I have a colleague who used to work a company with so called “black hat” SEO practices in the Philippines. While he is aware that the practice was doomed to fail, his previous business dealings in that company was never in peril at the time.
I was a little more conservative, dropping the methods I think that are never thought would be helpful to site visitors. If you were reading a lot of threads on SEO over the Internet you will be amazed to see different tricks are advised with an equal number of naysayers refuting such tricks.
Remember the temporary disappearance of BMW web site on Google a few weeks ago? Such was an example of a site that adhered to what “experts” were saying. In the SEO world, “experts” is a very subjective term which can include Danny Sullivan, Chris Sherman or any other pioneer in search engine marketing, to the dubious, secretive people who never tend to disclose their process for “fear of being copied”.
And one of the more recent bans by Google involved a Philippine shopping portal MyAyala.com. For a respected name in the country to have a web site that deals with the underworld in hopes of gaining popularity quickly, this is a big embarrassment. The site has been banned for hiding multiple occurence of search phrase within the site and has tried to apply for reinclusion.
Maybe their developers are too tired or just plain stubborn to consider their mistakes, they did not fully comply with the Google Webmaster Guidelines and retained some of the hidden spam keywords. What it got may have benefited the portal as it became a feature of Matt Cutts’ blog and have drawn interest from visitors of this popular blog site.
To gain popularity, one of the easiest way is to be controversial.