A sophisticated script used to help organize the world's information. A tool used to find information.
They are often tied to
Search is still in its infancy. They look at page layout and markup, aggregate and localized user engagement metrics, as well as linkage data to determine the relative importance and meaning of a document.
People who work on their own site or clients sites to boost their rankings in search engines.
You should ensure that:
Link building is usually the hardest and most powerful part of effective broad based SEO. If a market is large enough one might also need to spend significant resources on brand building & boosting engagement metrics.
Pay per click advertising makes search engines tens of billions of Dollars of revenue each year. So long as you spend your money with them, they will put your listing front & center in front of searches & most searchers are unaware that the ads are actually ads.
However if you are spending money with a third party to influence their search results that means:
Search engine optimization is just a means to help distribute your message. Nothing more, nothing less. Calling search engine optimization unethical is similar to calling creating a website or printing a newspaper or building hammers unethical.
SEO can be used to push unethical ideas (racism, war, ignorance, sweat shop labor for companies like Nike, etc.). Just as frequently SEO can be used to push ethical ideas (equality, peace, education, safe and honest working conditions, etc.).
SEO itself should not normally be tied to any ethics guideline B/S. One can use SEO to push whatever ideas they like though.
Almost nobody talks about how paid search ads are unethical, yet Google was fined about a half-billion Dollars for running ads for illegal steroids.
The SEO industry is often lacking in credibility. Its easier to use that as a branding angle than it is to be original and come up with your own.
Unsolicited email messages are spam because they shift the marketing time and cost from the marketer to the person opening their email. Because it steals your time (a portion of your life you will never reclaim) spam email is exceptionally bogus.
A search engine is not a person. A search engine is a tool. When their algorithm is messed up they push the blame on some "deviant" webmasters. The real solution of course is to make a better algorithm.
Webmasters who provide the content to fill the search results do not necessarily profit adequately for providing the content which allows search engines to deliver a ton of ads (consider what is happening to ad revenues at newspapers). Some of these same webmasters sell text links to other high margin or profitable sites. This is of course arbitrarily wrong because search engines want to be the middle man and want to profit from as many internet ad Dollars as possible.