Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal recently compared the results of their survey with Search Engine Round Table’s survey. The surveys both tackled the issue of whether SEO bloggers reported their shadier colleagues/competitors to Google or not. The funny thing about the two surveys is that they yielded very different results as seen below:
Search Engine Roundtable (Total # of respondents = 159)
70% (111) – DO NOT report competitors
28% (45) – Report their competitors
Search Engine Journal (Total # of respondents = 15*)
80% (12) – Report their competitors
20% (3) – DO NOT report competitors
So what can we get from these results? Some may conclude that bloggers of different temperaments read SEO blogs but I tend to agree with Loren’s observation that another factor might have come into play, such as one being in the form of an anonymous poll and the other in the form of comments, leading to the difference in results. This makes sense because those who do not care much about the issue will also be the ones who will likely answer that they DO NOT report their competitors and will also be more likely to just click on the poll to give their opinion. These same people will be less likely to take time to leave a comment and expound on their reasons for feeling this way resulting in disproportionate results for the comment-type survey. Whatever the reason though, the fact is that there are people who will report you if you engage in black hat techniques…so don’t rest easy if you do.
And just as a matter of interest I would like to know if the usual PhoenixRealm readers report their competitors for using black hat techniques or not. Please speak up with even a simple NO if you don’t. Thanks!
* Note that commenters did not answer the question Yes or No but it was clear from their statements where they stood. I did not include the several commenters (around 5), which simply discussed the issue without really committing to a certain stand.