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Push ROI is no longer offering search engine optimization as a stand-alone service. Online search, like the internet, constantly evolves. Bringing ROI-focused results without resorting to unethical or illegal techniques is now only sometimes possible with stand-alone SEO. 

Very few websites existed in the early days of the internet; getting a website online at all required technical knowledge. Fewer websites meant less competition. More hurdles to getting a site online meant nearly every website launched with room for a laundry list of needed improvements to performance, information architecture, and search engine-specific factors. 

White Hat SEO Misses Client Expectations

White hat SEO that fixed a list of mistakes could dramatically improve almost every website’s rankings on Google within a few weeks. But in many incarnations, Blackhat SEO has competed with and outranked virtually any collection of Whitehat tactics. AI is going to exacerbate this problem.

For over a decade, websites built up with enormous link networks violating Google’s policies or even buying links from publications like Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur running afoul of the Federal Trade Commission. For most of the last six years, using online Whitehat SEO techniques feels like trying to compete in bodybuilding without using performance-enhancing drugs. With new tactics that use bots to manipulate the click-threw rate of search results pages, and AI-generated content powering once spammy-looking networks of websites, this will get much worse. 

Ethical SEO Is Still Alive

Whitehat SEO is not yet dead. But moving a website from the 50th result on Google up to the 21st does not increase site traffic or any other metric businesses should care to improve. SEO is a marathon that only pays out while you’re winning. 

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Most of the leads Push ROI has received over the past three years viewed SEO as a particularly limited scope making simple tweaks and generating quick returns at a very low expense. These expectations can only be achieved with Blackhat techniques and a large in-house team handling the grunt work without adding costs to the agency’s fees.

The bottom line is that what most seek when they ask for SEO is only possible for a few situations. For Push ROI as an agency, not offering SEO is the only reasonable option.

Mason Pelt is the managing director of Push ROI. First published in on March 3, 2023. Photo by NisonCo PR and SEO on Unsplash