Ethical SEO is a term that gets banded around by some SEO sales people, either claiming they only use ethical SEO techniques or other companies are not ethical but in reality ethical SEO isn’t as simple as black and white.
Ethical SEO isn’t a rare concept that only the best SEO’s use, and in fact many of the best SEO’s are in fact experts at black hat SEO as they are the ones who are fooling Google. The big deal about ethical SEO is that it will keep you in Google’s favour, the last thing a multinational corporation wants is to hire a black hat SEO who gets them banned by Google, and there is always the chance that Google will figure out what you are doing an penalise you, especially with big brands and websites in certain competitive inustries. However, with risk comes reward and if you are clever enough not to get caught then you can get some great results from a few naughty tricks.
So why keep it ethical?
Over the years SEO companies have been given a bad reputation as spammers and black hats, however the SEO consultants or companies that are using bad techniques that will either get you banned from Google or annoy general internet users aren’t really very good and they have to rely on these methods to get results.
To do a good job and get long term results it is better to improve your website and abide by Google webmaster rules. At the end of the day Google is trying its best to imitate the user and changes its algorithms to identify triggers that make the site useful to the end user for particular keywords therefore the ethical way would be to improve the website for both users and search engines.
A good and ethical SEO consultant will help you improve your websites so the site is both search engine friendly and user friendly, this is a win win situation as you can get more traffic and this traffic should convert.
Everyone is using Black Hat SEO
The ethical way works but what do you do if you are the only one using ethical SEO, you don’t want to be a spammer or buy links but you want to get ahead of competitiors who may be using very black hat methods and don’t always have the best sites. You can still use ethical techniques and eventually your site may do well, especially if your competitors get penalised but this may not happen if the websites are not being noticed by Google.
Ethical SEO is a great concept but in reality you need to be up to speed with what your competitors are doing, this doesn’t mean you should start using black hat seo as there is always the risk but discuss options with your SEO consultant and you can work out a strategy that isn’t black or white, more shades of grey.