SEO: Is it really fair on the consumer?

Businessman Using Binoculars

I’ve just come from an interesting post on FuelMyBlog’s blog entitled: SEO wins gold, silver and bronze. It’s an interesting post that compares SEO to the Olympics and The Guinness Book of Records. Here’s a snippet from the post:

A lot of SEO technology is used to make sure weaker content makes it to the top. Some SEO techniques are allowed, some are not, some are dirt evil and some evil performance-enhancing techniques are still not being detected …

I find the post particular interesting because in my mind there’s a big distinction between making your website more readable/indexable by search engines and trying to figure out how search engines work so that you get ranked before other sites which may be more valuable for the reader.

Couple Kickboxing

For example, let’s say I’m looking for information about a clothing company called Nautica. Assuming there are no other companies with that name, search engines should be able to tell me straight away about websites that can give me that information. However, if someone tries to elevate that keyword because they are selling, say Nautica watches, that page may have a high SERP for that keyword. Was that useful to me as a consumer? Does all this fighting for position really benefit the searcher?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling anyone who works in SEO a snake-oil merchant, however I think it’s only fair that they set their client’s expectations of what can be achieved. I’m sick and tired of receiving spam from people claiming to be able to make my websites rank first on search engines. At the end of the day, I’m sure decent search engines (that only really includes Google at the moment) can figure out what is relevant and what isn’t; and provide me with exactly what I’m searching for.

3 comments

  1. As a person who works in marketing, I can say that the question you ask is right. The fighting for position does not benefit the customer. But let’s think what it will happen if we do not do SEO. Small businesses, with small sites and great products will never be found. SEO could benefit some customers too, as long as it is ethical done and in the spirit of – let’s give to the user what he is looking for.

  2. The article Owen you have published is correct.But Owen you might have forgotten small business person who have great products as Gabriela has explained above.I truly agree with Gabriela if we do not do SEO for this Small business their product and their websites will never will be shown in the search engines. Owen i would also like to know what is your opinion about Web Analytics

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