Home Forums Marketing mastery How do I know if the SEO company is doing a ‘Ethical’ work?

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  • #1189088
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Paul Peace, post: 221984, member: 54653 wrote:

    Yes Bert, professional registration would be good. The problem is that this has to be matched with massive public awareness campaigns. Government regulation is highly unlikely, so that means voluntary self-regulation. I’d like to see it become a true ‘profession’, insurance, CPD requirements, evidencing, etc. Trust is always a problem when people don’t have sufficient knowledge to even ask the intelligent questions.

    .

    Paul that’s only if you want to take the back seat, it doesn’t need government regulation. There are many industries which have set standards and accreditation which is not government regulated. Project management is one that I can think of where there are high standards set and you have to have a certain number of years experience, plus Demonstrated work output to be fully accredited.

    This is something the industry could start from within, its funny that when there is a ground swell from within these things can happen. And the shonky operators will slowly disappear.

    I know many organisations would only employ accredited project managers, because they were aware that they had at least met a certain baseline to get there.

    Just my 1/2 cent worth

    #1189089
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485

    Just a PS to that last post, there are a number of good SEO people on the FS forum, maybe they could start the FSSAS (FS SEO Accreditation Society). I just want acknowledgement for the acronym please.

    #1189090
    John Romaine
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,104

    Bert, I mentioned this to a colleague a few months ago.

    It’s something I’d love to see happen, because quite frankly, the SEO industry needs it.

    Desperately.

    #1189091
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    “It’s something I’d love to see happen, because quite frankly, the SEO industry needs it.
    Desperately.”

    Then why don’t you put the wheels in motion. Someone has to put their hand up if they want change.

    I don’t know anything about SEO, but I do know quite a bit about working in an industry where there is considerable lack of trust and a good part of that is justified.

    And one of the things I learned long ago was there is no point in trying to defend the industry as a whole and on an individual basis. All you can do is defend your own record and what you do.

    #1189092
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Just so you know, I didn’t say government reg was required Bert. I mentioned how it was unlikely. And ‘professional’ but not legally ‘protected title’ like doctor or psychologist. Also mentioned voluntary self-regulation as a way forward.

    I have some sympathy with that view John – if you want change, get on with it. But to be fair it would be a very big undertaking, requiring huge financial resources. You have to change culture (very hard) and motivate thousands of SEO experts to see the point in joining, devise a code of ethics that they would be held accountable to (and ideally, if you don’t want friction, get a core that the vast majority agree on because conflict has wrecked many prof associations), have the staff, ability and clout to bring people to book who break that code, and then, raise awareness in the public to even know the association exists.

    Even in plumbing and building people are often unaware of prof associations. It requires a team of highly motivated people to get together and to be able to afford the time away from their business to do the right thing by the public. Like you say, many would rather focus on their reputation, business and results.

    #1189093
    bb1
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    Paul Peace, post: 222006, member: 54653 wrote:
    Just so you know, I didn’t say government reg was required Bert. I mentioned how it was unlikely. And ‘professional’ but not legally ‘protected title’ like doctor or psychologist. Also mentioned voluntary self-regulation as a way forward.

    I have some sympathy with that view John – if you want change, get on with it. But to be fair it would be a very big undertaking, requiring huge financial resources. You have to change culture (very hard) and motivate thousands of SEO experts to see the point in joining, devise a code of ethics that they would be held accountable to (and ideally, if you don’t want friction, get a core that the vast majority agree on because conflict has wrecked many prof associations), have the staff, ability and clout to bring people to book who break that code, and then, raise awareness in the public to even know the association exists.

    Even in plumbing and building people are often unaware of prof associations. It requires a team of highly motivated people to get together and to be able to afford the time away from their business to do the right thing by the public. Like you say, many would rather focus on their reputation, business and results.

    Paul I guess where I am coming from is look for solutions, not problems.

    Other industries have done it like you say there are professionals orgs in building, plumbing, Ill add project management, Accountants, I am sure there are more. sure there are cowboys even in those, but that is a very small percentage. And yes like you state not everybody is aware of them, but a lot of people are and wouldn’t deal with anyone but an MBA or CPA, or ???.. And some organisations are there in name only, and don’t really have any standards, but there are some really good one’s. Where did these organisations start, they started from nothing.

    And there is no reason why SEO can’t start from the same simplistic basis and in a while (yes it can be a while), we will have every online site saying when interviewing the next SEO contractor, are you a member of FSSAS ( hey they may use that if I say it often enough).

    Why would you do this, one reason I can think of is because today you have the situation where Bert M, can go and hang out his shingle and say he is an SEO guru, Do you really want that?

    #1189094
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    I guess where I am coming from is look for solutions, not problems

    What do you mean Bert? Don’t you need to find problems before you can solve them?

    #1189095
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Paul Peace, post: 222018, member: 54653 wrote:
    What do you mean Bert? Don’t you need to find problems before you can solve them?

    Paul the problem has being identified, every post on SEO comes to the same conclusion. The problem is clear… Bert M can call himself an SEO guru and charge unsuspecting people mega dollars.

    So now instead of finding more reasons for not starting on a solution, we as a community need to start looking at ways to stop me from setting up shop,

    #1189096
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Who’s finding reasons for not starting on a solution? That’s the bit I don’t get.

    Anyway, I know of no way of stopping someone setting up shop. That is impossible without legislation (and even that doesn’t stop some people). But we can help ensure people get fewer customers. Gate-keeping power would keep the baddies at bay, hence voluntary self-regulation and the public coming through an association. The association makes people accountable.

    I’ve listed some of the problems with that. Anyone contemplating doing this would need to know all these problems, and any others, before solving them. Realistically, those things I’ve listed help explain why we haven’t seen anything.

    Why don’t you actually start the organisation or campaign?

    #1189097
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485

    Interesting story, from a meeting of 45 people, there are 130,000 members today.
    http://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/about-us/our-history/founding-fathers

    #1189098
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Great story, but it’s not really answered my questions.

    Still, for my part, I’m hoping some high quality SEO folk come on my business advice platform to help other SEO experts establish or grow successful and ethical businesses. From our discussions on FS, some will know they’re very welcome. Their industry needs people who can handle themselves professionally under scrutiny. So personally Bert, I feel I’m making a real difference in that industry and others at a meta level, by hosting great advisors to share best practice.

    As for on the ground, unfortunately, it won’t be me starting an SEO professional association or being on a board. I (literally) don’t have the time. But what I will pledge is to play an initial research role. I’m happy to source bad experiences of SEO work — real stories from business owners who’s businesses and lives have been affected. This will then form part of the media story to gather public and professional support.

    It’s a modest contribution to a team effort. Now imagine 44 other people offering something meaningful that they can commit to. So let’s see…

    #1189099
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi Guys,
    The first question to be asked is what is “SEO”?

    In my book SEO is a process where its implementation may require the services of:

    • An online researcher
    • A web designer
    • A web developer
    • A web page copy writer
    • A web page publisher
    • A web marketer
    • An Analytics analyist

    Many people may disagree with this definitions of SEO and that’s just our first problem!

    If we are going to set up SEO qualifications, we also need to establish testing standards based on known information performance elements.

    That raises a couple of other huge problems:

    a. Defining universally accurate SE information and
    b. the currency of this information. (Is it up to date?)

    Noone, including every Google employee in the world knows exactly how the G ranking algo works. I presume the same is true for Bing and the others.

    Then, we are told G makes around 1,000 algo changes per year. (I.e. Our knowledge parameters are superseded before we can even start teaching SEO knowledge, let alone testing it.)

    How are we going to establish and maintain professional standards with these twin problems?

    PS. We will simultaneously need to turn our attention to the equally problematic Internet standards for all the other services involved in SEO implementation (See bullet list above).

    You think SEO consultant’s are a problem, wait until you get down into the weeds of “web developer’s” qualifications? Here you will need to address their qualifications by web publishing program. There are thousands of publishing systems. Are you going to make them qualify in all of them or just in one program?

    I’m all for weeding out the scams, shams and incompetents in the SEO world. I just don’t have a better solution than continually offering education to business owners in places like FS forums.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1189100
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963

    Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for most people means “how to trick search engines” and that is how its sold and that is just wrong.

    Paying for SEO is like playing the poker machines (pokies for some).

    • You look for a nice one, maybe one that you see others playing.
    • You plug in your money.
    • You pull the handle (press a button these days) and you take your chances.

    Reality is that the poker machine generally wins and that the people who make money own and run the machine. There is really no way to trick the machines but some times they the punter win just to keep them interested.

    SEO, as in the context of lets trick Google, is a gamble, its not a technology or a discipline.

    Web development is a discipline and there are already tertiary training courses and recognised qualifications at all levels through TAFE, Technical colleges, universities and the Australian Computer Society. Web development training includes structuring and testing code so that it is most friendly and efficient.

    Search engine algorithms change regularly because they are trying to provide results to the search that are most relevant based on the content of the websites being indexed.

    Many SEO providers ask for FTP access to websites or access to the CMS. In the latest iteration of PCI DSS V3.1 FTP can no longer be available on a website. The compliance requirements have always been that you cannot provide external access. So many external SEO providers may be causing business owners PCI issues unknowingly.

    John

    #1189101
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    While I’m sure that’s a fact John, in regards to PCI and FTP access, to label SEO providers as the issue seems unfair. In most cases FTP is enabled by default by all hosting providers and the port has been opened and in use since the moment the website was built and launched.

    While we might ask for the access never have I see a case where it wasn’t opened before. If you’re operating in large corporate environments then it’s likely the FTP port is only open on internal facing ports or in some cases through VPN access. Most small businesses on Flying Solo will have this port enabled by default well and truely before an SEO requests it.

    You’re likely coming from the angle of the online stores which are conducting credit card transactions, hopefully not storing them. I presume it’s up to the business owner to understand the standards they need to comply with and ensure that any employees or contractors are operating

    #1189102
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    Byron Trzeciak, post: 222215, member: 56118 wrote:
    While I’m sure that’s a fact John, in regards to PCI and FTP access, to label SEO providers as the issue seems unfair. In most cases FTP is enabled by default by all hosting providers and the port has been opened and in use since the moment the website was built and launched.

    While we might ask for the access never have I see a case where it wasn’t opened before. If you’re operating in large corporate environments then it’s likely the FTP port is only open on internal facing ports or in some cases through VPN access. Most small businesses on Flying Solo will have this port enabled by default well and truely before an SEO requests it.

    You’re likely coming from the angle of the online stores which are conducting credit card transactions, hopefully not storing them. I presume it’s up to the business owner to understand the standards they need to comply with and ensure that any employees or contractors are operating

    Hello Byron,

    Following is a quote from PCI DSS V3.1 Requirements:

    “2.3 – Encryption for VPNs, NetBIOS, file sharing, Telnet, FTP and similar services that are considered insecure;”

    FTP allows insecure access to a website or server and as such can be used to inject malicious code or access data that is considered private. That means that websites that process credit card (not just store) need to disable FTP and if required enable SFTP which is acceptable if setup correctly.

    Similar issues exist with VPN’s and it is easier to disable them that try to make them secure.

    This means that some shared hosting environments that are used to run online stores will not be PCI DSS compliant because by default they have FTP enabled.

    Business owners are generally not technical by nature and really don’t understand the issues. We as service providers and practitioners need to be responsible in advising what is good practice and what is bad practice. My experience with many SEO providers is that they have no idea.

    John

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