“SEO,” or Search Engine Optimization, Beyond a Healthy Discipline

SEO, “Search Engine Optimization,” Beyond a Healthy Discipline is a process of trying to trick search engines into endowing your site with findability, as in getting onto the first page of search results for certain phrases. I say beyond a heathy discipline, because its more basic techniques are in line with usabilty, accessibilty, and being standards-compliant. Beyond that, SEO heads down a rickety spiral of uncool tricks, many of which are also considered (by people who consider these things) to be in the realm of “SMO” or Social Media Optimization. SMO often has to do with trying to game
folksonomies by posting and tagging things on sites like our dearly beloved Del.icio.us.

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The following is a (very long) quote from Jason Calacanis who is currently the CEO of mahalo, formally co-founded Weblogs, Inc and used to work at Netscape. I like the original post too much to not just steal the whole thing and put it here.

Original Article: “Why people hate SEO… (and why SMO is bulls$%t)

This video is so cheesy you have to think it’s a fake… but I don’t think it is. (Hat Tip)

The SEO folks got really pissed off at me for saying “SEO is bulls@#t.” last year, but the truth is that 90% of the SEO market is made up of snake oil salesman. These are guys in really bad suits trying to get really naive people to sign long-term contracts. These clients typically make horrible products and don’t deserve traffic–that’s why they’re not getting it organically so they hire the slimebuckets to game the system for them.

Note: There are some whitehat SEO firms out there I know, but frankly the whitehat SEO companies are simply doing solid web design so I don’t consider them SEO at all. SEO is a tainted term and it means “gaming the system” to 90% of us.

Now, if you make great content, keep your page design clean, and stick with it you’re gonna do just fine in the rankings. Don’t smoke the SEO-crack… you’ll just wind up chasing your tail as digg and Google closes the tiny SEO loopholes and put your domain on the black list.

PS – And to the SEO idiots trying to “take over my SeRP” on Google you’re proving my point exactly. Grow up.. the only thing you’re ever going to prove by trying to game my SeRP is that you’re low-class idiots.

PSS – This whole gaming of digg/Netscape/MySpace is being called SMO–social media optimization. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard of. Anyone who hires an SMO firm is an idiot. The whole point of social media is TO BE REAL NOT FAKE!!! Just be yourself and participate… that’s all it takes (and note, participation is not just putting in your own links, it’s voting/commenting on/submitting other people’s content too!).

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