The Worldview of the Role of SEOs
It seems to me that the only groups "incapable of doing wrong" on the Internet are either the browser, operating systems or Google. Even when these groups are clearly doing wrong they are incapable of doing wrong in the media’s and public’s eyes. Everyone else eventually gets maligned as a dark-hearted "neer do well" or "rounder".
Yet in spite of this treatment, people like Rand give tips on things like segmenting search intent nearly every day, Blue Hat SEO shares real world SEO examples, Shoemoney shares his designer, Eric Enge interviews search engineers, and DaveN is even willing to tell you when new link buying algorithms roll in.
Don’t forget that the people telling stories about fighting spam or fighting for good are often full of crap. Take Collactive, for example. Here we have a company backed by Seqouia (which also backed Google) which is creating a marketplace for spamming social media sites. The same company behind Collactive was originally behind Blue Frog, which aimed to stop email spam. Why did they shift for being against spam to promoting it? Money. That is all most businesses are interested in anyhow.
Google doesn’t care about spam if it is through AdSense. The lines between signal vs noise, ethical vs unethical, and friend vs foe change depending on where the stack of money is largest. Anytime you read a business drone on about ethics make sure to think about the self serving nature of their advice.