What is Ethical SEO?

Ethical SEO is search engine optimization (SEO) that uses whitehat (ethical) techniques.

According to an article by Alan Perkins, the most ethical SEO technique is one that does all of the below:

1)      Produces the most good while at the same time doing the least harm

2)      Respects the rights and dignity of all interested parties, while also treating all those interested parties in a fair and equitable manner

3)      Promotes the common good as opposed to what’s good for the individual

4)      Helps all participants to be fully vested in the goods that we share both at a community level and a social level

5)      Enables the deepening or development of character trait or virtues that we value

ehtical seo

Who are the stakeholders or participants in search engine marketing?  There are usually four groups of participants. These four groups are the search engines themselves, the searchers, the internet or world web as a whole, and site owners, their agents, and their employees.

Searchers either gain or lose in the average search transaction.  If they find a result that is what they were looking for or is relevant to what they need, that is considered a gain or a win. If they don’t find relevant results then they’ve lost time at the very least.  For the searchers, a search engine that deliberately doesn’t provide them with relevant results in a timely manner can be considered unethical. An example of an unethical search practice would be if a search engine deliberately didn’t label paid advertisements and tried to pass them off to searchers as legitimate and objective search results.

Search engines also have the possibility of either a gain or a loss in the search transaction.  They will gain popularity as well as market share if they can attract a constant supply of searchers who appreciate the results obtained from their searches and feel that those results can be trusted.  If the results are appreciated and trusted, the searchers will continue to return to the search engine for their future search needs. This is a win-win situation for both parties.

If the search engine fails to deliver relevant and objective search results, the searchers will go elsewhere. The searchers may also complain to others about the poor results or the fact that they can no longer trust the results of the XYZ search engine.  This is a lose-lose situation for both parties, but it’s more of a loss for the search engine as the searcher has the choice to find another search engine to use.

ethical seo

Each party to the search equation has certain rights and responsibilities. Overall, both parties should follow the law.

Searchers should be able to clearly differentiate between ads and search results, they should follow the terms of the search engine they are using, they should have some technical knowledge, and they should be able to use search modifiers and other tools to tailor their search results.

Search engines should crawl and index the internet to bring the best results for their searchers, they should overburden servers, and they should represent sites fairly in their results. The search engines should also do several other things that are more technical in nature.


I’m Bharath, am 26 years old Indian based blogger. I’m addicted to Facebook and Twitter and a devotee of web designing. At the start, my enthusiasm was not blogging, but now it is my life and I blog concerning all stuff in the world like technology, Mobile, Facebook, and the amazing world of Android. You can follow me on Twitter @Bharath.

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