Into the belly of the SEO Beast . . .

SEO Debate Update:

Another SEO Update . . . after yet another individual came forward verifying my search results (refer to image below), the SEO group removed the entire comment stream. What does this tell you?

I guess it is true, when you don’t like the questions nor the answers, and you can’t bully someone into submission you censor.

One too many confirmations of search results was too much for SEO experts?

By the time yesterday afternoon’s article in Read Write Enterprise quoting Google’s Matt Cutts as saying that the company is trying “to make it so that sites don’t have to do SEO,” and that there should be “no bonus for having good SEO,” had hit the press, I had already since earlier in the day been engaged in a surprising discussion within the friendly confines of an SEO Group on Facebook.

The end of SEO as we know it . . .

Of course I use the word friendly within the same context as say the reaction of bees after poking their hive with a stick.  In the case of SEO advocates, my stick was posing questions regarding the validity of SEO based on not only what Mr. Cutts had to say but, my own experience.

While the discussion lasted more than 4 hours, with the transcript of the exchange spanning 21 pages (and yes I would be more than happy to provide you with a copy upon request), during which time I was  subjected to every form of verbal abuse by the majority of discussion participants – I still think the suggestion by one SEO zealot is anatomically impossible, the long and the short of it is simply this . . . most SEO advocates appear to want the world limited to a few, narrow search terms so that their clients are forced to pay enormous fees to get content thin sites in which the majority of searchers would not be interested, a higher Google rank.

Take the word mortgage as an example.

While I understand what SEO experts and gurus are saying re using their skills so that generic search terms like mortgage can help their clients to appear on page one, the fact remains that the best way for a mortgage provider to separate themselves from the pack is not via contrived content to achieve rank (that’s content thin system gaming), but through starting and posting relevant content on a consistent basis to a blog, joining and sharing links within a social network as well as answering other’s questions in these same venues to name just a few options.

In other words create original and meaningful content. Ironically by investing this time the mortgage broker will actually expand his or her relevant search terms into what SEO enthusiasts lament as being those which do not have “any SEO competition.”

Or to put it another way, why limit his or her mortgage business to just one term in which they have to pay an SEO expert exorbitant fees to manipulate?   As Mr. Cutts puts it . . . quality content trumps SEO. This is the wave of the future and quite frankly will enable Google to provide searchers with substantive data rather than pointing them to sites they are neither interested in or worthy of their attention.

This being said, and while acknowledging that the above point was “valid to a certain extent,” one SEO group member offered the following counter (unedited) argument to my quality first perspective:

“What if a businessman is having good business for eg mortgage here .. what if he dont have that much of time do to these things ? I mean sitting in front of pc posting links talking.. i mean he will do and make business strategies he will not spend his time in social media posting and spreading links and all that.. to chuck this things he hires SEO .. he pays for what he can do but he rather choose not to spend his time and instead pay to someone who will do this work for me and can save my time plus who has more knowledge than me which is more than jst posting links, someone who can make good strategies too.”

While acknowledging the required investment of time factor, according to Google and the many, many frustrated people who have in the past expressed dissatisfaction with the service as a result of being directed to irrelevant links because as one member in the SEO discussion group put it, an ability to trick the system, being found first may not be such a great advantage.

In fact data from studies in the past indicated that those who use Google found that more than 90% of the search results returned to them were irrelevant.

Within this context, something has to change . . . and thankfully, at least according to Cutts’ comment yesterday, it is.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Into the belly of the SEO Beast . . .”
  1. Did you watch the video? Cutts never said that SEO is dead or even that good content trumps SEO. What he said is that Google tries to deliver good content despite technical website mistakes.

    SEO IS developing good content.

    Don’t take my word for it, read Google: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

  2. Wogan says:

    “most SEO advocates appear to want the world limited to a few, narrow search terms so that their clients are forced to pay enormous fees to get content thin sites … a higher Google rank.”

    And that’s exactly right. What most SEOs don’t seem to realise is that content discovery is growing well past the search engine. People are more likely to find things through friends they trust, and user reviews, and related items on websites. In the last year I haven’t made a single purchase originated by a Google search – but I have gone directly to specific comparison search engines, and asked knowledgeable contacts for advice.

    Sadly, you can’t manipulate the content that people create, so you’ll never be able to “optimize” this market. And it won’t be too long before +1’s become the main means by which people find content promoted by people they trust, instead of the first hit on a Google SERP.

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