In the early days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there was an absence of questions regarding what was ethical and more of a focus on what was effective. SEO was simply about finding ways to trick the algorithms and exploit the early limitations of boolean searches. However, those days are gone. The black hat era of SEO still has its partisans, and there is a segment out there that is looking for cracks to squeeze through and weaknesses to exploit, but in this day and age, ethical SEO is really the only viable option. Here are four big reasons why you should practice SEO with ethics foremost in your mind.
1. The search engines are punishing black hat practices
You may be faced with SEO “experts” that advocate “tried-and-true” tactics such as keyword stuffing and click bait articles, but the search engines are cracking down viciously on these practices and all of their cousins, resulting in either lower rankings or blacklisting altogether.
2. Your online reputation is more transparent than ever
Your company identity is online and open to everyone to see and comment on. Your online behavior is cataloged electronically and is just as retrievable by search as the promotional image that you wish to be seen. Your relationship with the search engines is a business relationship, and how would you treat a business partner that did nothing but try to trick you?
3. The engines are posting their guidelines publically
In the early days of SEO, it was easy to plead ignorance. Not everyone was certain how searches even functioned and they were just groping around in the dark trying to find a way to come out on top in the rankings. These days, ignorance is no excuse, as Google and the other big engines clearly post their best practices and expectations of conduct where everyone can find them.
4. Any loopholes will inevitably collapse
Search engines such as Google and Bing have multi billion dollar companies behind them employing some of the greatest minds of this generation, and the biggest threat to their business is if searchers are faced with a low quality of results for their searches. If the history of algorithm updates tells us anything, it is that if any loophole exists that can unfairly give a page a ranking boost, that loophole will be the target of the next update.
Our SEO experts at Monster Media are always up to date on the current best practices in Search Engine Optimization and provide an ethical promise to all of our clients. Contact us for more information on how to ethically promote your services online.