Let me talk of something new as searchEnginesWeb disagrees with several points in this theme:
It is one thing to have a site that ranks for very non competative keywords that may only bring one visitor every few weeks, but it is an entirely different ballgame as the keywords get more competative.
Many people who resort to Gray Hat strategies have no other choice because of budgets and the fact that their competitors can dwarf them in every conceivable way.
It simply does very very very very little good to have a ranking far away from page one. And even so, there are sponsor links and adwords competing for attention on virtually every page.
What SearchEnginesWeb just can not make you or Google Engineers understand is that…..
…..there has to be a reworking of the entire system from the ground up.
The eco-system is being irreversibly altered because the rich are just as hungry to get richer, as the newbie is to get a foothole. Who is likely to win in the competition???!!!
You talk about IMPROVING a site – but what is being lost is that there was NOTHING to begin with. Any effort will be a technical improvement, but it does not mean that someone will get prospects after debuting at page 4 from page 20.
Gray Hat and Black Hat evolved out of desperation and cynicism.
These rebuttals are not to be taken personally. SearchEnginesWeb is quite aware of what you and the rest of the Google Engineers are saying about these passionate posts and incessant pleas for mutual understanding.