Should reputable SEOís use affiliate links?
Sorry, but I'm not understanding the question. An SEO using affiliate links where? And what do you mean by "using"? Are you a merchant, or a publisher?
I'm having such a hard time imagining any
situation where it might be appropriate for an SEO
company to use affiliate links that I'm not getting what's going on.
a) Is the "SEO" setting up an affiliate program for you in which you're the merchant and you pay affiliates commissions to send you more traffic?
b) If you're a merchant, is the "SEO" putting affiliate links on your site because he/she feels you shouldn't waste the traffic that doesn't convert?
c) If you're a publisher, is the SEO "monetizing" your site for you?
d) Or, is the "SEO" company putting affiliate links to itself on your site, the way designers used to link back to themselves via footer links?
IMO, there's a conflict of interest in each of these cases, and, depending on the setup, the pros and cons vary widely. I'm assuming from the context of the question that the SEO would be taking either the commission or, in the case of situation (a), a fee to be your affiliate manager.
Or, am I completely off base about all of these options? I can't recommend any of them, though the reasons differ for each.