The article linked from the headline above is a brief Newsweek piece discussing and comparing Black Hat SEO with White Hat SEO and what the search engines think of each. The idea that search engines even tolerate SEO’s is a rather new development, since most news in the major media tends to focus only on Black Hat SEO’s and warn everyone to stay away from companies that perform any type of search engine optimization for online companies.
Since this story notes quite correctly that an in-house SEO is becoming increasingly necessary for corporations that do business online, it is clearly getting to be more acceptable to be an SEO. There are roadblocks to ranking that companies put up without realizing they’ve done so and the job of an SEO is to open up the search engine freeway by removing the traffic cones narrowing web traffic to a crawl. (Of course we repair the potholes and re-paint the lane markers first.)
I’ve advertised my “White Hat” stance on search engines for years with an email signature line that reads “ETHICAL search engine optimization specialist” along with my site contact form URL. While this seems to calm many of my contacts concerned about doing SEO with accepted methods that won’t get them banned from the search engines, there are still clients who fear hiring me for fear they’ll be banned for useing SEO techniques to rank their site better.
Perhaps now that the major media is seeing a few “Good Guys” in the business, we’ll avoid that fear from clients. Unfortunately there are still some “Bad Guys” out there doing Black Hat SEO that give us all a bad name.