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Search Engine Marketing Standards
Posted 28 March 2008 - 06:33 PM
Probably did stick in my head for all those years though as I'm sure I must have read that back when you wrote it!
Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:02 PM
It's nice when your work enters the mainstream. I remember when I first published The Classification of Search Engine Spam, it caused a fair bit of controversy. Now it's pretty much accepted thinking in a large part of the industry, to the extent that if I first published it today it would hardly raise an eyebrow. I think that's the best way to impose standards and make a difference: make well reasoned arguments, back them up, explain them more fully where necessary and win people over to your way of thinking. Of course, you can't win them all ...
Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:39 PM
Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:04 PM
Please read my Search Engine Land article and let me know what you think:
We Don't Need SEO Standards!
Is there a trade association of SEOs or Professional association of SEOs. If so do they have a minimal "code of ethics" that are generally accepted by the assoication members. We had this in my prior life as a telecommunications consultant. Even a code of ethics which was gernerally accepted by all the "honest" consultants at a given point in time... became grey as innovators came up with new leading edge approaches.
Posted 29 March 2008 - 05:51 AM
I think sometimes we get so used to knowing how things work that we forget that the general public has virtually no clue. One of the reasons I still contribute to forums and give (free) SEO seminars to local businesses is because it helps keep me grounded. I routinely have to explain concepts like anchor text to otherwise very knowedgable people.
Absolutelt Ian. It's easy to take things for granted when you immerse yourself in them every day.
For instance, how easy is it to bring up Google and do a web search? Finding the right information might be a bit tricky, but just bringing up the world's most popular search engine and typing in a query isn't that hard, right?
And yet a relatively recent usability study conducted by Nielsen Norman Group conducted with a sample of "above avarage" web users found that an astonishing 25% failed to complete the task. They either ended up not searching at all, or searching using some other search engine (the browser default?).
Would you say this is easy or difficult? Think a bit before reading on.
**** pause ****
If you thought it's easy to get to Google, think again. In our current round of usability research, only 76% of users who expressed a desire to run a Google search were successful. In other words, 1/4 of users who wanted to use Google couldn't do so. (Instead, they either completely failed to get to any search engine or ended up running their query on a different search engine — usually whatever type-in field happened to be at hand.)
Source: Jacob Nielsen's AlertBox March 17 2008
I found this staggering -- but it reinforced the fact that we allow our own experience and skill sets influence our perception of the people we design our websites for.
So yes, having a set of acknowledged and authoratative standards that help to define best practice in the relationship between SEOs and their clients would be a great thing. If those same standards can help the general public to better understand the industry, and have more confidence in it, then so much the better. If that's what we're talking about, bring it on....
If, however, we're talking about a prescriptive set of low-level "rules" dictating how you should or shouldn't carry out SEO on a particular page, forget it. In a field as fluid and dynamic as SEO, prescriptive task-level standards would be out of date before the virtual ink dried, and besides you'd never get people to sign up to them.
Standards are great when they're well thought out, well implemented and don't stifle the effectiveness of people at the business end of the equation. Unfortunately, all too often they're not.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:40 PM
Jill, in your Sphinn comments, you wrote:
I found it quite surprising (to put it mildly ) that you would say that. There are a ton of different marketing regulations in different jurisdictions.
For example, try http://www.business....es/advertising/.
Examples of regulations off the top of my head:
- Marketing to children
- Deceptive advertising
- Anti-competitive practices
- Drug marketing
- Comparative advertising
Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:58 PM
Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:59 PM
American Marketing Associations Statement of Ethics: http://www.marketing.../content435.php
Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards: http://www.the-cma.org/?WCE=C=47|K=225849
Word of Mouth Marketing Association Practical Ethics Program: http://www.womma.org/ethics/
BBB Code of Advertising Ethics: http://us.bbb.org/WW...e2-0cc3ab9cfbb4
Business Marketing Association Code of Ethics: http://www.marketing...cfm?pageid=3286
DMA Corporate Responsibility Guidelines (inc Ethics): http://www.the-dma.o...nes/index.shtml
Direct Selling Association Code of Ethics: http://www.dsa.org/ethics/
Like I keep saying, this is pretty much the only industry that doesn't have a concept of ethics or standards, and it's shameful, IMO.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 05:02 PM
I don't see that as the same thing as standards, however.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 05:31 PM
How SEOs treat their clients is almost a non-argument. Who is going to argue for "badly" or "unethically"?
So the real meat of the discussion is how SEOs and their clients (as a single entity) treat the other stakeholders. And that's where Standards come in! So any discussion of Ethics quickly leads to a discussion of Standards, and even to Laws.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 06:48 PM
Posted 31 March 2008 - 09:42 PM
And that's where I think others will have problems with the standards. I can (and probably will) come up with my own standards. If others want to follow or obey them, then that's fine with me.
Yay...new project for the weekend!
Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:31 PM
Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:58 PM
"Fairness—to try to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller."
"Fairness—to try to balance justly the needs of the searcher and search engine with the interests of the site owner."
Posted 01 April 2008 - 05:50 AM
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