Search engines count links as “votes” for a website’s quality. They primarily want to count editorial links – i.e. those links that were earned, rather than links that were bought or bartered.
Many paid links, such as those from quality directories [link: ], still count as signs of votes as long as they are also associated with editorial quality standards. If they are from sites without editorial control, like link farms [link: ], they are not likely to help you rank well. Using an algorithm similar to TrustRank [link: ], some search engines may place more trust on well known sites with strong editorial guidelines.
A search result that precisely matches a user’s search term.
The page on which a user enters your website. If you’re running pay-per-click[link: ] ads, it is very important to send visitors to the most appropriate and targeted page associated with the keyword they searched for (this strategy is called “deep linking” [link: ]). If you are doing link building it is important to point links at your most appropriate page when possible so that:
- If anyone clicks the link they are sent to the most appropriate/relevant page.
- You help search engines understand what the pages and content on your site are associated with.
- A web page stating an error message such as “File Not Found”
Search engines like to paint SEO services which manipulate (or take advantage of) their relevancy algorithms as being unethical – i.e. any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is either effective or ineffective.
Some search marketers lacking in creativity tend to describe services sold by others as being unethical while their own services are ethical. Any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is either effective or ineffective.
The only ethics issues associated with SEO are generally business ethics related issues. Two of the bigger frauds are:
- Not disclosing risks: Some SEOs may use high risk techniques when they are not needed. Some may make that situation even worse by not disclosing potential risks to clients. These techniques may be referred to ask grey-hat or black-hat [link:] SEO.
- Taking money & doing nothing: Many people selling SEO services may not actually know how to competently provide them. Some shady people claim to be SEO’s and bilk money out of unsuspecting small businesses.
As long as the client is aware of potential risks there is nothing unethical about being aggressive.
- Exact Match is a form of keyword matching where the search query must be exactly the same as the advertisement keyword.
This means that the term “running shoes” will only match ads or search listings that contain the exact words “running shoes”.
- A contract that allows advertisers to purchase all inventory on a given page or for chosen keywords.
- A banner ad that can expand to as large as 468 x 240 pixels after a user clicks on it or after a user moves the cursor over the banner.
Link which references another domain. Some people believe in link hoarding [link:], but linking out to other related resources is a good way to help search engines understand what your site is about.
However, if you link out to lots of low quality sites or primarily rely on low quality reciprocal links some search engines may not rank your site very well. Search engines are more likely to trust high quality editorial links [link: ] (both to and from your site).