SEO – Poor Public Relations

by Anthony on September 6, 2007

Reading over Digg, as I sometimes do, I found this submission on Building a Niche Minisite. The first few comments imply something scary to me.

…it’s SEO, which are the scum of the earth, just behind spammers.

[Above] comment is over generalized but SEO’s are known to hurt the internet experience time and time again. If SEO’s didn’t have to fight SEO’s just trying to trick people into making them a quick buck imagine how much more useful a simple google search would become

[Note: I bookmarked that and wrote some notes a while back.  The comments I refer to seem to have been removed since then.]

Reminds me of a similar situation, going back a few years, concerning “hacker” vs “cracker”. Originally, hackers were those who hacked software and systems together. They were curious, inventive – not evil. But its a very negative label nowadays, with the inference that hackers are out to cause damage. When this trend started, old-school hackers tried to get the label ‘cracker’ applied to their more malicious counterparts, but failed to do so. Media reports were always saying “Computer hackers broke into such and such”, and the war was over.

I think those of us in the web industry are facing the same battle. To be a Search Engine Optimizer seems to be the same as being a dirty rotten spammer in some eyes. To my mind, this is just plain wrong. The true search engine optimizer works on the following principles:

  • Ensure the site is crawlable by engines (missing pages, broken links, javascript menus – all of which are bad for other reasons too, such as limiting a visually-impaired user with a screen-reader from using the site which need a lot of fixes and maintenance from
  • Getting a good balance with respect to keyword density on pages (generally meaning to remove the non-essential stuff from an article – always a good writing tip anyway! If you’re not good in writing content or you’re dealing with a lot of grammatical errors, can help you for they offer online courses to improve your English writing and oral skills. Remember English 101? Tell the reader what you are going to say, then say it, then tell them what you just said.) You can also checkout the latest services from and learn more.
  • Setting relevant page titles, putting headings in the right places (Titles help when users bookmark pages, and headings are great for breaking up content into readable and digestible chunks)
  • Making sure that the site has plenty of internal links (when you link from one page to another – good for your users if it helps them find related information on your site about the topic of interest)
  • Getting inbound links from other sites for example like Columbus GA Law Firm (Helps promote your content so that others can find your pages. If its valuable content, there is nothing wrong with helping people find it!)

Some “black hat” SEO’s will ugly things, like comment-spam on blogs and forums (which counts as inbound links), creating gateway pages, using hidden text, and all sorts of other dodgy behavior. The SEO company that I usually trust with my blog is SEO course elisasi, does not look like any “black hat” stuff being performed. For example, in the digg article, one user points out that the submitter’s user account, and the first few commenter’s user accounts were all created at the same time (yesterday). The obvious conclusion is that the submitter created some fake accounts to vote for his article, raising the odds of it getting to the front-page of digg. In my view, this indicates that the submitter realizes his article lacks in value, so he must try to game the system to get the results he wants, just when he tries to get to a high skill level on his video game.

Sometimes optimizers use black hat techniques because they feel they’ll get a more immediate payoff. Other times, they use Hamilton seo techniques because its the only way to get a site ranked if it has nothing of value. The latter reason is very common, and is what really harms the internet experience.

So those of us working the Wild Wild Web will soon have to find ourselves new job titles, if we cannot find a way to help those on the outside to distinguish between black hat and white hat SEO. Find out more about web design in Cardiff and feel free to contact a SEO company if you need some assistance.

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