Anyone who's spent time in the world of search marketing knows there's a wide spectrum of experience, knowledge and, frankly, ability to effectively influence search results, whether paid or organic. Unfortunately, several high-profile incidents involving unscrupulous search engine optimization "firms" have cast an unsavory light on the industry. To make matters worse, a number of marketing, design and usability experts have weighed in with wrong-headed (or simply wrong) commentary disparaging search engine marketing with an overly wide brush.
That needs to stop, writes Danny Sullivan in today's SearchDay article, Worthless Shady Criminals: A Defense Of SEO. Danny offers a great recounting of how the search marketing industry ended up cast in such a negative light, and makes a number of useful suggestions for anyone involved in online marketing to both understand and use search marketing techniques that have been proven effective, ethical and ultimately, the right thing to do for the end user.