Ethical Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your Web site is extremely important if you want to be ranked well in the search engine results for your particular keywords. Most site owners focus on the technical aspects of search engine optimization when they are improving their sites. If you own a business and want to maintain your reputation, you should also consider the ethical aspects of search engine optimization. While some techniques may help you get ranked higher in the search engines, they can also create a negative impression of your business and ultimately reduce sales.

Black Hat Techniques

There are many techniques known as black hat techniques. They are not exactly illegal, but they are unethical because they rely on tricking site visitors or the search engines themselves. There are several good examples of black hat SEO techniques. One is the use of keyword spamming to make a site appear more relevant to a topic than it really is. Site owners who use keyword spamming produce content that is stuffed with keywords. The content usually makes no sense, but the owners use the keyword-stuffed drivel to trick the search engines into ranking them higher. Any technique that relies on trickery to achieve a higher search engine ranking should be avoided, or you risk damaging your reputation in the long run.

Plagiarized Content

Adding content to your site is one of the most important search engine optimization techniques. When you need to add hundreds of pages of content to your site, it may be tempting to copy articles from another Web site or rewrite the words of another author so that they qualify as unique content for your site. Plagiarism is stealing, plain and simple. Not only will you run the risk of being sued for copyright infringement, you can also be de-indexed by the search engines if anyone reports the content you are using as stolen. In addition, your reputation as a business owner can be severely compromised. If you are overwhelmed at the thought of writing a lot of content, or you just don’t have the writing skills necessary, hire a writer to produce the content for you. It will be more expensive than plagiarizing content to begin with, but it will save you a lot in embarrassment and legal fees.

False Claims in Content

Posting content on your site also gives you the additional responsibility of making sure that everything you post is accurate. If you post information that is untrue about someone, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit for libel. Stick to posting factual information on your site. If you want to post a negative remark about a business, be sure to back up your claims or note that you are simply stating your opinion, not solid facts. This can help you avoid lawsuits and help you keep your stellar reputation intact.