SEO – the inconvenient truth

SEO-2-opt
Paul Boag, Smashing Magazine

Do you own a website? Do you want to be number one on Google? Whatever you do, don’t spend money on aggressive search engine optimization (SEO). I know that sounds like an extreme position to take. However, a lot of website owners see search engine optimization as the answer to their search ranking woes, when things are considerably more complex.

The inconvenient truth is that the best person to improve your ranking is me, the content guy. Unfortunately, that is going to take time, commitment [and money] on your part. The answer doesn’t lie in hiring a SEO company to boost your website ranking for Google. The problem starts with the term “search engine optimization” and the misconceptions surrounding it.

Stop optimizing for search engines

Google’s aim is simple: connect its searchers with the most relevant content. If you are more worried about a good ranking than providing relevant content, then you are going to be fighting a losing battle. If you hire a SEO company to improve your placement and you measure their worth on the basis of how high they get you in the rankings, then you are out of line with what Google is trying to achieve. Your primary objective should be better content, not higher rankings.

So, the key is to produce content people find useful and want to share.

Yes, there are some technical considerations when it comes to search engines. However, any reasonably well-built website will be accessible to Google. You don’t need an expert SEO company for that (at least not if the Web designer does their job right). As an aside, it is worth noting that if you take accessibility seriously for users with disabilities (such as those with visual impairments), then you will also make a website accessible to Google.

However, setting those technical issues aside, it all comes down to content. If you create great content, people will link to it, and Google will improve your placement. It really is that simple. The question then becomes, how do you create great content?

Apart from hiring me, check out the rest of this thought-provoking read at Smashing Magazine …