The Real SEO

I saw this post on, another social media site, today:

SEO is using deodorant instead of washing. SEO is masking bad coffee with sugar. SEO is cramming instead of studying. SEO is using pain killers instead of going to the dentist. SEO is taking weight loss pills instead of exercising. SEO is a comb-over. SEO is Scientology. SEO is Paris Hilton. SEO is the Zune. SEO is the morning-after pill. SEO is astroturf. SEO is not the real thing. SEO is cutting corners. SEO is not the solution. SEO is bullshit.

This person obviously has no idea what SEO is…or they’ve been exposed to some dishonest players who mislead people about SEO.

SEO is not simply submitting a site’s URL to the search engines for indexing. SEO is not PPC advertising. SEO is not playing games with doorway pages and hidden keywords.

SEO is all about creating a compelling, content-rich web site, then doing what’s right behind the scenes to make sure metatags and title tags and alt tags and such are all properly aligned with that great content.

If it’s not handled this way, then it’s the work of charlatans.

If it’s done correctly, then the web site ranks well and the search engines are happy.


  1. Jon DiPietro says:

    If this nonsense wasn’t so dangerous to the uninformed, I’d laugh it off as “Marketing Darwinism.” My metaphor would be that implementing SEO is like adding gas to the tank of your car. If you’re never going to add any gas, why the heck even buy the car in the first place. It’s a case of the old cliche, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

  2. sharilee says:

    Well said, Jon. I can’t tell you how many companies we’ve talked to that have been horribly misled about search marketing. It’s scary and appalling. That’s why we spend so much time covering the topic in speeches and articles. We want a well-informed public!

  3. Scott Sommer says:

    Sharilee, no matter what tool is devised for good and profit, someone will find a way to bastardize it or bad-mouth it until is becomes cliche or others will think it is what it is not. The Web just makes it easier and faster to do so.

    It’s so easy for someone like in your Tumblr example to create a perception in their own mind about SEO without ever understanding what is “behind the curtain”. We can only hope that those kinds of folks get bored with their antics and move on to something else.

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