Actual examples demonstrating why SEO is more hype than substance

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?

While publications such as Search Engine Land censor comments that contradict their position that SEO is a viable method for generating meaningful (and sustainable) traffic, my question posted in numerous social networks asking if SEO is bunk has produced some very interesting comments as well as additional questions.

One such question asked if I could provide information or data supporting my position regarding the dubious value of the services offered by SEO experts.

For those of you who have followed me over the years my commitment to thorough and objective research is well known, so the following will not surprise you.  For those first time readers, this is what you can come to expect from me on a consistent day in and day out basis.

As you review the following examples be sure to keep one thing in mind; While SEO gurus place emphasis on identifying the key words as a means of being ranked higher in search engines such as Google, the examples I am providing demomstrate that you do not have to hire an SEO expert because the key to being ranked higher in searches is based on your own subject matter expertise. This is why Google is cracking down on what they refer to as content thin sites . . .

Example No. 1 (November 2011 Blog Post on Penn State Scandal)

Let me give you an idea of why I am not a believer in SEO . . . go to Google right now and type in “is paterno guilty” . . . look who comes up first on the first page. This is without SEO and focusing instead on content quality.

Search Screen 1

Example No. 2 (August 2007 Blog Post on Double Marginalization)

Here is another example of why SEO is more hype than substance . . . in August 2007 I wrote an article titled Double Marginalization and the Decentralized Supply Chain. To this day the number of reads are consistently high.

Now enter into Google the term double marginalization . . . the second link on the first page after Berkley University’s is guess who’s?

Once again the focus here was on providing readers with good content not a contrived key word game.

Search Screen 2

Example No. 3 (November, 2011 Blog Post on Greenwashing Procurement)

The following is another example of why you do not need SEO experts to rank on Google . . . type in the word finance and the SpendShift’s blog’s article on green finance comes up on the first page.

Besides being our newest blog – just launched in the fall, you cannot get any more generic a term than finance . . .

Search Screen 3

Example No. 4 (May 2011 Blog Post on Ericsson Case Study)

Type the term “ericsson” in Google and see which two blogs come up on the first page . . . note: when I wrote this post I did not even consider keyword search terms, I was just focused on writing a good and informative article about Ericsson.

Don't fall for SEO word games!

The above are just two of what are many examples of how meaningful content is what ultimately drives your connection with your targeted audience.

Or to put it another way, we need less of a promotion mindset and more of a service value mindset.

It takes work to create quality content that is meaningful.  Furthermore, it also takes work to get the word out through leveraging the access to corresponding groups in LinkedIn as well as going to where your target audience is through a variety of venues including Internet radio and TV.

Sure, one can write an algorithm that based on strand commonality theory could link seemingly disparate attributes or key words to come up with the right mix to attain a higher ranking.  But here is the thing . . . SEO may get people to your door (and that is a BIG “may”), but it is quality content that keeps them coming back.

The best way to measure this is in sustainable growth and the length of time visitors spend on your blog or web site.

What are your thoughts regarding SEO.  Share them here as well as any relevant links that you believe support your position.


6 Responses to “Actual examples demonstrating why SEO is more hype than substance”
  1. piblogger says:

    Talk about timing . . . here is what Google’s Matt Cutts has to say about content versus SEO . . . this is what the examples I have provided in this post has clearly demonstrated.

    Google’s Matt Cutts: Good Content Trumps SEO;

  2. I never even knew what SEO was until reading your articles. It sounds like a way of insuring that only Big Media gets seen and heard. Just like TV and radio.

  3. piblogger says:

    That is a fair assessment synapticcohesion. Sadly and as demonstrated by my response (see below) to a comment that was received from an SEO enthusiast they appear to want the world limited to a few, narrow search terms so that the client is forced to pay enormous fees to get content thin sites in which the majority of searchers would not be interested a higher rank.

    Here is the response . . .

    Hello Web Revealed been through the process during a long debate within an SEO group . . . by the way until screen shots were provided by others from around the US almost everyone in the SEO group who participated denied the ranking for the search terms I had listed. Why do you suppose that is?

    While I understand what you are saying re the generic search terms like mortgage, 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 other words create original and meaningful content. Ironically by investing this time the mortgage broker will actually expand his relevant search terms into what you refer to as those not having “any SEO competition.”

    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? Or 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.

  4. Jon, agree with your points. We have put much effort into SEO optimization, including hiring an organization to assist with the effort. Have not found any effort to significantly move the needle. We have opted to go the content route with and spreading the word through social media and being a blogger/article writer on other sites.

    • piblogger says:

      Thank you for the feedback Forrest. Given Google’s introduction of the Panda algorithm, which I believe is a very important algorithm to better quantify the actual quality of sites thus addressing (and hopefully eliminating) the wordplay gaming associated with the previous PageRank algorithm, content is indeed king. Given your widely recognized expertise in the areas of Six Sigma and Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE), this change bodes well for you because you do deliver high quality content.

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