18 Nov 2009, Posted by admin in Featured,Nohat, 9 Comments
There appears to be a big difference between what SEOs think search engine optimisation is, compared to what most regular web developers and site owners think it is. A huge difference, and it tends to make us look bad.
Malcolm Coles recently brought this point home in his excellent Econsultancy post about the Mirror’s 3am site making a bit of a hash of their SEO. Malcolm also mentioned an earlier article from paidcontent.co.uk which had an interesting quote from one of the developers on the 3am site:
“We want this site to perform well over a period of time. Not live or die by how many times we can write Britney Spears or Michael Jackson into the metadata”.
And that’s a problem – if that’s genuinely what a lot of web developers think us SEOs do, then it doesn’t look good on us. If they think that our jobs involve shoving the keywords into the meta data and then hoping it works then it’s no wonder that there’s an “SEO sucks” drama post every other week.
And in truth, part of this problem is because of the sheer amount of misinformation out there (check out some of the biggest SEO myths as proof). Have a look at this terrible, terrible SEO article from About.com. Some of the bad advice it gives is “don’t make small changes to your content”, “duplicate content is for spammers and could get you banned” and my personal favourite “don’t link to and from the same site repeatedly – this is known as link spamming”. (Sorry Malcolm).
SEO isn’t about stuffing your pages with keywords and it’s not about worrying about linking to the same sites often or deliberately not making changes to your content. We know this – it comes naturally to us as SEOs, but it’s surprising to see that other people do believe it.
SEO mainly comes down to 3 things – making your site accessible to search engines as well as users, making sure the content is relevant and then making your site as popular as it can be. Most non-SEOs don’t know about the importance of that last point.