sum it up, but honestly, you should read both pieces in their entirety.
How does this show that Google is profiling SEO’s and not the rest of the blogging world? How else can you explain high profile A-List bloggers like Robert Scoble and Sarah Lacy accepting free all expense paid trips to Isreal and not getting penalized? How can Guy Kawasaki get “loaned” one, two, three cars in three years and still be within Google’s guidelines . How can “lending” Guy Kawasaki an Audi Q7 for three months in exchange for him blogging about it be OK but I can’t connect bloggers with people who want to give away a pair of sunglasses? Matt Cutt’s says “The closer you get to money for links, the higher risk we consider it”. Go to any rental car agency ask how much it is to rent an Audi Q7 for three months, you’ll have your answer how close it is to the money.
On the other hand, Susan Esparza takes the opposite view in her piece named I Don't Like Conflict (But Google Doesn't Think SEOs are Criminals). Susan explains that SEO are rightly held to a higher standard, because SEOs are search professionals.
I totally see both sides of the argument. I thought I conduct an anonymous poll asking our readers if they think Google see SEOs as criminals or not. Here is the poll, please have your friends take the poll: