SEOs: they don’t O SEs at all
I was called by an SEO the other day. That’s a Search Engine Optimizer [sic] to those fortunate enough to be unware of their existence. The call ended with me hanging up on him, such were his cock-like credentials.
I’ve never been happy with the concept of an SEO. It’s basically someone who understands enough about how the internet works—or more specifically how search engines work—to advise on how best to write, tag and structure your web pages to get them naturally to the top of search rankings.
The offline equivalent would be some form of location specialist, advising companies where best to position their shops to maximise footfall. But the online version has adopted somewhat legendary status, seeming to me to have invented an industry where one was not particularly needed. The very existence of SEOs means that SEOs have to exist, to compete with their counterparts.
Seth Godin today wrote tangentially to this very topic, signing off with:
That’s one reason I resist the temptation to optimize this blog for traffic and yield. I’d rather force myself to improve it by having the guts to write better posts instead.
I’ve always agreed. I need to make my service better and more attractive through its attributes and my reputation, as opposed to artificially improving my perceived quality by bumping my results up the rankings through clever tagging.
The very term search engine optimization makes my blood boil. It isn’t about optimizing search engines. It’s about frigging search engines such that they think you’re better than you are. To me, SEOs are the scourge of the internet.