You know how important SEO is. Rankings, traffic, etc. And credibility. There is no substitute, right?
Essentially, once your credibility is shot, it’s hard to get it back. You can lose your search rankings and regain them. Sure, you hate to lose to the competition, but wouldn’t you rather your customers know that you are credible and trustworthy?
You hope you never have to choose, but if you do, make sure you choose credibility. You can’t trade your integrity for a ranking. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Rankings are temporal, they change. But your reputation is a near constant. It can change, and often does. Your credibility can grow in the eyes of your target audience, but it can shrink at as well. You hope you’ll always be seen as credible and you should strive for that as a goal. And in the meantime, work on those rankings. But don’t let them control your life.