Oh, Oh, SEO Debunked

February 7, 2009

If you are skeptical of the carnival barkers who pitch SEO or search engine optimization, you will want to read TechCrunch’s “SEO at the Enterprise Level-A Major Flop” here by Jeff Widman. SEO refers to tricks and methods to cause a particular Web document to appear at the top of a results list. Instead of finding one’s Web page on the first page of a Google or Yahoo result list, one finds one’s Web page deep in the results list. With Google’s choke hold on Web search, SEO often becomes a digital duel between the SEO crowd and Google’s Knights of the Golden Keyboard. Google tries to identify “relevant” Web pages via numerical recipes. SEO heathens try to figure out what the GOOG is doing and find a spoof. Mr. Widman’s write up covers this topic in a more thorough manner, so you may want to take heed.

In my opinion, the SEO tweaks identified by trial and error are becoming increasingly onerous. SEO, like autumn, may be “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” The GOOG wants not to be tricked. It’s not nice to fool Mother Google. The TechCrunch write up explained in its interview with an SEO boffin:

Enterprise and SEO is like cognitive dissonance–SEO is nimble, experimental, dynamic, continuously iterating, never-ending process. A complete anathema to enterprise IT which is project focused, do it and forget it. There’s also an internal disconnect because SEO crosses IT and marketing. Example: changing from horrible URL’s–super long, no keywords in the URL–to cleaner, shorter URLs is a marketing driven initiative but entirely reliant on IT execution. Part of the problem lies in that the Fortune 500 enterprises rely on their ad agencies for the “interactive” stuff but the agencies don’t know how to integrate SEO requirements with branding. Lastly, Web sites are seldom built with SEO in mind; developers/programmers didn’t know what they didn’t know. It’s much like a house where the electrical wasn’t thought about until years later–a major multi-year project to redo it.

That’s clear to me. Before you spend up to $10,000 per month or more, consider the effort required to trick Googzilla. In my opinion, original content may be a less onerous burden.

Stephen Arnold, February 7, 2009


3 Responses to “Oh, Oh, SEO Debunked”

  1. Andrew Girdwood on February 7th, 2009 8:20 am

    There are different flavours of SEO. I love doing SEO and a core rule where I work is Never Try To Trick.

    I agree entirely, it makes no sense to try and trick Google. Talk about picking a battle you cannot win.

    I’m happy to say trickery SEO should be debunked. However, it’s also “SEO” to explain to the big brand that the reason Google doesn’t seem to care for their website is because it’s their .ca copy of their entirely Flash .com site. Telling the big brand that they need to add original and quality content – the sort that people would be happy to cite/link to/recommend – is the way forward.

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on February 7th, 2009 9:29 am

    Andrew Girdwood,

    Would it not be easier if Buffie and Trent, the marketing majors, followed Google’s Webmaster guidelines and wrote substantive, interesting, and well formed content? SEO is little more than the digital equivalent of trying to steal candy from Mr. Webber’s candy display.

    Stephen Arnold, February 7, 2009

  3. Oh, Oh, SEO Debunked : Beyond Search | SEO News & Views on February 7th, 2009 11:02 am

    […] View post:  Oh, Oh, SEO Debunked : Beyond Search […]

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