At SEO conferences (like Pubcon Las Vegas) I often introduce myself by saying that, among other things, my group fights search-engine spam. But I’ve noticed that whenever I say the S-word to SEOs there’s a little flinch, an awkward little pause. Not as though I’ve done something unforgivable, but as though I’d … farted in church or something. Kind of like the way that people who don’t really like strong language react when someone curses.
This is a cultural mismatch, because I can tell you that within Y! Search we use the word pretty freely. 🙂
Anyway, saying “black-hat SEO” instead doesn’t seem to produce the same reaction, so that’s what I’ll say going forward. Yeah, that’s it.