SEO Pro Suggests Peers Try Ethics

March 8, 2013

Transparency and ethics in the search engine optimization field? Interesting. Writer Pratik Dholakiya at the Search Engine Journal has some advice for his colleagues in, “Let’s Make the SEO Industry Crystal Clear and Ethical in the Year Ahead!

The article opens with this acknowledgement: in SEO circles, “ethics” and “transparency” have become dirty words, connected to Google‘s highly-resented efforts to impose quality control onto its search results. Dholakiya seems to understand he is swimming against the tide with his fifteen suggestions, most of which focus on ways to embrace, rather than reflexively reject, such principles. For example, he suggests his peers resist the urge to protect secrets from their clients and, instead, involve them in their planning. He may get more traction with entry number two, which attempts to position “ethics” as a question of smart strategy rather than morals.

See the article if you are curious about Dholakiya’s advice. The Panda and Penguin make an appearance, of course, as do radical concepts like building strong relationships and emphasizing the long view over short-term thinking. His conclusions give us a clue about why he feels now is the time to implore his colleagues to change their tune:

“We are entering an age when SEO can’t be considered separate from online marketing in general. Instead, SEO has become an online branding effort with an emphasis on search, requiring many of the general marketing skills that other online marketers take advantage of.

“Unlike, say, PPC [Pay Per Click], we don’t have the option of specializing on a small and specific set of skills. Link building, social media, keyword research, branding, conversions, content production, relationship building, viral marketing, and rich snippets: it’s all a part of SEO. This is the year to let our clients know that we are comprehensive internet marketing experts with the skills to bring them long term success and opportunities!”

So, he suggests that behaving ethically might better serve these consultants in an evolving landscape. What a novel concept.

Cynthia Murrell, March 08, 2013

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