Who Helps Trash Relevance in Search? INC Has the Answer

December 30, 2017

I read a story in Inc. magazine. The write up’s title is “9 SEO Experts To Follow In 2018.” First, Google is not a person. I think the idea is that a person who wants to buy traffic should pay attention to the GOOG. But I am not sure Google is an expert like the other eight names on the list.

Now my view of search engine optimization is a bit different from that of “experts” in search engine optimization. I think SEO is part of a carnival trick to get people to buy Adwords.

I explain some of the mechanisms in The Google Legacy and Google Version 2: The Calculating Predator. (Alas, out of print, but I sell a rough draft in PDF form. Write benkent2020 at yahoo dot com if you are interested.)

The idea is that people fix up their Web pages to meet Google guidelines. Changes which pass muster produce a boost in traffic. Then usually after a month or so, the changes don’t deliver the traffic. Traffic erodes.

Check with the Google. What’s the fix? More SEO? Nah, just buy Adwords.

When the advertiser grouses that leads aren’t as wonderful as they were perceived to be, what’s the fix?

Give up?

Buy Adwords.

The loop is a nifty one. Lots of SEO “experts” bill clients for changes which may or may not have substantive impact. When whatever impact fizzles, Google is able to suggest Adwords.


My take on the pay for traffic game is that it is evidence of the death of relevance.

Therefore, the eight “experts” are accessories to the termination with extreme prejudice the notion of entering a query and getting results which directly relate to that query.

Call me old fashioned but SEO experts are in cahoots with Google type outfits in the pay for traffic game.

Give me Boolean, precision, and recall.

Sounds crazy right? Just ask an SEO expert. Most will agree. Who cares about relevance and stupid precision and recall?

Well, I do.

Stephen E Arnold, December 30, 2017


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