Yesterday, I came across a post at SEOptimise.com. It was a discussion about whether Search Engine Optimization works, and who falls on which side of the issue.
As an SEO Consultant I found the conversation fascinating, if not especially well presented, and I commented. here’s that comment:
I’d like to agree with you. In fact, to a point I do. But I also think that to hold up those examples as being somehow endemic is missing the point.
SEO is so complex (in spite of we practitioners’ constant and accurate use of the words “this isn’t rocket science; you could do it yourself if you had the time!”) that people just don’t know how to describe it.
I’ve had highly-educated, successful friends go so far as to describe SEO as snake oil, simply because it’s so hard to explain/understand.
In any event, like I said . . . nice piece, and I agree with the things you’ve said but think your big picture point is just … wrong.
Oh: And let’s see if you nuke this comment as spam!
Can you guess what happened?
The comment wasn’t deleted. It was posted, intact. But the link I provided back to the SEO Consulting page at Answer Guy Central was removed. Presumably, this was because SEOptimise saw us as a competitor and didn’t want to make getting to us any easier than they needed to.
When Brian Clark of CopyBlogger did this a couple of months ago I applauded his judgement. I suppose I owe the same consideration to SEOptimise. But I also believe SEOptimise might have been better served by leaving my in-context link intact. Why? Because had they done so I would have linked back to them in this piece. Instead, I’ll show you where the article was (http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2011/03/the-hidden-motives-for-denouncing-seo.html#comment-121875), but SEOptimise gets no link love from us. And given that SEOptimise operates in the UK, I believe they would have gained a lot more from getting a link from us than they gained by doing things the way they did.
SEOptimise carries Google Page Rank of 3. Answer Guy Central’s Page Rank is 3 to 4. Copyblogger’s Google Page Rank? 6. Pecking Order matters in SEO. Copyblogger is more important than Answer Guy Central by several orders of magnitude. Answer Guy is marginally more important than SEOptimise. Part of doing Search Engine Optimization successfully is cultivating links from web sites with more SEO juice than yourself.
The JC Penney black-hat Search Engine Optimization incident brought the subject of SEO to the attention of lots of people who hadn’t heard of it before, but the question seems to have evolved as one of whether you do SEO, rather than how you manage your search engine optimization.
You do it. If you don’t do SEO, you will disappear. You just need to do it the right way.
Tim Armstrong and AOL? Not doing SEO the right way down on that good ol’ content farm. Thanks to the Huffington Post acquisition they’re improving, but there’s still work to be done. And work they are doing. Arianna says it’s on journalism, but all signs point elsewhere: it’s about SEO.
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