Wilson Grant Fisk

Executive VIP
Nov 10, 2012
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Rand Fishkin who ran Moz said on Twitter that back in the day, Matt Cutts (formerly of Google) "tried to get Mozcon not to invite black/gray hats to speak." It is an interesting point because I heard rumors like these with many conferences but yet, I've never seen a conference organizer say it publicly until now. I suspect maybe Google said if there are black hat speakers at the event, we won't send someone out.
I understand both sides.
Rand said it is important to get speakers to show their view of how critical they are about Google. Rand said "voices that criticize Googler's messages are important."
I suspect Google's view was that we shouldn't be teaching people how to take short cuts that might lead to their sites being penalized.
Again, I am not sure - these are just my guesses. I was not super involved in any conference planning when Matt Cutts was actively speaking at events. So I really do not have any inside information here - which is why I am writing about it.
But it does not surprise me that Google would have a rule - if you have black hat spammer related speakers offering tips on ways to trick Google, then they won't send speakers to that event. It does make a lot of sense. Google wouldn't want to be seen supporting an event like that in any way. At the same time, a conference can decide the speakers they want to bring in or not bring in.

Source: https://www.seroundtable.com/matt-cutts-mozcon-black-hat-26050.html
Shun everyone and everything that wants to game their system.
Absolutely, that makes a lot of sense to me. You really dont want to make yourself look bad in-front a guy who is going to proudly talk about BH methods and on the other hand, Its still in practice that the conference can decide who is eligible to speak and who is not right?
In my opinion there are a couple of things going on at the same time.

The first, and perhaps the most important, is that for a lot of people “Google”, the search engine, is synonymous to the internet.

The second one is the fact that when you own a large part of any market, in this case the search results, you can dictate certain terms and conditions that guard you from loosing your market share.

Don’t be evil. Alphabet dropped that slogan a while ago.
It makes sense I suppose. They are just controlling their brand, and their voice.

To be honest though, an seo conference with no black hat or grey hat speakers would be pretty boring imho.
They don't allow that for their search engine or SEO but when it's about google adwords or doubleclick they are happy to send some of their speaker to the big affiliate conference like the actual affiliate world in Barcelona :) (like Facebook) BH is a big part of their revenue
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