Why SEO Providers Say No to Porn and Gambling

As a SEO professional I very often face a choice, and, on the face of it, quite a tough one.

Companies who provide pornographic or gambling websites are always vying to get their website high up on Google. This, of course, is perfectly normal for any business. They are also willing to pay very highly for the privilege as the search terms most commonly associated with their businesses are the most competitive on the web. I am often asked to get involved in search engine optimisation for these sites and I decline
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Is this commercially sensible? I think so. Even if it’s not, it allows me to sleep at night.

Even if gambling and pornography is legal in this country, it is not in many other countries – the web is of course global so I could potentially be helping people to gain access to illegal content.

I also know that I don’t want to second guess the morals of my clients. My own feelings on porn and gambling are less important here than the people who are entrusting me with the credibility of their website and their business. Would they want to be associated in any way with these sorts of sites?

I also know, from many years of being involved in the web, that pornography and gambling related sites are often ‘fronts’ for other organisations. There have been cases where these sites were the front end of a money laundering operation. I’m sure most of the sites out there are not, and I don’t have time to sift through and vet each one that approaches me. It is also true that some pretty innocuous ‘soft’ porn sites have much darker content within their stable. Again, I don’t want to be involved and don’t have time to filter them out.

If you’re dealing with a professional, I expect you want professional standards. That is why most SEO providers will steer well clear of porn and gambling.

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