The page where Google describes the Search engine optimization has a nice definition at the start:
SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimizer.” Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, from writing copy to giving advice on site architecture and helping to find relevant directories to which a site can be submitted.
If you look at the quoted text, you will even notice a typo in it, an unusual occurrence on Google’s pages. It is obvious that this is a very sensitive page on their site, and was not published in the usual way since the editors and proof readers would easily spot the error.
Google obviously has a problem presenting any data about SEO on its web ssite. It is understandable since SEO is in its core the reverse engineering of the search algorithm that Google is hiding vigorously.
But Google’s definition of the SEO does not stop there. It continues with:
However, a few unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.
Further on the words like used on that page are : Beware, avoid, doubts, trust, illegal, spam, illicit practice, illusion, skeptical,… ad the list goes on an on.
The page where Google explains what SEO is actually ends up with the following text:
If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on “File a Complaint Online,” call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
If your complaint is against a company in another country, please file it at http://www.econsumer.gov/.
It really is very obvious that Google wants you to think about SEO as a blasphemy if nothing worse. Are they really so afraid of the people looking into the search engine optimization? Is scare tactics really the best approach here? My opinion is that this is the result of the lack of analysis on how will this reach the reader. It is negative. Negative is not professional (in most cultures). Pointing your visitors to the avenues of placing complaints about companies is just a bit inappropriate from the Google PR people. Search engine optimization should not be their problem unless they make it so themselves.