Did you hear that they found what some are calling the Mafia's ten commandments when they arrested the head of the Sicilian mafia a few days ago? It includes such rules as "Never be seen with cops." and "Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families." It's interesting just as a story in and of itself, however, it got me thinking (which is usually not a good thing).
Our little industry reminds me of the mob. We tend to be divided into "families" or groups that play various roles. There is, of course, the FBI of search which would include Matt Cutts and gang. The various mob families run the gamut from being those that are the biggest offenders (and most wanted) to those that actually have sort of a symbiotic relationship with the FBI, to those that are nothing more than dirty, rotten informants.
These search families form as the made men and women find each other at various forums and conferences. As they become known to one another, they are evaluated and eventually allowed to join the inner circle if they meet various criteria. They are, of course, sworn to secrecy, and the secrets of search are passed from one to another. They are strongly discouraged to make the secrets known to either the general public or other search families, but inevitably, there are leaks. These leaks naturally find their way to the Search FBI, where action is swift and certain.
In some cases, family members are severely punished by the Search FBI, and in other cases, appropriate action is taken to prevent the same crime from ever being fruitful for any search family. In most cases, a search mobster would prefer harsh punishment, than to be known as the one who ruined it for everyone else.
Of course, every family has its boss and the boss has his capos (lieutenants). Then, there are always the ones jockeying for position and hoping to be chosen and "made". These upstarts are itching to be wise guys, and will offer up their services to the family members, hoping to get noticed. The boss must be careful about allowing any of these youngsters into his family, because the omerta (code of silence) is often broken by wrongly-chosen members.
Back in April, SEOrefugee printed its list of Search Commandments. These commandments would equate to what the FBI would like to enforce upon the mob. As we see from the above news story, however, the mob itself has its own list of commandments, and I would submit that the seo mob families do too. Just as an example, in recent weeks, we had the issue in which some seo families argued that one should never out another, while others argued that in the game of competition, outing was fair and reasonable. Each "family" had a different take on this "commandment" and I'm sure there are several other rules that each group holds.
I invite all of you to submit at least one "commandment" you believe all seo's should follow. Remember...these aren't the commandments that the search engines have laid down. These are the rules we have with one another. I won't stop you from naming bosses if you so choose, but I warn you that the various families may not take kindly to that kind of outing. 😉