This article was first published on sitepronews.com in 2009. It is as relevant today as it was then. I hope you enjoy it.
First of all, let’s put to one side for a moment the recently coined terms which euphemistically refer to SEO techniques under hats of various colors. These are not dictionary terms, and anyone can make them mean whatever they want. However, the words “ethical” and “unethical” have very strict meanings, have had for generations and their misuse can call into question the personal integrity of individuals. So what does ethical mean anyway? According to dictionary.com:
- pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
- being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession: It was not considered ethical for physicians to advertise.
So doing something unethical is first and foremost immoral and wrong. Additionally, it may be implicitly wrong because it violates an accepted code of conduct adopted by a recognized professional body, whose moral judgement is above reproach. Given these definitions, when would Internet marketing cross the line into the realm of the unethical? Well, let’s try to ring fence the concept and limit more…