A Little Spat over SEO

So, I stumbled across this site by accident (I’ve never been there before. And I have no idea who he is.) but I like what he has to say about SEO. His opinion is, to put it lightly, opinionated. And I do not think that all SEO marketing specialists are scammers! I think they play into a faulty marketing belief. Let me explain.

Google was initially about measuring how popular the website is – the more popular – the higher the ranking. They develop an algorithm for this. This algorithm changed 400 times (says a reader in above site’s comments)last year. They are trying(very hard) to find the relevant sites for their users. The problem is that website owners have been working harder and harder to grab the attention of google (not readers) – and if this ‘popularity’ isn’t authentic, it corrupts the search results. All too often, we no longer find the most popular sites on google, we find the ones that are best at tricking the algorithm. So, I ask you, should we join the fight by trying to be better algorithm masters? Or is there an option that is equally good at marketing our websites?

First, one could argue that “SEO marketing” is a fleeting phase. In the abundance of websites, surely we will find a better way of searching, than a random search in an engine that we don’t know! And that is why social media is catching up to google in the internet marketing race. Social media is about the relationships, and is there anything in all of commercial history that markets better than word of mouth? (Perhaps the birth of the printing press… whatever.) I can easily see Social Media – and probably local social media, and real life meet ups becoming the marketing trend of the future.

This whole relationship thing, is precisely why this site has grown very little this fall. I’ve been working on the few clients that we have, instead of getting out there to meet people, and let them know that I’m here, and available to help! Nearly daily, I get emails of the nature, “I got your name from so-and-so, can you help me with ….?” Imagine if I actually got out there on twitter? I feel a marketing plan coming on…

internet

There are two things that are a must for any website, regardless of marketing plans.
1. Is your site designed well, with clean HTML that all search engines, links, and browsers can recognize? Is it accessible to the mobile users, voice browsers, and sight impaired? This takes a good developer, which is undoubtedly more expensive than most. (More to come on this later…)

2. Once you get a reader to your site, will they stay? Will they read? Recognize the branding? Or make a purchase? The whole idea is to develop content for the readers, not the robots. My thinking is that if we write our content for robots, aren’t we contributing to the over-population of the internet? And making it even harder for potential readers to find us? I’ve always believed this, but haven’t had the proof to promote content over SEO for effectiveness.

This is where I encourage you to read that article at the beginning of this post.  It is a rather argumentative position (kind of funny actually), but makes some good points. And the conversation below the post is equally entertaining and informative.

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