Google is not dumb by any means, but they really can’t complain about the SEO industry because they single handedly have shaped the entire search industry.
Unethical practices are going to spring up anywhere there is a chance to make some money and you have to take the good with the bad. Google has made lots of money for themselves but in the process they have spawned and industry with no regulation and no benchmarks leaving things wide open for you know…the bad people.
Google Pagerank: If you ask me Google pagerank was one of the biggest culprits to the overall madness of online spam. Many website owners got so wrapped up over the notion of increasing that little number that they lost track of the importance of being online. Sure at one point you could sit there and perform certain strategies that would allow that number to climb but did those efforts really bring in business or traffic? If your pagerank grew naturally that was one thing but as soon as someone forced that number to grow that is when ethics went out the window and loop holes wrere pounced on.
Here is a quote from Alan Bleiweiss from an article he wrote on the Search Engine Journal:
“Every single new method that Google uses to determine ranking has, ultimately been compromised and manipulated. It’s a never ending cycle that won’t end just by shifting to outbound links. Because outbound links and ranking itself, is, at the end of the day, left to bots and algorithms.”
As long as a non-human is determining relevance, bad apples will always exist. Google has created the platform for all the spammers to spend their days learning and trying to figure out exactly how to manipulate. As long as Google continues to leave everything up to a search engine bot or an algorithm for ranking purposes we will always have a problem with spammers and black hat techniques.
The only way for Google to solve this problem is to require every single website that offers any search engine marketing to go through rigorous examination. Even then that won’t solve the problem. For Google it is probably much cheaper just to leave things the way they are.