I can understand the angst felt by most in the SEO world, I might even try to show a bit of empathy as well during those times when Google decides to tug on their chain. Search Engine Optimization was once something everybody did without even realizing it — Back in the day, if you put on a website, one would be found quite literally nearly having to lead the search engine around by the nose. Technology at the time, though shiny and new, wasn’t really as bright as all of that.
So called SEO experts sort of have their backs to the wall on this trying to justify their overall position in the search industry market. Search is smart, and most web developers are even smarter than that, so where exactly, again, does the SEO expert fit into the equation?
Technology has come a long way since 1999 — We don’t have to send emails to HotBot or Yahoo with a full description and a site URL any more — There are no more website submission sites. Yet here we are, still grappling with SEO — Why do you suppose that is?
The Cottage Industry SEO was invented to increase your website visibility in the search engines – You couldn’t be visible without first being listed – Good SEO helped your site rise to the top in the index listings.
SEO was getting tired and old as the technology was getting newer and smarter, so someone had to come up with a new angle, or a hook, as it were.
Enter SEM — SEM was invented to increase your website visibility in the search engines. (See what I did there?) — The only difference between SEO and SEM is that SEM includes purchased advertising. Came a day that SEO could no longer cut it, so the theory of SEO was advanced to the point of calling it SEM — A smart business owner already purchases ads — A good web developer and a smart business owner could completely eliminate the need for the used car sales approach to internet visibility.
In a nutshell: The SEO expert isn’t good enough to get you to the top, so he or she throws in some SEM so you can pay your way to the top.
Most SEO experts aren’t grounded in business — Out of the hundreds of SEO experts that are out there, there are barely a few that have any sort of degree in business, or any real world business experience at all – Most have never even been to college.
Most business owners already know how to communicate, write, speak, spell words, and so on and so forth. SEO purports to know all there is to know about words – how many to use, and exactly where to put them on the page — Used to be able to buy ‘keywords’ — You don’t see that much any more these days because there’s no need. Words have always been free to use. SEO people insist that this certain way has to be maintained, or else your listings will drop — SEO insists that you write for the search engine and not the end user.
Google says this, Google says that. So here we are, paying all of this money to make Google happy? It certainly appears so. Between SEO and the so-called SEM, someone out there is getting some pretty good pay days. Meanwhile, business is feeling the squeeze.
Unlike the SEO expert, that makes money off of people that think auto-pilot rules the day, business is a very real thing – Your business depends on you. Your business shouldn’t ever have to worry every time Google changes something – Your business isn’t Google, and it should be structured, prepared, and organized well enough to survive long after Google is gone.