25 Aug Updated: Are You Optimizing for Search Engines or Users?
I originally wrote the following article in 2007. While reading it again I would say it is more of a rant than a true article. I was very frustrated with how easy it was to manipulate the Search Engines and reading how people were taking advantage of tactics, which ruined things for us White Hat SEOs.
I attended Mozcon 2012 and heard Wil Reynolds talk about RCS (Real Company Shit). 100% on the same page of where I was with this rant. You can implement great SEO, but if you marketing is not doing great things for customers then it does NOT matter. Watch Wil’s entire Mozcon session and see if it changes your thinking.
Many people appear to see SEO as the chance to simply manipulate search engines so their site can rank high in the results. True that many SEOs are doing this, but they are missing a big piece of the puzzle, real marketing skills. Congratulations for getting your site in the top ten search results for Google, Yahoo, or MSN. I’m not sure if you are ready to be congratulated on your unique visitors though. You may have traffic from your rankings, but do you have a decent ROI (return on investment)?
There are hundreds of web sites that make it in to the top ten with terrible designs and even worse marketing techniques. If you haven’t heard this already allow me to be the first to tell you; rankings don’t me a thing if your vistors don’t stay! Lots of traffic does not always mean lots of conversions.
My advice is pretty simple. Do not try to manipulate the search engine spiders, just work on speaking their language. They are smarter than you think and eventually they will catch up with your tricks and believe me it will not be worth it.
Build a clean user friendly web site that meets the search engine optimization guidelines and you will surely see decent results on your ROI. It takes time to do things efficiently so have patience.