The Internet is one huge walking advertisement for freedom. Anything that can be imagined can be actually done. Everything can be exchanged, whether a physical good, an opinion that that has been never thought of before, or a nugget of knowledge and wisdom. But there are some people who are striving to at least control this freedom, since it puts a huge strain on the millions or even billions of devices that make up this huge connected network.
Net neutrality is defined as the equal and fair treatment of all data that is being circulated on the Internet as well as the traffic that facilitates this circulation. It leaves no room for the following: filtering and blocking of content, data discrimination or the intentional downgrading of bandwidth and speed for some Internet services, and the forcing of premium plans provided by Internet service providers.
So how does search engine optimization factor in net neutrality? The reason can be summed up in one word: competition. When many individuals and companies engage in SEO via several means such as making an original SEO post, they are competing against each other for the top prize of getting noticed first and being relevant in several search engines. If there is no filtering and blocking of content as well as data discrimination, the competition will be much healthier, and the competitors will be on equal footing since there is no one to restrict what they are trying to say via their sites and pages. This is freedom of expression at its widest area of coverage: the entire world.
But then, some shady SEO practitioners will take advantage of the unrestricted freedom that net neutrality offers. Using black-hat SEO techniques, they will shut out or demote sites that use the original SEO post as well as other white-hat and organic SEO techniques. Fortunately, there are measures to control this chaos. Besides measures by Google and other search engines in terms of changing their algorithms that penalize sites that use black-hat SEO techniques, there is also legislation that does apply some kind of restriction against threats to online as well as real-life security. Chile and the Netherlands, which are some of the first countries that passed net neutrality laws, restricts sites that are gateways for spam, malware, traffic congestion, and criminal acts such as drug trading.
Related to the concept of net neutrality is search neutrality. Search neutrality is defined as the absence of restrictions or manipulations in terms of search engine page results. Search engines are not allowed to touch those results to prevent bias; and their algorithms must facilitate relevance to the search terms or keywords users are entering in the search boxes.
If search neutrality is implemented, that use organic and white-hat SEO techniques such as doing an original SEO post instead of sites that heavily rely on advertising will be greatly rewarded due to their relevance to the topic being searched. Original SEO post sites will, over time, get noticed more by users – which will add to their air of credibility since original content is their number one trademark.
Like in the case of net neutrality, search neutrality will be taken advantage of by some shady SEO practitioners due to the unrestricted freedom it offers. Because search neutrality forces search engines to publicly publish their algorithms, which are their best-kept secrets, spammers and shady SEO practitioners will exploit possible Achilles heels in those algorithms in order to artificially increase their sites’ search engine rankings. The absence of Panda, Penguin, and other algorithms that penalize sites that use unethical SEO techniques and spamming will only worsen this situation.