What makes an Ethical SEO Company Ethical?

by Justin March on December 11, 2009

So what makes an Ethical SEO Company Ethical? Perhaps one can find an Ethical SEO by searching for “Ethical SEO” in Google or perhaps by searching for “Professional SEO” the reality is that these are often just words, targeted because they have a relatively low level of competition when set against the number of historic monthly searches.

Now I’m certainly not saying that the companies that rank for the above phrases are in any way unethical or unprofessional the fact that they have selected these phrases at all is to their credit.  And yes I get the hypocrisy; this post including the title tag, page title and content are obviously focused on optimising it for the phrase Ethical SEO Company.

What I’m trying to get at here is that Google has no way of telling how a company operates or conducts itself, it simply returns the best results that it can given the available parameters.  Broadly speaking (and greatly simplified in order to explain my reasoning) there are 2 factors that dictate how search engines rank pages:

  1. Onsite/Onpage SEO (Which can include Domain Name Selection as well as Optimised Title Tags, Internal Links, Visible on Page Text, Page Titles etc).
  2. External Inbound Links (that are pointing at the site pages hopefully, but not always from relevant, respected or trusted websites)

The first factor is completely in the control of the webmaster in question; all it takes is knowledge of SEO to put the content in place to fulfil this part of the site optimisation.  The second factor is the external links coming into the site pages, to put it simply Google and the other search engines look on these links as one site voting for the other.

In an ideal world a company would set up a website, call themselves an Ethical SEO Company and create the onsite content that makes web site owners want to link through to them. In reality most companies (even ethical ones) will find it difficult to achieve this type of inbound link. Most companies have to build quality content and even then work on building links to their site.

So what makes an Ethical SEO Company?
Answer: “Some of the Above”

To find out what makes for Ethical SEO have a read of the following pages, these are Guidelines set out by the Search Engines to tell webmasters and site owners how to follow (or should I say how not to break) the rules:

Yahoo! Search Content Quality Guidelines:
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/basics-18.html

Google Webmaster Guidelines:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guidelines:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

Bing Webmaster Center Help:
http://help.live.com/help.aspx?mkt=en-us&project=wl_webmasters

Dmoz Guidelines:
http://www.dmoz.org/guidelines/

If you want to hire an ethical SEO then do some research, you have been told that the company you have contacted is ethical (and they may well be) but don’t just take their word for it, understand what you are paying for.

“Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you.” SOURCE: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

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