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Search Engine Ethics Effect on Internet Marketing

How the ethics of search engines affect Internet marketing.

Copyright or site privacy policy information.

Various search engines are cropping up all over the Internet. Quite a large number of these are referred to as meta search engine robots. In effect these companies do not actually search the web and catalog individual websites but search engine robots scarf the information from other search engines and then group and display that information together as if it is their own result. These same companies make money off the advertising that is displayed on their websites.

I find this extremely interesting from a legal as well as ethical standpoint. One of the main items that really is at the heart of the matter is the copying of information that is copyright protect from most websites. Even the search engines themselves have copyright protections in place from their own websites.

There are regulations to follow for individual websites for copyright protection but these same regulations are ignored when it comes to search. I have seen a number of articles over the years in relation to copyright protection for individuals but never any guidance for search engines. Why is this case? Are we as individual site owners supposed to follow one set of guidelines while the big guys get to follow another?

This is having a large impact on Internet marketing by niche search companies or individual sites copying the information from other search engines and feeding it into their own site pages. In fact this is going on in almost all categories of search terms. By copying the information and feeding it back into another website unethical companies are boosting their rankings in the SERPs.

If search is going to evolve to a better level, then the leading search companies are going to have to become more proactive in this area. My suggestion would be to have these search companies start enforcing their legal copyrights. According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, websites can be asked to "remove material from users' web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement."

I have seen this Internet marketing pattern over and over again for the last few years. When a page starts ranking high in the SERPs then other unethical marketing companies simply copy the results from a search engine and place it into their page. Since the information is in a highly optimized state, with the keyword frequency and placement in optimal positions the subsequent new copy starts ranking high in the SERPs.

If you are one of those companies that is operating in this mode I must warn you that you run the risk of being black listed in the large search engines plus the possibilities of legal and monetary consequences. A search engine company can remove your website from its catalog and it will not show up in the results. See Google™ information for webmasters. In addition, in severe copyright infringement cases the perpetrator can be held accountable for their criminal actions. See PWEBS, E-business Legal Issues.

As the number of pages on the Internet grows, the frequency of problems will continue to compound. The Internet is certainly a ripe place for marketing and advertising products and services but is also an easy place for abusive, unethical, and illegal situations to occur.

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Marketing on the Internet

Marketing on the Internet is becoming increasingly more technical and complex as time goes on.

Internet MarketingEveryone wants the same thing, or should I say that everyone wants a top position in the search engine results pages (SERP) for their key words without doing any work. The number of pages cataloged in the search engines has doubled in the past year. Now that might seem like a great thing for the searcher, but it might not be such a positive for companies that are trying to be found in the market place.

How can a company overcome the web barrier? How can you get your company website found on Google, Yahoo!, MSN, or the hundreds of other searches popping up?

Marketing On The Internet

    • Provide a niche. If you have a product or service that is unique then highlight your area of expertise.
    • If you are in a very competitive market place, consider what it is that sets your company apart from the competition and really stress those marketing points.
    • Do not be afraid to try new marketing ideas on your website. This is a situation where you need to understand your target audience. If your target audience is a group of engineers then provide the information that is appropriate for this target group. Likewise if you are marketing to the consumer audience, then provide the "right stuff" for this group.
    • Information is very important today. Most companies are trying to set up their sign on the Internet and say, "here I am, we are open for business, now come and visit our web site." This may have worked in the past but it is having less impact in the search results today. The reason for this is a direct reflection of the total number of pages cataloged today. To overcome this barrier a company needs to provide something back to the Internet. For example: A company that is selling to consumers and does not have brand recognition needs to provide something back in the form of useful, helpful, entertaining, educational, news, or some other information that provides substance, in order to provide info for the search engines to catalog and the reader to absorb.
    • Consider your marketing location. I believe that local search will become more of a factor as time goes on. Try to establish some local quality links that will be beneficial to your on-line marketing score. Links to your website from other websites are one of the keys to obtaining a better standing in the SERP’s. One of the key factors in obtaining quality links is the information on a website. If quality-information is provided then natural links will occur. I must warn you at this point that quality links are the most important thing for longevity. Do not go out and buy unrelated links or go to link farms. In fact the wrong type of links will not help at all, and may be a hindrance. See information for webmasters.
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