You’ll never guess what I found when I recently searched for “ethical SEO” at one of the major search engines.
The organic listings, of course, are open to tampering to match the algorithms, so even an unethical spammy SEO company could rank well for “ethical SEO” with enough effort. What caught me by surprise was what I saw in the sponsored listings – the paid ads.
Just for the record, any unethical SEO could easily post an ad for ethical SEO; how would the search engines know, without investing a major effort in checking out the methodologies of each company – which they are not about to do. But, you would think they would at least check the ad copy. You would think that a paid ad on a search engine that announces “ethical SEO” would at least not have an unethical message, such as “guaranteed ranking”. You would think there might be a filter to red flag such ads.
(For those new to SEO, guaranteed ranking is one of the cheapest lies an SEO company can make…and far too common. Rankings are relative. You get to be top 10 only by ranking higher than all the other websites. Nobody can guarantee a ranking without having control of all those other websites, as well as having control of the search engine’s algorithm.)
I present to you below the results of a search for “ethical SEO across the five major search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing , AOL and Ask.
“Ethical SEO” at Google
“Ethical SEO” at Yahoo
“Ethical SEO” at Bing
“Ethical SEO” at AOL
“Ethical SEO” at Ask
So which search engine supports the most ethical SEO when showing ads to the public? I’ll let you decide, and I welcome your comments on this.Written by David Leonhardt
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