Lawyers know that there are ethical ways of winning cases and unethical methods. Sometimes, the urge to win makes the unethical practices seem mighty tempting. However, the legal profession imposes a code of ethics on its members and most lawyers stick to it, for fear of losing their accreditation. Search engine marketing has similarly unethical tricks and Google’s constant algorithm changes attempt to stamp them out. The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) proposes an SEM code of ethics to remove sneaky practices from the industry. Whether forced by Google, or self-imposed by the industry, the death of “black hat” SEO may well be the dominant theme of digital marketing in 2015. Search Engine Journal has two articles on the subject of the SEMPO Code of Ethics this week. This roundup also contains a few other pointers on how to prepare your digital marketing campaign for next year, and these mainly come from Search Engine Watch.

SEMPO Code of Ethics: Not So Black and White

This is the first of the two Search Engine Journal articles on the SEMPO Code of Ethics and it presents the “anti” argument. The question of ethics is one that US lawyers should understand well. However, any code of conduct needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted to account for new technology and innovative thinking. The legal profession struggles to keep up with rapid change and the world of SEO evolves even faster than the law. Could a voluntary body with few powers ever hope to impose a code?

A Serious Talk About The Unified Search Marketing Code of Ethics

This is the “pro” article on the code of ethics. As a practitioner of the law you will probably read this article drawing parallel between the issues of self-imposed ethics in US legal practices and the current state of SEO. The key point this writer makes is that Google is arbitrarily introducing a code of ethics by itself. It’s advancements in this field come unannounced and can cause havoc. At least if digital marketers get ahead of the game, they can iron out any surprises on the long road towards an ethical structure for SEO.

How to Prepare Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2015

Leaving aside the ethics issue, we now find some fairly easy reading on how to review your law firm’s current digital marketing strategy and what to plan for 2015. Keep on to the end of the article, because it contains reviews of three tools you can use to come up with new content for your site and assess its potential.

Is SEO Still Worth It in 2015?

This is a very business-like article on the issue of assessing your law firm’s digital marketing plan. It includes a template you can use for assessing the value you are getting from your SEM spend. Back to the question of a code of conduct, the article includes a list of SEO tricksters to avoid, which sails pretty close to a self-imposed code of ethics.

3 Sneaky Ways to Bid on Competitor Keywords

The title of this piece may make you think that it contains some pretty unethical advice. However, this is not the case. If you pay for rankings on Google for your law firm’s website by bidding on keywords, you may benefit from the advice in this article.

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