Wired Magazine’s Geekipedia on SEO

    October 8, 2007

Wow! I thought, pulling an additional insert in my recent Wired Magazine called “Geekipedia” and thought that it might come in handy.

Wired Magazine

 I spend most of my time at work with my marketing and SEO hats fully fixed on my head and much of my free time researching the aspects of the latter that keep me sharp and inspired. In other words, “I don’t get out much!”

So, leafing through and trying to keep my geekdom in check (testing myself along the way), I noticed SEO as an entry (just below Robert Scoble), and thought it would be interesting to see what other “geeks” think of the art, dare I say craft, that is search engine optimization. To my dismay I found what I would consider a Jason Calacanis inspired observation of SEO:


Search engine optimization services are the Wile E. Coyotes of the Internet economy: doomed to stalk prey that repeatedly slips away just as it’s captured. SEO consulting — fine-tuning client pages to land them atop search engine results — has blossomed into a multibillion-dollar industry. But even those that attain the ultimate prize of a number one ranking can’t celebrate for long. Search engines are always tweaking their algorithms to prevent sites from gaming the system to artificially boost their results. Sure, it makes for a frustrating chase. But it also means repeat business.

It is good to see what outsiders think about SEO, but it can be disconcerting none the less.

I feel bad for those of us who have the knowledge to use their experience for good, yet rely on the dark side of SEO to gain traffic to aid their cause. I know that Danny Sullivan does a lot to aid in the purpose of search engine optimization and defends it against the onslaught of others like Jason Calcanis, but the purpose of SEO (at least in my mind, if no where else) is that we provide a service not only to our clients or companies, but to the user. “Gaming the system to artificially boost their results” is not a competent way to get or maintain customers or users.

Search engines are trying to do the same as I am, provide what users are looking for. It is the intent the purpose of SEO to provide a positive user experience, not to do what it takes to get a user to a website, as it is with the search engines. A positive user experience is what we want and need to build quality relationships, not develop a cash cow!

Oh, and SEO isn’t only one dimensional. There is a lot more involvement that just “fine-tuning client pages to land them atop search engine resuts.”

What are your thoughts?