I cannot tell you the number of SEOs who work at high profile companies who have gotten themselves in trouble by asking or posting information in a public Google forum. It is sad to see because sometimes that can lead to the SEO losing their job. We've covered some of these stories in the past here.
Now, should that mean that SEOs who work at high profile companies can't ask questions or can't think about thought provoking SEO topics?
A recent thread at Google Webmaster Help had an SEO Executive from The Walt Disney Company start a thread on an interesting topic. His name is Ryan Hawkes and according to his LinkedIn profile, he has been with the company for less than a year. But the question wasn't dumb or wasteful, it was one of those questions that ask you, - what if???
The question was:
Does the level of engagement a link receives effect it's SEO value?
Clearly, Ryan knows the answer is no. But what if? What if Google looked at the clicks a link gets on a specific page to another page and uses that as a link metric? Wouldn't that make links more valuable?
Well, maybe.... We know click data is fairly easy to abuse and spam. If that was the case, click army's can be hired cheaply to spam the algorithm.
Either way, how would Google get at that data? Via Google Analytics? Heh.
You see, the topic goes into multiple directions and should Ryan and other SEOs who work at high profile companies be nervous about posting in public forums? Yes, they should but only if they don't know what they are doing. So maybe these high profile companies should make their SEOs post in the forums once a month? ;-)
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.