co Are You Willing To Take On Google? |

Here’s an interesting point. It’s your business and, so long as you don’t break any laws, you should be able to do whatever you like to promote it. If some of those activities breach Google’s guidelines, then that’s Google’s problem, not yours. Do you agree?

That forms the basic premise around an argument put forward by Todd Mintz at Search Engine Journal recently. It’s easy to agree with the general philosophy behind his argument, especially when he points out that quality sites are doing it everyday and getting away with it. The problem is, there are plenty of sites out there that are not ‘quality’ and they too are getting away with breaching Google’s terms of service.

We don’t have a ‘right’ to appear in Google’s index and therefore search results. If we want search traffic, then we need to abide by the rules that Google puts in place. Todd’s argument is fine so long as you add one rider – can your business survive without any traffic from Google (or any of the other search engines for that matter)? If your business can, then you most likely care little for search results now anyway.

To state that it’s your business and you can do what ever you like with it is too simplistic. If you’re involved with Facebook, you need to follow Facebook’s terms of use; in fact, the same is true of any online activity. I even have a set of guidelines that determine whether or not I publish your comments – rules are rules. If you can survive without a particular service, then go ahead and ignore those rules – Todd’s right in that aspect – it’s your business, so if any activity hurts your business, that’s your problem.