Quote of the Day
This small commentary was written in response to the following article in the Wall Street Journal:
Search engine optimization is a game of numbers. In a very literal sense, optimizing a site for high search engine ranking positions (serps) is like gambling. Higher payouts come from higher odds, and if a site opts to bet high they will eventually get burned. To further the analogy to gambling, there are certain rules that apply to search engine optimization (SEO). When found in violation of these rules search engine optimizers (SEO’s) will be “kicked out” or penalized.
The engines are much like a casino as they are very touchy about people trying to manipulate their systems. Sergey Brin, a cofounder of Google was once quoted as saying he regarded SEO’s about the same way that a mother bear regarded someone poking at her cub with a stick. The bottom line is that as with every industry there are many website owners who don’t play by the rules, or hire someone (many times unknowingly) that doesn’t play by the rules.
Search engine optimization is an ongoing battle between those who wish to benefit from obtaining high volumes of search engine traffic (website owners & SEO’s), and those who wish to provide the most relevant results for their users (search engines). The stakes in this battle are being raised all the time as the number of users online in the U.S. alone approaches 100 million with over 60% of those users spending some 8 BILLION dollars per year for online shopping. With such high stakes up for grab, website owners are willing to take greater risks to test the limits of the search engine rules. The engines are willing to up the ante as well.
There are many more rules in the past few years as to what is acceptable
practice in SEO.
Rule number one being: Spam is the enemy of the search engines.
Spam is very loosely defined as anything that is not useful to the user of a site, and manipulates the variables of the search engine’s algorithm for higher placement, and more website traffic. As mentioned, spam is the archenemy of the search engines as it serves as the stumbling block for engines achieving their goal of providing users with the most relevant information. It has been said many times in the world of SEO that “content is king.”
Building a site with information that is useful and desired by users of your site is the most surefire SEO strategy that there is. Of course there are legitimate ways to increase a site’s possibilities of obtaining higher serps. A site owner that takes the time to understand the basics of how search engine technology works, and builds their site accordingly will suffer no loss of sleep, and do quite well in the high stakes SEO game.