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On Thursday, Google's Ms. V. Fox said you can now forward and report paid links directly from your Webmaster Tools to your desktop. I work at essential marketer and know much about SEO. For the large part, I attempt not to put much of my attentions to the dodgier activities of the SEO rivals who pop up around me all the time, however this proclaimation made me think.

The problem

I am attempting to rank my firm's site for a popular keyword, as well as the essential marketer google plus account page. In the words of too many search engine experts, I should attempt to get backlinks from sites that have good ranking and credibilty already for the particular phrase. Since the majority of these sites are my rivals, my chances in this select ground aren't great.

Extra information about essential marketer google plus

On the other hand, the site who is number-one is actually a shopping portal. They do not directly sell anything ... what they do sell is advertising for businesses such as the one I work for. They are also a group of filthy spammers! Here's a couple of examples on their home page:

White (#DFDFDF) keyword-stuffed links on a white background at the bottom of the page. Keywords crammed in HTML comment tags. Further keywords rammed into directory titles ("...white-widgets-pink-widgets/sell-widgets/buy-widgets.pdf" alt="Did you want widgets?"). Links that look the same as surrounding un-linked copy and fail to alter look when putting the mouse over. Plus, keywords shoved into link title tags and id tags.

The greatest example comes out of an e-mail received by me off one of their sales guys:

If you'd like direct backlinks for organic searches ... call me.

It's not exactly spam, but it is a bit dodgy to offer "optimizing all products put on our site by you (all products will go straight on to page one off Google searches)." Promising page one Google results is the same territory as the snake oil salesmen in the Old West offering cures for everthing. SEO does not work like that.

Lots of Queries

Should I report them for spam to Google and Larry Page? What about for selling organic links? Or do I simply keep my nosy self out and turn a blind eye to their illegal tactics?

These questions keep coming into my thoughts, though are loads easier to contend with than these next queries:

Am I okay to begin stuffing keywords into my website? Can I get these organic backlinks? Why should I bother being a white-hat search engine optimisation following service when there are so many dodgy spammers not even being caught and punished?

Think about it: what would anyone do?

I'll stick to the right way of doing things.

1. Google are constantly updating their algorithms and getting much better at catching people.

2. Everyone is becoming more savvy to black hat tactics, not just SEO specialists and will avoid your site.

3. If Google do catch you, that could be it. Your site can be taken down and banned or the very least your ranking and credibility will taken away. Major companies have been fined thousands and even millions for using these bad techniques, can you risk that?

4. It's wrong and with a bit of hard and honest work, you can get better results than the imposters.