1. Search Engine Spamming Should Be Outlawed
Out in the wild west, moral confusion abounds.
There have been SEOs who have argued - with a straight face - that whilst it's ok for them to game search engine algorithms, it's not ok for others to do so. This is usually because the other guy isn't following "the rules".
What are the rules?
The rules are decided - and vaguely defined - by the search engines, and then interpreted to mean whatever an SEO decides they mean. Far be it for a search engine to create rules that serve their own business interests, which may not align with the interests of the webmaster.
SEO is built on shifting sands. What do you do when what you were doing was "within the guidelines" and no longer is because the rules change? Do you willfully decide to rank lower?
Conclusion: Spam is what the other guy does. Also an acronym for "Sites Positioned Above Mine".
2. How To Create Meta Tags
Hard to believe now, but forum wars were fought over how many times a webmaster could repeat a keyword in a meta keyword tag. Twice was often deemed ok, but any more than that and you were almost certainly an "evil spammer" (see #1).
Meta tag manipulation doesn't count for anything these days. The tags are mainly used to describe the content of pages, that the search engines may display as snippet text.
Conclusion: Deader than AltaVista
3. Is SEO Ethical?
A curious framing of SEO in terms of ethics and morality.
Is it good and proper to try to get a higher rank than the search engine would bestow otherwise? The point of SEO is, of course, to get a higher rank than the search engines would bestow otherwise.
These people were usually in the wrong game. Many went on to join Seminaries.
Conclusion: Welcome to the jungle
4. Should I Buy Links?
Paranoia runs rampant in SEO, especially when search engines make a example of someone. Like SearchKing.
Almost all SEOs once advocated buying links in, say, Yahoo, as a listing in Yahoo would lead to better rankings in Google. However, Matt Cutts put the cat amongst the pigeons back in 2005 when he declared that "Google does consider buying text links for PageRank purposes to be outside our quality guidelines".
The argument quickly descended into a semantic war i.e. define "paid". Money changing hands? Favors? Nepotism? Erm...Yahoo Directory? One of the more interesting conclusions often got buried: "Hey, perhaps if Google dislike them so much, paid links really do work!"
Conclusion: Yeah, they work
5. Should There Be SEO Standards?
A natural progression of the ethical debate. It was proposed that SEOs should all conform to a common code of practice, as other professions often do.
The problem was that the relationship between search engines and SEOs has always been grey. Only the search engine can really define what the search engine wants, and what the search engine wants might not align with what the SEO, or their client, wants. In any case, the search engine isn't going to publicly define exactly what they want, as they are worried that people, like SEOs, will game their systems.
So, you got a few self-appointed search police officers, who would suggest that everyone followed their particular code of practice, based on their interpretation of the search engines guidelines. The self-appointed cops usually out-numbered those who followed them, and invariably disagreed amongst themselves anyway.
Conclusion: Impossible to get buy-in
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.