SEO & a distorted reality..

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I’ve noticed a lot of discussions about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) lately. It’s is the skill of working the content of a website and the inbound & outbound links in such a way that your site receives a top-ranking in the relevant search results. There are some really smart SEO experts out there you will get your site to the top listing in relation to certain keywords.

However I have certain questions in regards to all this. If the top 5 results of my search are there because of smart SEO and *not* because they : 1) have a really good product/service 2) are excellent in the way they do business or 3) lots of people are mentioning them online, then how relevant does it make these results? If they have a crap product & terrible customers service but spends lots of money on good & relevant SEO they will still end up at the top search results. So what do the top search results mean then?

Personally I think the 2-3 lines of text below the title of each search result says a lot more. I normally scan these bits of text in my search results for relevancy to my query. This means that more often than not it will be result 5 or 7 or even 12 that I might click on rather than 1, 2 or 3. As for Google Adwords; I can’t remember the last time I looked at those or if I ever clicked on an ad.

The relevancy becomes even greater if & when you move away from Google as a lot of SEO specialists will use the “price” of a Google keyword as an indicator of it’s relevancy and will adjust their SEO-work accordingly. Other search methods and engines might give rather different results. There are certain search engines that are specific to a particular line of work or research. Getting a good listing on these will solely depend on real reputation and not on “worked” relevance. My personal favorite search engine is Copernic. Copernic has pulled up relevant results for me that no other search engine (incl. Google) has ever found for me. The best one was my grandfathers name in a scanned newspaper page from 1903.  No other search engine has ever been able to find this page.

So how important is SEO? That’s up to you to decide. In my opinion it is a prefereable to ensure a good reputation (as in being a reliable business with a good product or service) and getting lots of positive online feedback clearly mentioning your product or your business name. Twitter, Facebook & blogs are ideally suited for generating this type of feedback. I would be more inclined to buy a product that got lots of positive mention on social networking sites than one that (solely) got a consistent no.1 ranking in Google. But that’s just me….

  1. Kevin says:

    On one of my sites ( a debate raged from the admin of the .com version of the domain name claiming I copied his name (which is registered 9 years compared to my 6 months) in order to leech off his SEO and traffic.

    This stems from his discovery that searching for his domain name brings my site up on the first page of google (lower ranking, mind).

    Now my site is there from clever SEO from the outset. I thought of Google when I launched, and it’s returned dividends for me in terms of page ranks and hits. However, this, IMO is because the results are relevant. I don’t think my domain (which is obscure enough as it is!) would return the same results if I tried to game the system for anyone searching for Christmas or another generic term, not unless the content within reflected that.

    What I’m saying is that clever SEO works well when used appropriately. People will come to your site, bookmark, link and discuss it. Abuse SEO, and the people won’t come. Yes, the technology is fallible and can be “gamed”, but I think ultimately the system is fixed by natural use by people… which I suppose is a mix of what you’re saying: good SEO + good reputation with real people = winner.

  2. Hi Evert,

    you are absolutely right and even the best SEO Expert will not be able to keep a company’s website in the top SERPs if the company does *not* look after points 1-3 mentioned in your post.

    I think SEO should always be part of a bigger process, which is first of all marketing in general, which must in its turn be embedded in the company’s general good ability to communicate.

    Unfortunately people have another distorted view of SEO, which is: having their website done up by the cheapest bidder and then do some SEO on top. This doesn’t work, as (onsite-)SEO is an integral part of your website. So the “little bit on top” can result in as much work as doing the website right from the beginning (see pareto’s principle –

  3. […] the original: SEO & a distorted reality.. « BLITZKRIEG BOPP Comments […]

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  5. Edward says:

    These days a lot of blog themes and plugins come SEO friendly and incorporate all the basics. Still is no guarantee of the people you want finding you. If you want just want traffic then spend the money and do the spin. If you want connections do the content.

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