Is SEO Decietful? An Analogy to Consider…

June 2, 2008

I just posted this over as a comment on the blog of a colleague…  He mentioned how many people consider SEO to be deceitful, and then went on to compare it to a deceitful piece of direct mail he recently received.  I think Black Hat SEO in many cases is “deceitful”, but white hat SEO for the most part isn’t.  I think its just more putting your best foot forward.  In that case, its once again more like traditional PR.

I don’t share the thought though of those who say SEM/SEO is deceitful.  I view it as simply understanding what the search engines want and giving it to them… Its sort of like wearing a nice outfit to a big interview.  Its not outright lying or intentionally deceiving, but rather just putting your best foot forward.  The interviewer knows you don’t wear suits everywhere you go 🙂

Nowadays I think everyone must consider the source in all things.  That’s a skill that is much needed in this age of multitudes of media outlets across different mediums.  All information is biased, in some way.

Deceiving is having a client who sells one product and optimizing for an unrelated or very loosely related keyword.  Who has time for that?  Way too inefficient.  Instead, most of the “SEO” that I see is instead simply elaborating a bit more than what might be appropriate or deserving if there weren’t search engines to consider.  Maybe without SEO I would write 3 paragraphs of text about an accounting firm’s year-end tax preparation services, whereas with search engines to consider I write 5 and include a more to-the-point TITLE tag and H1, and then work a little harder to make sure other sites know about it.  That’s not deceiving.  That’s just doing a better job, doing more than otherwise is “necessary”, and perhaps trying harder.

Thoughts in agreement?  Thoughts to the contrary?

One Response to “Is SEO Decietful? An Analogy to Consider…”

  1. SEO Ranter Says:

    I’d say that feeds coming from (e.g.) the Press Association are fairly unbiased, and don’t get much bias until the journalism monkeys working for media outlets put flesh on the raw stories and publish them.

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