I was writing a longer article and decided it would be better in pieces. This first one is about marketing, profit, and why I think most bloggers hate SEO.
Let me know what you think of part 1. Tomorrow I will post part 2.
Algorithm Manipulation & Constant Change:
In the forums recently there has been some whining about Google being an out of control beast with no relevancy, etc. I guess when you look close enough there is always some amount of that.
People are also comparing the new Yahoo! algorithms to the Google Florida update. We tend to think the relevancy is not there when our own site disappears, even if it is temporary. Admittedly the algorithms may be jacked for a while, but if people like your site and sites like yours are not in the search results it hurts the relevancy and brand of the search engine when those results do not show up, even if some of those sites were banned long ago.
Search algorithm manipulation may still be beneficial, but is not necessary to succeed if others are interested in what you offer. Those who take a holistic approach to marketing do not need to worry as much about the ups and downs associated with changing search algorithms or search business models. If people believe in you enough they will push you to success even if you do not know what you are talking about.
There is nothing wrong with creating content with the intent to spread it. That is all SEO is focused on: spreading content, ideas, and websites for profit.
What is Profit?
Profit can be:
- feeling important
- knowing others are reading what you write
- getting feedback
- knowing you helped others
- settling a score with someone you are pissed at
- doing something which others stated you could not
- or a variety of other things
Bloggers are SEOs?
When a blogger Google Bombs a person they are doing nothing more that a souped up blog version of SEO. In spite of the fact that bloggers do the same things as SEOs (and sometimes even far worse) many bloggers like to tell you just how much scum the average SEO is.
Why is everyone and their dog launching or partnering in a blog network? Money. Plain and simple.
I suspect the ratio is more like 95/5 with regard to who's making reasonable money at blogging.
Personally, i see this as the new seo if you like - and the old guard, who can get their heads round the new medium, are all set to rake in what they want pretty much - it's open season out there...
While many bloggers and designers claim they absolutely hate the topic of SEO - and SEOs - much of the bad SEO advice offered is given by bloggers and web designers who never studied the topic.
At one point in time I had to tell a content rating website to stop hiding content on their own site. They were handed that dubious hide the content tip from a web designer (who ensured them that it was search engine friendly). Even outside of search think how poor it sounds for a content rating website to hide their own content. Where does the credibility go with moves like that?
Why Do Bloggers / Designers Really Hate SEOs?
Many people who are chronically pissed at anything remotely related to SEO are probably in that mode of thought for one of a few reasons:
- Envy: I remember when I just started out on the web and was doing economically bad because I had few connections, limited experience, and minimal business savvy. I am not ashamed to admit that for a period when I was barely getting by I felt envious of people with better business models. Many web developers, bloggers, and designers whom are barely getting by like to push the blame of their lack of marketing skills and low wages on budget shifts toward marketing and spammy results clogging up the engines.
- Sick of blog spam: Whenever a blogger talks about comment or trackback spam, or any webmaster gets referral spam many of them blame that annoyance on SEO in general, although the software developers are at fault for selling software with holes in it. Some people have even been known to blog spam for a competitor to hurt a competitors website, just because the software vendors make it so easy.
- Sick of low quality search results: Search engines have spent a ton of money, time, and attention marketing their faults as belonging to a third party.
- MicroSoft was caught cloaking.
- Google was caught cloaking.
- Some search engines actively buy tons of links.
- The Yahoo! Directory sells links.
- The pay per click business model is based on selling links. Some search engines make a killing supporting search spam. Google AdSense has been one of the most lucrative search spamming opportunities ever created. Even when you point out specific examples to Google they claim NO responsibility.
- Google will also let webmasters buy AdWords ads to sell things that are inappropriate to list in the regular search results.
- Some of the best search spammers also help search engines clean up the search results by explaining some of the common search spam techniques that are hurting search relevancy, but that is not something you see search engines heavily marketing.
- Quality of Content: Some people believe that SEOs aim to do anything necessary to avoid creating useful websites or content. While some people just aim to exploit algoritmic holes, some of these same people later go on to do SEO for many legitimate websites. As an SEO, if you have clients, it is ideal to have clients that give you a performance based cut (affiliate programs) or clients that have naturally authoritative sites which can easily rank for their official name and related terms. Some of the better SEOs refuse to work for a company unless they are deeply interested in that companies products and market.
Most blogs are not of amazing quality. If the average blog's content quality was high people wouldn't be failing the Turing test as often as they are.
- Web Standards: Many sites follow no standards other than putting money in the pocket of the author. That would occur whether or not there was a field called SEO. Sadly most of my sites are not yet standard compliant, and it would probably cost me about $100,000 to even attempt that. I may eventually try it, but you can't learn everything all at once. Learning is a process. Just as many designers are bad at marketing I am bad at designing and web standards related stuff.
- Easy to pick on: XYZ marking firm is a bunch of knuckleheads is an easy story to spread. Web mob justice means those stories spread fast. Did you know that Gillette now has a 5 blade razor?
- Selective Memory & Anchoring: How often do you hear a person thank an SEO for placing a relevant result at the top of the results? Never. How often do you hear of SEOs being $@&*ers? Much more often.
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