Thursday, June 14, 2012

Black Hat SEO vs Web Users

Tonight on GooglePlus, I had an argument with an SEO (search engine optimization) professional. You should see the sparks flying on this debate. SEO is supposed to be about using legitimate methods to drive traffic to a website. Some practitioners don't see it that way.

Some SEO "pros" are deceptive and use temporarily effective but unethical gimmicks to drive traffic to websites that do NOT deserve traffic.

Google is clamping down on these "black hat" SEO companies, so that search engine results pages are more beneficial to customers and researchers. Black hat techniques are increasingly identified and the websites that use them get demoted or banned from SERPs by Google and other SEs.

The whole purpose of search is to find webpages that deserve to be high ranking based on intrinsic value to users, i.e. high quality, original, relevant content. The SEO guy to whom I stated these basic principles is LOLing me and asking what planet I live on. This pretty much identifies him as a "black hat" SEO affiliate link farm spammer operative.

He said he hoped I was "joking" about what I think about SEO.

Joking? What other kind of search ideal is there?

This is what the web is all about, isn't it? Do you want fly-by-night, spammy, malicious, or criminal websites appearing at the top of search results pages? Or do you prefer that reputable, ethical, benevolent business with a proven track record for quality products and customer service be dominant?

Gaming the system is not in anybody's benefit, right? When you search for a solution to a problem, a product you desperately need, do you want freaking Manta listings with no information about the products a company offers? or page after page of unhelpful directory listings? or link farms full of ads? or article submission spam?

SEO is an interesting topic, but there are many ways to shoot yourself in the foot and do it in a manner that is only temporarily seemingly effective. There are many con artists in this field that is so complex and esoteric to most business people.

Web design, SEO, social media marketing, and website content development can be full of dangers if you don't know much about these fields.

If you ever need some advice, contact me.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

No comments: