Business ethics center on the relationship between business and client / customer as well as adherence to law. In search engine optimization, this is no less true. In many SEO circles, the term “ethics” is used when discussing particular optimization strategies tactics and strategies. We don’t believe there is such a thing as “SEO ethics”. There is simply ethical behavior and unethical behavior.
Our team believes that our personal ethics play a significant role in our professional behavior. These ethics dictate our relationships that we have with our clients and demand that we maintain an atmosphere of truth and of trust. It also effects the work that we do,ensuring that the strategies we implement do not create negative consequences to our client’s websites.
Our Ethical Responsibilities
The search engines themselves often provide guidelines for webmasters with some dos and dont’s of website marketing. These ensure that your site can be found and placed in the search engine index without penalty. Many search engine optimization firms circumvent these “rules” as a means of surpassing the competition in the search results.
This is where real ethics come into play, not in the particular tactics but in the honesty or lack thereof in regard to these tactics. These SEOs will most often not tell their client about the potential negative ramifications of their tactics. We consider this to be unethical. Pole Position Marketing is proud to subscribe to a set of best practices and SEO ethics that allows us to provide quality results for our clients without putting website performance in jeopardy.
In our business practices, Pole Position Marketing will…
- always return a client’s call or email in a timely manner
- not make any knowingly false claims or assumptions in regard to expected performance
- use clear contractual language outlining the scope of work to be performed providing detailed timelines for initial and ongoing marketing strategies
- not promote service guarantees that are vaguely worded or provide meaningless assurances to the client
- bring no harm to a client’s business either out of ignorance, neglect, or purposeful negligence
- not use any techniques that cannot be fully disclosed to the client
- not knowingly violate the law in the course of their marketing efforts
- disclose potential conflicts of interest if/when marketing multiple clients within similar industries
- not share or distribute proprietary client information with any other third party without express permission from the client
- hold critical client information (such as web access and credit card information) in utmost security
- establish clear performance, reporting and consultations procedures to ensure client has unfettered access to critical information regarding marketing campaign.
- disclose any and all fees required in fulfillment of services (i.e. set-up, ongoing monthly, directory submission, content writing, pay-per-click, etc)
- not sell any services that require additional fee-based services in order to achieve initial implied level of success
- treat the client with utmost respect and professionalism, treating every client as if they were the only client
- not make any false representations of their work, performance or successes
- provide internal and external dispute resolution procedures in writing
In our optimization and marketing services, Pole Position Marketing will…
- adhere to all known search engine guidelines
- target only quality search terms pre-determined and approved by the client
- not employ any hidden text or hyperlinks on optimized pages
- not duplicate page content on or off the site as a means to “game” the search engine results
- not employ sneaky page redirecting or cloaking as a means to provide the visitor a different page than the search engine sees
- not use any page-jacking or content theft techniques
- not create new pages en masse (usually machine generated), all pages will be manufactured and/or edited by a real person
- not employ any link spamming techniques designed to artificially inflate link popularity
- seek out only on-topic and high-quality links from industry related websites
- constantly work to improve visibility and usability for client’s website
- remain knowledgeable of current and effective optimization and marketing practices and employing only such practices onto the client’s website
- not suggest or recommend any tactics that are known to be useless and/or harmful to a website’s marketing efforts
- not employ unnatural language or keyword stuffing techniques that in any way devalue the user experience
- seek to provide professional and validated coding except in cases where validation is impossible due to client and/or site requirements
- not maintain ownership of any aspect of the on or off-page elements created or updated as part of the marketing campaign, including content, domain names, etc.