Ethical search engine optimization has become a hot topic with the increasing popularity of SEO services. Like other industries, the Internet has become an attractive target for corrupt individuals and businesses. Search engine optimisation, being one of the most popular services on the Web, has spawned a lot of companies that offer fake services and products. Below, we look at some of the ethical issues that govern this unit of the online community.

What is search engine optimization

First, we define what SEO means. In its simplest form, it is the process of improving the traffic or increasing the number of visitors to a website. This is achieved by editing its content and HTML coding to fit search engine requirements. The purpose is to improve the content’s relevance to keywords and to search engines’ indexing processes.

Unethical practices of search engine optimizers

Some individuals and firms that offer SEO services conduct unethical practices to attract clients. Take note that not all of these firms and optimizers are really experts on SEO, some of them are just in the business for a quick buck and cannot really help a Web master improve his site.

One of the things that a website owner should be wary of are those individuals and firms claiming that they can guarantee a number one ranking for a site in major search engines. The job of a search engine optimizer is to help make a site fit for search engine requirements, not give them a guaranteed number one ranking. The ranking will come through proper website design, content and promotion.

Another unethical practice that an optimizer may be involved in is creating shadow domains. These so-called shadow domains drive Internet users to a site by using deceptive redirects. Some SEO services providers will claim that the domain is for the client, but will later redirect its visitors to another site whose owner can offer more, particularly competitors of the client’s site.

There are a lot more unethical actions, including getting visitor traffic from spyware and fake search engines and seeking access to a Web master’s server. Experts have also warned site owners to be careful of individuals and firms that offer their services through unsolicited emails.

Ethical search engine optimization is an important issue in the Internet business. Web site owners seeking SEO services should never deal with questionable identities and should first make sure that who they are dealing with is a legitimate firm or individual. This way, they’ll get their money’s worth and will also be helping the online business.

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