commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
This shouldn't be turned into an "SEO is Dead" type discussion, but I think there are some good points in here. Especially about the value of having an internal resource to create a brands content. Having someone internal do this, better yet a subject matter expert, isi going to be a lot better than a generalist marketer who is just trying to target a set of keywords.
Bill Slawski nails it in the comments there. And the author replies with "This I get! Thanks."
And Barry's comment: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/12/11/seo-the-inconvenient-truth/#comment-985598
Oh, just seeing this now. Yeah, excellent comment from Bill
It seems the comment link does not work properly, I land on top of the page. Thus I copied the comment:
Evidently, you still haven’t learned what SEO is since your last rant about SEO two years ago on Boagworld.
A person who uses things like keyword density and gateway pages is not an SEO, and never has been.
But, if you need help with hreflang, canonical link elements,
parameter handling, rel prev and next values for pagination, XML
sitemaps for pages and images and videos and news, Google Plus
authorship markup, Facebook’s Open Graph meta data, schema.org
implementation, and many other issues that great content alone will not
solve, an SEO can help you with those.
Your objective should be to make it easier for people who are
interested in what you have to offer to find you, and see the great
content that you offer. Relevant content isn’t “great content” Someone
searches for a pizza on Google, and they don’t want prose from
Hemingway or Fitzgerald on the history and origin of pizza – they most
likely want lunch.
An SEO adds value to what you create by making sure that it is
presented within the framework of the Web in a way which makes it more
likely that it will reach the people that you want it seen by, when they
are looking for it."
I like how they start off by pretty much saying "Boo to SEO! Buy our book about mobile!" Irrelevant self-promotion? The relevant kind is bad enough!
To be fair, Smashing Magazine is an awesome resource (even for us) and they have to make money somehow. There content's good, and they fund it with more useful content. Nothing wrong there.
But yes, it's an unfortunate juxtoposition there!
I agree - don't get me wrong, I think SM is awesome (usually, and obviously for more design/UX stuff), but yeah, the juxtaposition is awful, especially as they're slagging off SEO. I honestly thought the link was going to be for something SEO-related - e.g. their opinion of a helpful resource - so just throwing in an off-topic promotional link right there and then seemed very odd to me; misleading almost (ironically - poor UX IMO)...
I've voted this up, because of Bill Slawski's epic comment.
Bill's comment is fantastic. It's just the tip of the iceberg, though. Let's see how my comment gets folks flaming...
you went way too easy on him, Ian.
I considered writing: "SMASHING MAGAZINE WHAT THE HELL. YOU PUT ME THROUGH THE WRINGER FOR 6 WEEKS TO WRITE THE PIECE I PUBLISHED THERE. THEN YOU LET THIS GUY PUBLISH A BUNCH OF DRIVELSHIT?!!"
But I'm just too nice a guy.
yep, referred to your article there at least a few times when overseeing UX projects. damn good stuff.
Big up to Bill, AJ and Ian for jumping in and leaving, what I consider, excellent comments on Paul's post. It pains me to think how many business owners will read Paul's post and associate a negative connotation with SEO, and never have the opportunity to experience just how amazing SEO can be. I could list case study after case study where I have assisted companies with increasing their sales or exposure (or rank), and other companies deserve to have case studies written about them.
I absolutely agree. It's not so much that this post is "right" or "wrong" but it's on a high profile site. It wouldn't been much more fair to have simply added "not ALL SEO companies are like this". But he implies it's all of them, as if there's no difference between SEER or some black hat.
Perfectly said, Dan. I'm glad we're in agreement.
Perhaps the title should read "The inconvenient truth about know it all web developers".
IMO a lot of developers see themselves as "above" SEOs and will quickly dismiss technical recommendations from SEO guys, creating conflicts and resulting in posts like this. There is an attitude a lot of developers hold that probably sounds a lot like;
"well..they can't code and I don't really get why they are asking me to do this stuff so it must be BS".
Unfortunately, a lot of clients probably end up siding with the developers as well, after all they delivered the fancy new site. Of course not all developers have this attitude but if you hang around on sites like Hacker News you'll realise pretty quickly that SEOs aren't given a whole lot of respect. This of course isn't helped by the fact that the SEO industry does have a lot of incredibly bad SEOs still stuck in 2005 as well.
For all it's inaccuracies though, I have to agree that for most businesses it makes sense to start bringing SEO and content marketing in-house. This would only help alleviate these ignorant attitudes as both parties educate themselves through working more closely together.
Completely agree about some web developers acting this way--love how they call our arch audit recos nit-picking when they don't really know what they're talking about.
I just don't get all the fuss around SEO, what it is, what it isn't. We're an SEO company, we help clients develop highly shareable content, we integrate link building with 'real' marketing activity, we help improve engagement etc... There are multiple reasons for doing this, but a core consideration is the fact it influences rankings, it's SEO, optimising for more search visibility, SEO. People just need to get over it.
The author makes some good points, but comes to the wrong conclusion. What he presented is evidence for what type of SEO work to do, not evidence that you don't need SEO. The correct conclusion would be:
A) Choose an SEO firm that will create and promote great content as a major component of their strategy.
B) Choose an SEO firm that will work in tandem with your inhouse content marketing team.
Most of the dentists, surgeons and lawyers I worked with then I did agency work couldn't write their way out of a paper bag and didn't have the time besides. Hell, most of them didn't know the difference between a browser and a search engine, let alone what a WYSIWIG editor was. But they knew they needed websites and people to manage them. Try telling these guys they don't need SEO.
Still... be interesting to see how many agencies change their names in 2013
An SEO would be able to help Smashing Magazine fix those broken comment links ;-)