Search Engines, SEO and Ethics: The Need For Disclosure – Part 7

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Final Thoughts about SEO and Ethics
New information technologies have a tremendous impact on internet users and the information they seek through search engines. Search engine results are affected internally by ranking and indexing algorithms and externally by SEO techniques. Since all players (SEO professionals, search engines, website owners, and internet users) are all directly impacted by this situation, ethical considerations need to be identified. Because the technology involved with SEO and search engines remained closed (or black boxed) a twofold ethical examination is necessary.
A disclosive ethics approach is required to attempt to break down the codes of SEO’s and search engines in order to understand where the information internet users comes from, why it is ranked, and how it has possibly been altered before it reaches the user. An examination of the ethical practices and ethical codes is also required.
There is a greater need to examine the ethics of SEO because of the restrictive nature of the technology and practices by the firms in the industry. There is a need to make internet users and website owners aware of the business practices and the technology involved with SEO and search engines.
Without further examination of SEO and search engines, internet users risk becoming more and more disconnected from the technological processes used to retrieve the information they seek and value.

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