commit: fb200d8 - #595 (2014-04-14 00:44:57 -0400)
I usually appreciate HNews, and find their thread as important source of knowledge, but that thread more than "vicious" is simply annoying... and makes fall my consideration about "devs" quite a lot, or - at least - consider that many of them are of that kind I would never desire to work with if not obliged by Satan itself.
That thread is so annoying, and not just because the 99% of comments fall in the old cliche of "SEO = Scam"... also because I'm become quite insensible to that kind of judgement.
What I find soooo annoying is how the devs commenting in that thread have shown a gigantic sense of what SEO also is: marketing.
It is a scaring thread, because those devs are not understanding that the fantastic robots.txt Rishi wrote something like 2/3 years ago is such a wonderful piece of content and link baiting that people is still talking about it after such a long time.
It is an über sad thread, because all those devs, while writing how SEO is scam, how SEO is synonym of tricking Google, keyword stuffing, Headers and so on and how SEO is astroturf, don't understand that they are doing what Rishi exactly wanted to that robots.txt be doing: make is name widely known, having its site shared and quite surely linked.
It is annoying because those devs are so dumb not understanding that their thread will probably help explicitly.me rank better than any of their W3C-respectful and über boring sites...
With "What I find soooo annoying is how the devs commenting in that thread have shown a gigantic sense of what SEO also is: marketing." I was meaning "What I find soooo annoying is how the devs commenting in that thread have shown a gigantic IGnORANCE of what SEO also is: marketing." :D
A friend of mine is a developer and it was like reading back the conversations I've had with him. "SEO shouldn't exist as an industry and should be a part of good development." "Google should just rank good content." "SEO is about good HTML." All well and good in theory, but it's not the reality. Very few developers I know know (or care) about SEO. I know one who created a site that inadvertently created a massive duplicate content (and therefore Penguin) error and they didn't even know (or care) why that was a problem - because hey - at least the website works. And it's like you say, Gianluca - the typical "SEO is spam/evil/voodoo" crowd are not exactly marketing-savvy, which is another essential part of SEO (beyond being technical).
I'll be honest - I've been sick and tired of people knocking our industry for a long time. I used to want to prove people wrong and show them the error of their ways, but I'm getting to the point where I just can't be bothered anymore. Not when our industry - our livelihoods - are shown with such ignorance, disrespect and volatility. Fuck it.
...Sorry for swearing :-)
Dammit - that was meant to be "Panda," not "Penguin." I always do that!
I hope all these dev's are competing with me.. makes my life easier. In general, my rule is; "Don't spend any time debating the value of SEO" Like I said at other places, (and I know I'm breaking my own rule here, but you are my people!) I rather spend the time on my real work, where others are debating these issues to such a great extend that at the end of the day, they haven't accomplished anything, while I just got a head start...
But seriously, the people who comment here are just being foolish!
While I agree with what you're saying and realise that moaning about it here (or anywhere) won't change anything, it's still hurtful to continue to encounter such disrespect. Serves me right for being the sensitive kind though :-)
Steve, don't get me wrong, I feel your pain. It's especially hurtful if you're trying to help entrepreneurs who need SEO to grow their business, only to find a group of jaded developers working on the product, blind and deaf for your advise to help them, just because they refuse to see it as an opportunity. Even more painful to see the company go under, and all the people move on, but the entrepreneur is stuck with the dream of building a company shattered!
I've seen it plenty of time, and it hurts.
I'm no master at SEO, but I can certainly appreciate the value when it's done correctly and honestly - which Google seems to be trying to do. There are a few in every profession who ruin the name for everyone else - unfortunately, in the case of SEO, there are more than a few. Did people use to stuff links? Did people used to submit to directories? Did they do all sorts of less-than-honest (in some cases, definitely dishonest) tricks in order to rank high? --> Yes, yes, yes. Do I agree with any of it? No.
However, the worst part of the discussion on HN was summed up in this quote, "Exactly what I thought, SEO should not have ever become a "thing" if Google did its job right."
That quote is so misguided and out of touch with reality... Google started back in 1998. Is that commenter trying to tell me that the internet hasn't changed in the 15 years since? That web development and coding practices haven't changed? Just as developers have to change how they write their sites, Google must change how to read it, and marketers must change how to market them.
Did I detect a "dead" statement in that thread?
"Inbound Marketing Community - Hacker News for Marketers"
This is just a linkbait and it doesn't address the real problem with Google becoming a money making engine where complete ecosystem is favoring the "brand" and not the value behind a website...
Hacker News is a cess pool full of trolls. I was banned there after being attacked by some of them and after I cited the TOS to them. The moderators looked up my site, noticed "SEO" on there and decided I was guilty by association.
I saw this last night and I have to admit, it really bummed me out. I've heard all of this before, but not in such a mob-like state and I actually thought that this misguided info on SEO was dying down over the past few years.
I've always been a Hacker News lurker and considered participating but if that level of ignorance is representative of the collective community, I want nothing to do with it.
There were too many times I wanted to scream "My god, you know nothing!" while reading that trash, but I pretty much knew how it would go if I tried to argue our side.
I once got told by a manager 'If the Dev's like you, your not doing your job right". Don't agree, but it's a difficult relationship at best. And, in all honesty, there's certainly a subset of Dev's who don't seem to like anybody. It's not an occupation re-known for employing people with tact and great social skills
Although I will say, as my career progressed and I worked on larger projects for more successful clients, I have noticed that the more successful Devs are generally much more open and pleasant to work with. If your a Dev, and you'd like to get paid more to work on something more exciting than a login screen, take note. People don't promote jackasses).
Take heart, friends. You'll get to work with decent Devs one day, and when you and the Dev's are on the same page, its an incredibly rewarding relationship. For everyone.
Also, a big part of our job is to nitpick and critisise their (occasionally hard) work, and that's a potential huge minefield at the best of times, and I'm sure I haven't always approached it with the tact it needed. There are two sides to every bitchy hackernews thread.
I think they make some really solid points as a matter of fact. For instance, SEO really should be part of a solid web development plan, not an afterthought.