Parsing Google Rules

Last week, we posted this story about Google Rules—specifically, parsing Google Rules. That’s (mostly) a conversation about Search Engine Optimization, of course, and SEO is dead … except, it isn’t.

would you rather listen?

Yesterday, I stumbled on another piece by SEO dude Barry Schwartz, in which the so-called guru quotes Google as saying that one small element of SEO is mostly (there’s that word again) ignored.

OK, maybe. The “lastmod” tag in a blog post, which was always “mostly for SEO” (as in, when Google sees you’ve written or altered content in your web site recently they like it) is only a small part of what makes Search Engine Optimization hum.

But that’s the point.

Search Engine Optimization isn’t a brute force endeavor—and hasn’t been in years. Whether you practice it actively or simply hope for the best as you keep churning out great web content, SEO is abut doing a lot of small things. Is lastmod very important? Probably not. But there’s no reason to leave lastmod out of properly-constructed sitemaps; even if its value is literally least in importance among the over 200 ranking factors that influence Google, lastmod is a no-brainer. Period. And for an SEO legend like Mr. Schwartz to even pretend otherwise is simply wrong.

What people do is the new SEO, and as is so often the case in business in search engine optimization exceptions prove rules.

Or as we’ve told you before, Google likes changing the rules. Want to talk about it?

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