This is another share brought to you by the wisdom of local and white hat expert Zwielicht. I suggest you check his threads out if you have not. He has a few coverings topics such as ranking long tail KWs without links which will help the vast majority of people out. Anyways, this share is about Google Products and there place in the black hats arsenal. I see a lot of fear mongering about Google products and I think it is time for experience to clear things up. Scary Hat Mentality First thing first, Google is not some all seeing eye. Time for perspective. Google is a vast company. Just like Viacom is a vast company with a lot of holding. For this example to make sense, Viacom owns several media outlets ranging from news stations to Mixed Martial Art promotions. Think about this for a moment. Do you think the same dude is running both a news station and a MMA promotion? Or that the two people who run these divisions share information? Not a chance. Sure, both are on TV and both work with the same demographic or user base, but it is apples and oranges. If Viacom knows 18 - 24 year old men like blood on TV, do you think the news station will begin showing more murder pictures to get more viewers? Again, NO. Now lets go to Google. Or Alphabet now. Sure, the algo is the flagship product. But Google has expanded into a lot of different areas in respect to the internet and technology. Scary hat followers would have you believe if you one day drive a Google car and use its Wifi to do black hat Google will find out and ban your websites. Take your tin foil hat off and think logically. I know we like to think Google is an all seeing entity, but it is impossible to have individual entities work so well together to hammer a very small demographic of the Search Engine landscape. It is a needle in a haystack and any company trying to run a profit can not delegate so many resources to find your link farm. Now that we have that out of the way, let us move on to some more practical examples. Google Search - Chrome Browser Chrome Browser is great and a lot of people like it. For me personally I prefer Firefox, but I still like me some Chrome. What some will say is that you should not use Chrome for black hat tactics. Let us shed some light on this topic. How many of you have ever had a penalty from using chrome? No one? That is what I thought. Now, let us say you used Chrome to go onto Sape.ru to buy sape links and used Google Translate which is built into Chrome. Ever get a penalty from that? NO. What normally happens is someone does black hat on Chrome but leaves a footprint. Again, completely different branches of the company run Chrome and the algo. This is a classic case of causation vs correlation. The cause of the penalty is not Chrome. Do I suggest Chrome? No. I find it painful to use at times but for some things like translate and proxy rotation it is easier and I have never had an issue. Nor has ANY SEO I know and have spoken to. Google WMT and Analytics This one may be the ONLY topic which the Scary Hats have right. Can you get a penalty from using WMT on your site? Yes you can. If one site gets a penalty by a reviewer (Which happens if you site is reported, flagged by an algo or you are in a high comp or highly spammed niche) they will check all of your other sites in the same account. So penalties will rain down like Christmas morning. With WMT and Analytics being able to be used together under the same account, also using Analytics can be a problem. If Google is looking for free data from a Website you are using black hat tactics for such as cloaking, why give them a key to the back door of your website. Where you get your traffic from and user action, for example. With Analytics you are ASKING Google to track what your users do and what they click. That is beyond stupid to do. Have your sites in individual WMT accounts if you need to use WMT. Avoid Analytics if possible. Other options exist which does the same thing. You should not get a penalty from using just Analytics and a penalty in WMT is caused by another issue with your sites, but these products in combination with any black hat penalty you may get can spread like wild fire to your other sites. Do not make Googles job easier than it already is to find your spam sites. Google Documents - Excel / Word / Etc This one is interesting. Remember our Viacom example? The people who work on Google Doc do not work on the Algo. Completely unique functions and operations. I have NEVER heard of a penalty which comes from using Google Docs. In fact, I know of several people who us it to: 1. Share details with clients 2. Share information with VAs 3. Share information with a JV Partner 4. Store passwords 5. Store PBN details I can keep going, you can get a LOT of benefit out of Google Docs and the 'cloud based' sharing option to add other people to your projects. Again, no penalty has ever come from Google Docs. Causation vs Correlation. Put your thinking caps on and take off the tin foil hat with this one. Google Mail - Gmail This one is funny to me. We have already covered this. Gmail will not get you a penalty. They are not run together (Algo and Gmail) and this is Scary Hat at its finest. Now, do I advocate using Gmail? Personally no. Not out of fear, but Google has a habit of filtering things as spam that are not and it causes headaches for me. I have never known a SEO get a penalty from using Gmail. In fact, I know SEOs who: 1. Use Gmail to register PBN domains 2. Use Gmail for Web 2.0 Registration 3. Use Gmail to send clients SEO emails 4. Use Gmail to send spam mails I can keep going. I have seen some very black hat members of this very forum use Gmail to send emails. The Big Bad Wolf I have spoken about this before. Causation vs correlation. Just because something appears in two situations does not mean it is the cause of the outcome for both. This is what Google wants you to think. They are the big bad wolf. Huff and puff... but can you really get a penalty for using Google products? My experience tells me know. The only exceptions are WMT and Analytics. But those are not the CAUSE of the penalty, but they do make things worse. Take off your tin foil hats. Google is not some all seeing entity. It is a company with many different projects going at any different time. The belief Google can do what no other company can and to share any and all data seamlessly between different departments is more than paranoid, it is crazy.