Here are a few thoughts regarding the SEO perspective in yesterday’s Forbes article.
I could take the time to go through the article with a fine tooth comb and pull out the many issues I have with the ‘facts’ in this article. Instead here are the two salient points:
- “worry about brand first” – Agreed, however if your customers can’t find you then you have no customers
- “about.com has fickle, fickle SEO” – This statement demonstrates a complete lack of understanding when it comes to SEO. In fact SEO is all about the visibility of useful content and not about tricks and technology
Pulling the article apart wouldn’t be a good use of my time. So instead, using brevity as a goal, I’ll deal with the major issues as I see them…
SEO has always been about good quality, original content. There’s always the few who spoil it but those black hat practitioners of SEO don’t define everyone working in SEO – the SEO team at Freestyle work hard every day to leverage high quality content that users want to see and to put it in front of them as prominently as possible. Others can try and game the system but they won’t get anywhere in the long term!
Google (at the moment) is search. Google are evolving their system constantly – they make over 500 changes a year and the idea that “SEO is dead” is now a sad and tired idea: brand + visibility = customers and both brand and visibility require good content – that’s what SEO’s are paid for these days. SEO’s are the best placed people to connect brands with customers through search visibility.
The most ardent literary fan might search their local library for 1, 2 even 3 hours to find the new book by their favourite author – but place that book somewhere deep within the library, unmarked, no cover, no label and un-referenced and no amount of loyalty will allow that individual to locate the contents inside.
That the forbes article tries to distinguish between social referrals and exploration of the internet on one hand and search engines on the other is a hugely incorrect distinction – search engine optimisation is built on links (the votes of content on the internet). To say that ‘shares’, ‘links’ and ‘mentions’ aren’t part of that link graph is simply wrong, and to say that exploration of the internet isn’t synonymous with search engines is a strange and massively incorrect view of user behaviour on the internet.
The fact is content + search + social = loyalty, customers and longevity.
If you are still left wanting for evidence as to the importance of SEO here are some recent stats: