Search engine optimization has a bad rep. Tell a group of people at a party what you do and one of them will no doubt accuse you of being a spammer. But there is a distinct difference between search engine optimization and spam. If the critics are correct then all of us are spammers. But I’m not willing to concede that just because you want your website to rank well in the search engines that you must be a spammer.
Rather, I think smart business people, whether they are entrepreneurs looking for search engine optimization services or search engine optimization specialists trying to rank their empire of websites, will do everything they can to rank their websites well for the keywords they are targeting. It’s just smart business. Provided, of course, that you go about it in ways that won’t get you banned from the search engines. Or sued. Or worse.
It is difficult, really, to come up with a good definition of search engine spam. E-mail spam we know about. Search engine spam is different. Because it assumes that there are people who don’t want to see your message. But there may actually be people who do want to see your message. And if they clicked on your listing in the search engine, that proves it. Right?
Well, not always. I mean, they could have been deceived by the snippet or the Title tag. Maybe that’s why my industry has such a bad reputation.
When it comes to search engine optimization, it’s more than a story of good guys vs. bad guys.There’s also the story of competent and incompetent, honest and dishonest. SEO itself is a neutral, neither good nor bad, neither ethical nor unethical. It is the person using the tool that makes it good or bad. Sometimes, the question you ask has a different answer if you rephrase it. “Are you a spammer?” could just as well be, “Is your site well optimized using search engine approved tactics?”
To some, there may not be a difference. To me, there is.