Newsweek just published an article about the growth of SEO during the last 10 years. Calling SEO practitioners the “web’s lobbyists??, author Brad Stone explains how SEO can boost websites to the top of unpaid search listings and can have a dramatic impact on the success of an online business. He also explores the difference between ethical and not-so-ethical SEO practices:
Search engines like google, Yahoo and MSN have a conflicted relationship with SEOs. They deplore the so-called black-hat SEOs who use unsavory techniques, like spamming the Web with dummy pages full of links, in an effort to make their sites appear popular. But they are increasingly tolerant of ethical or “white hat” SEOs…who primarily help their clients knock down the virtual walls that prevent search engines from fully indexing their site.
These “white hat?? SEOs achieve higher rankings for their clients by understanding how the search engines work and optimizing websites accordingly. Google engineer Matt Cutts suggests that not only are black hat techniques unethical, they will not work in the long run. Google has a quality team dedicating to weeding out black hat trickery and they ensure that only legitimate optimization techniques are rewarded in the search listings. The Newsweek article mentions a site called avatarfinancial.com, and Cutts blogs that its paid backlinks are not helping its rankings. The white hat techniques are making the real difference:
what is helping is good content like the articles about non-conforming loans and the new blog on that site. That’s why when I see strong links from Yahoo’s directory, Dmoz, and Wikipedia to Avatar, I’m not very surprised.
Read the full Newsweek SEO story.