This post will seem like a rant in spots, but if you stick with it I think some of you will be inspired enough in your efforts to fill your pockets with a little extra coin; the only result that matters in our industry.
I read a post by Lisa Barone at BruceClay.com entitled Don’t Be Popular. Be Useful. , and got to thinking about how some of those same concepts translate past blogging into the actual fabric of the industry.
The ratio of self-promoting perpetrators in our industry to actual talent seems to be ever increasing.
The former is soft and glass jawed, the later is a mean spirited glass chewer.
The former has a limited value based mostly on a segmented time line, the later will be an innovator in our industry as long as there is one.
You shouldn’t really need to have me tell you which one of these two schools you fall into, but I love allegory so let me tell you a tale to help you understand what the heart of a glass chewer is made of.
It is the chicken before the egg of the online industry.
Which comes first usability or SEO?
Designers and developers often take one stance on the issue, and SEOs another. I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer. Despite how many in our industry present information the only way we can quantify any degree of success in what we do is by measuring how profitable a web property is (I know not all websites operate for revenue, but who cares about them?).
Profitable sites have been built without sound search engine optimization.
Profitable sites have been built with poor usability.
Neither of these points can be argued.
But in a fantasy land of project perfection, sound SEO can lead to high quality usability. Here the two concepts can dance in a green meadow beneath a candy rainbow; also known as Canada (SES Toronto trip showed me how majestic it is North of border)
I am a slave to writing about things that I see and do in my everyday SEO efforts or searching.
To me theory often fails to show value in terms of dollars. And I am in this business to make dollars.
I have been doing a lot of eCommerce searching lately since my birthday is coming up next weekend, and I need to figure out what I want. What I have found are a ton of search results that are too specific. They go beyond the generic term I am looking for, and send me to pages with very specific products that are not what I am looking for. This fact can mean death for an eCommerce site, which should be leading generic terms to non-product, more category oriented terms.
Let’s use the example of a website that sells televisions.
So far in our trip Beyond Keyword Research, we have looked at all of the data available to us on the web, both competitive and from our site.
We have utilized on-site analytics, Google Trends, Seodigger.com, and hitwise tools to collect a wealth of data about terms on our market and traffic approximations related to those keywords.
The next step is to look at heuristic evaluations of the site. This step will allow us to get a look at which of the 25% of daily search terms that are completely original queries we can capture to our competitive advantage.
I could have also titled this entry, “More miscommunication than finality.”
Digging through my feed reader today I was blown away by the number of posts Shoemoney, Jeremy Schoemaker, had incited from his, “SEO has no future” post.
Yesterday he updated his thoughts in a new post:
The death of SEO is not going to happen overnight but it is close. I personally believe that Google will achieve their original goals and not allow humans to influence its algorithms. I know it sounds like SEO… well actually the definitions are the same thing. The difference between SEO and spam is what Google allows. There is no future in SEO and we will very soon all go back to being spammers. There is no black or white there is only SEO.
Shoemoney’s concept is based on the idea that data has replaced much of Google’s original reliance on providing webmasters with beneficial information on how to get their sites ranked better. This data comes from places like Google Analytics and its toolbar.