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Saturday, January 14, 2006

What counts as Ethical SEO?

The #1 principle that everyone - SEO practitioners and search engine algorithm designers alike - seem to have forgotten in the fight against search engine spam is that it is all about what the search engine user wants. And what a search engine user wants is nothing more than a website/webpage reflecting the information he had in mind when he typed in the search terms.

As long as the search engine user gets the info he was searching for, he could care less with the usage (or lack thereof) of doorway pages, gateways, redirects, to boost a site's ranking.

Based on this overriding principle, the ONLY criteria for whether SEO is ethical or not is simple and has nothing to do with the usage or non-usage of cloaking techniques or otherwise. It should all boil down to keyword selection.

For Example: A site that sells ringtones is spamming when it tries to get high rankings for keywords related to cellphone manuals.

A site can use all of these so-called black hat techniques, but at the end of the day, if what the search engine user sees is the kind of page he/she is looking for, then practically speaking no spam has taken place. The search engine user got the info he wanted, the search engine did its job and the SEO practitioner provided a value-added service.

Too much effort has been wasted on designing algorithms to fight black hat SEO techniques and too much effort has also been wasted on trying to get around such algorithms. The end result is ironic. Search engines like Google - which ostensibly have superior 'anti-spam' algorithms are returning inferior results to search engines which have simpler algorithms.

The enemy is not SEO practitioners who use 'black hat' techniques per se, it is SEO practitioners who optimize for keywords and search terms that do not apply to the site or page they are optimizing for.


  • Very well put sirrah!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 21, 2006  

  • You know what? What you are suggesting here is not correct and not ethical. Some of us SEOs use ethical and honest tactics to get traffic and eventually sales. I guess if you want your domain banned then what you suggest (and probably what you offer to clients) is what you will get. Myself, I'll stick to honest if somewhat humble traffic.

    David R Davis, Jr.
    A Philippine White Hat SEO

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 03, 2007  

  • I agree about your point,SEO company should considered that the keywords use should be related to the site.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 17, 2008  

  • One thing is of most importance for me these days other than just doing SEO and that is link building. SEO for me has become just a plain battle of who get the best links pointing to a page so whether you get it using white or black, it's all the same. You just have to be ready to face the consequences when Google gets to you eventually.

    So which will you choose? white, grey or black?

    By Anonymous tnomeralc web design toys, at April 06, 2009  

  • "honest, humble traffics."

    that's very ideal. but we should live with these ideas. good service is made from these ideals.

    By Anonymous Himaya, at August 24, 2009  

  • Web traffic is very important in every website. The keyword must be related to your website.

    By Blogger Mobile Express Contact Solutions, at September 07, 2010  

  • SEO is not just about page rankings or traffic, but also the information needed by the users. We should be able to make it easier for them.

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  • SEO is not just about page rankings or traffic, but also the information needed by the users. We should be able to make it easier for them.

    By Anonymous contact center philippines, at December 23, 2010  

  • gr8 work i really like it.in SEO one thing is very imp. that ur title related ur website.

    Software Engineer & SEO Expert,

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  • As an SEO specialist, I can say one must always be ready and updated to the changes in the way search engines like Google rank websites. New technologies to make searches even more convenient are on the fast track of development. One must not be left behind.

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