The Need To Evolve – Why Practices Must Be Constantly Examined In The SEO Industry
SEO was a simple beast once. You wore a white hat and you tried to help clients by advising them to add good content and tag everything properly. Or you wore a gray or black hat, and tried to game the system (how dirty/aggressive you were about it was the determinant on the color of your head gear).
But the information and SEO industries are constantly evolving, and adapt or die very much applies to every aspect. Google and other major search engines have changed their methodologies. While part of their reason is a desire to dislodge the people attempting to game the system, it’s even more true that the changes reflect how society has adapted to handling the intake of data. The internet is a massive stream of too much. To paraphrase Mitchel Kapor, “Getting information from the Internet is like having a drink from a fire hydrant.”
Google is acutely aware of these changes, and has manipulated what we do. Some people thought that Google had finally capitulated when they began to embrace the term “SEO,” but the reality is, they’ve won. SEO has itself been manipulated from a method of gaming the system into a web advisory agency. We can no longer help our clients rank by molding them to the rules. We now help our clients rank by making their sites a more enticing experience. So yes, Google won in the best way possible.
This means a lot of things to those of us in the information handling industry: out with meta-data handling, in with Content Curation (and its multiple forms). Out with link farms, and in with organic exchange of links through contacting thought leaders in the industry. Out with formulaic short articles stuffed in the bottom of a site, and in with the production of quality content displayed on the main menu. Out with quantity, in with quality.