February 22, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this post on Steve Rubel’s blog: SEO Shenanigans Pose a Clear and Present Danger to Social Media, because I do think that SEO can be used for evil – and some topics are so thoroughly SEO’ed that google is fairly useless (try searching for anything travel related and see how many of the top search results are truly relevant, for instance). Using SEO for nefarious purposes, such as optimizing your site for popular search terms that aren’t related to the content or hiding links (a.k.a. black hat SEO) is obnoxious.
That said, I do recognize that there are valid reasons to use SEO, and there are plenty of white hat SEO professionals who do excellent, useful work. However, there are also tons of sites/blogs/businesses that just want to be listed at the top of the search results without adding value in any other way – it is the search engine equivalent of the people who make irrelevant comments on popular blogs just to drop their link. Like I’ve said before, focus on adding value or creating something interesting first – because it doesn’t matter how many pageviews you collect if you can’t get anyone to stick around and come back for more – or buy your product/services, if that is the point of your site.