SEO “Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists” – my brief riposte

Sigh -I’m not going to dignify the fella with a link back to his website, but somebody no-one I know has ever heard of spouts off some controversial linkbait drivel with:

“Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned.”

First of all this is absolutely nonsense – SEO is important, because frankly time and time again web designers don’t pay heed to what search engines need, whilst also paying attention to their users.

I’ve got a few examples from this week already, I have some really good web developers who do some really good work, but forgot to take the noindex,nofollow tag off site wide before the website re-launched – it was of course an accident, but if I hadn’t been looking at the reason for why new pages weren’t indexed, I wouldn’t have found it. From an SEO perspective there aren’t too many things that I needed to look at changing on this site, but this doesn’t mean that things don’t get missed!

Another item is duplicate websites – I’ve been cleaning up a web of sites that area all the same at work lately, and nearly every website I ever start working on has a duplicate website when I start that work. Why? Because a web developer suggested that they should put the same website on lots of domains – the more places this content appears, the more chance that there is of it being found right?

I suppose that could have made sense (I certainly did it before I knew any better, more of which I will cover in my next Path to Search Engine Enlightenment post) – but this isn’t going to help your marketing for any of these sites all that much – it might work a little bit, with various different search engines drawing in small amounts of traffic, but nothing like a single, well optimised site can potentially draw in.

Web designers make websites, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to market them, how to look at the analytics data and interpret what it working here, what can be improved – identifying those new opportunities is vital? Most designers that I know create a site and hand it over to a client – what does the client do with it then without the guidance of an SEO?

Perhaps its from my experience of managing website SEO campaigns, and the type of client that my company works with most of the time – but for the vast majority of these folks, they have a great product, that they can sell fantastically well in an offline environment, but do they have the knowledge and tools to do the same online? Usually not, which is why they come to internet and search engine marketers for assistance.

A lot of SEO is fairly simple and logical, as the guy that prompted this post has said – it’s no more difficult than many other things in a digital age – but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to do it – or in fact needs to know how to do it – they instead hire in the appropriate assistance.

However, his link bait did work – he now ranks on page 2 for SEO, on – no mean feat indeed – VL sometimes ranks on page 1 for SEO in (darned everflux mind), and I know that this has taken a lot of work to get there, unlike this guys rant (which is why I am not going to link to it and feed his ranking further).

Controversy does generate links, and this in turn helps rankings, helps traffic to a site – I don’t know what his conversion is mind! Maybe I am just a bit too nice to try to employ this type of link bait for myself!