Tuesday, February 22, 2005

seo ethics: a respectful whistle

We keep a pretty close eye on the forums at Search Engine Watch and most of the other reputable SEO sites. We're not really in the business of rehashing the same tired debates (the forums do a pretty good job of that themselves) for you, but we do like to tell you when things take an interesting turn.

At SEW, like with most of them, it's never the wrong time to explain ethical SEO. Just when one thread dries up, someone new joins and asks exactly what "white hat" means. This would be fine if any two people would actually agree on a definition.

So the current ethics thread has the typical amount of chest thumping, self-congratulation, and condescension, along with a kernel of helpfulness tossed in here and there. But somewhere into the discussion, things get a little strange, with the assertion that typically, ethical SEOs won't tell you that they're ethical, because pitching yourself as an ethical SEO is generally a tactic of unethical SEOs. Thus we can be reasonably certain that anyone claiming ethics is, naturally, unethical.

Not a particularly disturbing issue in an industry where the presence of framed content is still considered valid SEO discussion, but it reminds us of a passage from Joseph Heller:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
SEM | ANTICS is moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of SEO Ethics, but we fear that saying so might make us appear to be unmoved.

Back soon; more missions to fly...


At 5/18/2005 4:38 AM, Blogger Ashok said...

Check out my post on Catch-22.

At 9/10/2005 7:11 PM, Anonymous PageRank said...

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At 9/11/2005 1:52 AM, Anonymous SEO said...

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