Dilbert Cartoon Says “No” To Black Hat SEO

This morning’s Dilbert comic is on the topic of black hat SEO. Dilbert wisely decides to avoid those tactics:


The comic reads:

“I want you to use “black hat” methods to raise our website’s ranking on search engines.”

“What do you like best about that ideas – the fact that it’s unethical or the near certainty of getting caught?”

“That’s sort of a loserish thing to say.”

“Talking doesn’t work for people like me.”

Scott Adams: No Stranger To Google

It’s probably best that Dilbert decided to stay with acceptable practices. After all, creator Scott Adams depended on Google for good advice a few years ago to help treat his speech disorder. Our past article, Dilbert’s Scott Adams: Will Google Replace Your Doctor?, has more about that.

Plus, in 2002, one of Google’s most famous special logos — or “Doodles” — was a Dilbert one created by Adams that ran across multiple days.

It also later was placed on coffee cups. Here are some pictures of that from a cup that Search Engine Land editor in chief Danny Sullivan has:

Getting that strip drawn turned out to be quite the saga, one that former Googler Doug Edwards covers here. Edwards is also author of the new book with insider accounts of the life and times at Google, “I’m Feeling Lucky.”

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Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Community | SEM Industry: General | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.highrankings.com/hrasubscribe Jill Whalen

    Cool! I want this one on a mug!

  • http://www.prunderground.com Prunderground

    Raising blackhat SEO awareness even through cartoons rocks!! I too want that mug…Google should sell it.

  • MishMish

    I always wondered how Google managed to convince the masses that anything that jeopardizes its profits = unethical, while they simultaneously employ tax avoidance schemes to weasel out of paying $60 billion in US taxes.


    They seem to have no problem gaming the system, as long as it’s legal and makes them money.

    Wake up. Google is a for profit business out to make as much money as possible. If you want to argue that black hat tactics have a low ROI, fine, but to act as thought we have an ethical imperative to follow Google’s rules, which are designed to protect its business model, is absurd.

  • http://www.theonlinemarketingguy.com duane forrester

    Wonder what Garfield and Marmaduke would have to say…? I think I know what HoneyBadger would say… ;)

  • http://jadedtlc.blogspot.com JadedTLC

    @MishMish It’s not ethical behavior toward Google that we argue. It’s ethical behavior we argue to our clients/employers. What you do on your own website is your business, but to employ a risky behavior for a client/employer who doesn’t really understand what is at risk, or doesn’t know you employed it. THAT is unethical. /rant

    PS Google is out for profit and is not ethical. I’ve not seen someone argue that.

  • http://www.visionefx.net Rick Vidallon

    They should have wrote the cartoon story line around the recent rash of emails my clients have been getting.

    ‘Hello… I am sure that you know this already but your website needs some help. I am talking about your website from a marketing standpoint. There are things you should do to get more conversions and sales. I am an independent internet consultant and I am working with alot of smalll businesses in helping them to be found locally in the seach engines. I have a “grey hat” trick that I can do for your site that will blast you to the top page of Google in 7 days for just about any keyword…..guaranteed! Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you with google. It’s only “grey hat” because I use software but it is completely legit!

    Call me!

  • http://en.gravatar.com/rasculous David Knockton

    If it wasn’t for black hat SEO then SEO agencies would be out of business

  • http://www.classichits.com Carla Ackley

    Sounds like a conversation I had with a client of a large well known Hotel in Scottsdale AZ. I had to tell her that wasnt ethical. She didn’t like hearing that.

  • F.C.

    @MishMish Sure, those actions by Google are unethical, but that doesn’t make gaming Google’s algorithms to falsely inflate the ranking of a webpage any more ethical — colloquially, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Because, you see, the service that Google provides is such that such artificial inflations actually hurt *Google’s* users — and that number far outnumbers that of any other search engine. Now, unethical as it may be to hurt your *own* users and usability, you are more or less within your rights to do so (within reason); hurting someone *else’s* users and usability, however, using methods somewhat beyond their control, is just not okay. At that point, you are willfully attacking and damaging that which is not yours to damage.

    So please, don’t try to use Google’s accounting practices as ethical grounds for your own unethical activities in the future. Thanks.

  • kaychan

    I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BidsGet.com

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