a late response to seo is bullshit

A blog post over at contrast got a lot of attention the last few weeks. Some people say it’s just linkbait but I’m pretty sure it’s how he feels. I think it shows the divide in the way web designers/developers and seo/marketers think.

This is a business. Companies hire people to design websites because they want to increase profits. (Then there’s government websites that I’m sure feeds half the industry, with incompetent civil servants flashing the chequebook but forget them). It’s no good having an all singing-all dancing website if noone comes to it and buys your products or hires your services.

I’ve taken on a few SEO clients locally and the initial meeting is always the same. Some two-bit web design firm has designed the site for 2 grand plus in some crappy WYSIWYG editor with atrocious code. One website had the template Dreamweaver JS menu that no search engine could crawl, two different domains with the same website and incoming links divided between them and internal links going to the www version and non-www version whenever the designer felt like it. So the company had a nice looking website with 3 pages indexed in Google and none ranking for terms apart from their name.

I asked Dave if a site, built from scratch and constructed using industry-standard best practices (semantic markup, IA, usability and accessibility), still requires SEO? And if so, why? … If I’m providing relevant, interesting, quality content … people will link to it and talk about it in the same way that throughout the history of modern man

If you’re creating a government site, sure. Great content and people will link to it and it will rank very easily. But most commissioned sites are business. Say you designed an overseas property site. What content can you create that people will link to – competitors certainly won’t no matter what you think of. The post talks about ‘tricks’. There’s no tricks apart from buying links, begging for links whatever it takes from good places. Spamming links only works these days to get pages indexed. He’s right that SEO is good marketing. It’s results based. If you’re not ranking the client site for converting keywords, you’re in trouble.

Next, I asked Dave if he thinks on-site SEO practices are perfectly aligned with the interests of the visitor?

I think so. The JS menu I talked about earlier, I replaced with an identical one that used indexable divs, ul and li tags. A good descriptive anchor text is good for the user and the search engine.

I asked Dave what he considers as acceptable off-site SEO practices?… This is pure bullshit. This is filling the web with crap…. SEOs of the world: be good web citizens. Stop adding to the tripe out there on the net and stop spending your time destructively gaming Google. Go out there and make something beautiful, something worth linking to… SEO is bullshit and SEO is bad. Stop it.

Anything and everything is acceptable as off-site SEO if it gets a better rank or ranks for converting keywords. Automating posting of links on forums and blogs is not illegal, it just doesn’t work anymore (except to be indexed) and can give a bad name to a website if they care about that. Write all the spammy articles you want and submit them to article networks if it works. It doesn’t, again only if you need to be indexed, which is OK for spammy .infos with pure long tail crap but no client wants this.

We’re all in this to make money and whatever works and is within the law you should keep doing. ‘polluting the internet – lolz

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