I really liked the comments in the previous post on SEO Standards because they got me to thinking more about the issue. I see that mostly people DO NOT want standards because…
- having standards wouldn’t stop black hats anyway
- of problems with enforcement
- resistance to being policed
While it is true that it won’t fully stop black hats I believe that it will at least make things more clear so that people (including the clients) will be able to distinguish black hat from white hats.
Regarding the problem with enforcement and resistance to being polices or being under a governing body I think this will be solved by coming up with a consensus of WHAT KIND OF STANDARDS we exactly need. According to Ian McAnerin there are four kinds of standards:
- Morals: Personal, code of conduct for the self
- Ethics: Social. Code of conduct related to interaction with others
- Standards: Documented agreement on specifications, rules and norms
- Guidelines: Documented agreement on general principles and processes, usually to clarity or provide context for Standards.
According to the classification above Matan Media is right in saying that we already have SEO standards although they are not yet spelled out so that we can refer to these standards as code of ethics. However I do believe that it will be good for the industry to spell things out. It will take the SEO industry to a more professional level and though SEO Ranter may like less quality competition ^_^ it will help give clients a level of protection. There’s no need to worry about those that will suddenly brush up on their techniques because those too lazy to do so still won’t but the point is that clients will at least be able to distinguish those that adhere to standards and don’t.
Greg is very right though that it will take A LOT of work to arrive with an acceptable industry-wide standards. In the meantime I simply subscribe to adhering the the spoken and unspoken code of ethics.