After reading Ross’s recent post on SEO I couldn’t help but want to add my 2 cents worth.
Having worked with Ignition on various projects for over a year now I’ve found myself discussing SEO with a number of clients and acquaintances. Everyone seems to have heard of SEO but often people’s perception of it seems grounded in outsmarting search engines rather than creating fantastic websites.
So, are you smarter than Google?
Many people seem to think that they can make a boring site popular through SEO. By adding keywords and metatags, that match popular search terms, they assume they are going to become #1 on Google. People seem to underestimate the intelligence of Google. It’s not stupid - you might fool people in going to your site once but if they get there and it’s not what they wanted and exit your page immediately without having a look around your site, Google actually understands that.
I’ve had people ask me if getting friends or employing someone casually to search for and visit their site regularly will help and it just seems so stupid. At this point I think it’s wise to point out that over 30,000 people work for Google creating their search engines and other tools. These people are focused on ensuring Google is good at what it does – they want people to use their search engine to find exactly what they are searching for as fast as possible. You are not going to fool a service powered by 30,000 people with a lot of irrelevant backlinks, keywords or hoax visits.
So, is SEO a waste of time? No, of course not, and good titles, keywords and metatags are most helpful – but good SEO is about helping those who want to visit your website find you, not about getting people to stumble across your website when they were looking for something else. If your website is not attracting your real customers then it’s time to find out from your customers why they don’t visit and remedy this.
Let’s face it – Google IS smarter, stop trying to fool it and instead work with it to create fantastic, customer friendly websites and watch your Google search traffic soar.