Is SEO Mass Internet Destruction?

May 31, 2009   //   by Hackadelic   //   Blog, Featured  //  8 Comments
This entry is part of a series, SEO Rants»

8857161 ba2a58fb1a t Is SEO Mass Internet Destruction?Originally, Google developed algorithms that were meant to reflect the relevance of a HTML page to a user seeking information. In times when people were not SEO-aware yet, a page that ranked high in search results did so because it’s content deserved it. Hence, page rank really meant that: A rank for that page’s content.

Things have changed since…

What SEO is effectively trying is to outsmart (or cheat, if you want) the system by implementing “clever” linking structures and using smart-assed wording in content (often refereed to as “keyword density”).1

Consequently, page rank is increasingly becoming a measure of how good at SEO whoever assigned to that job was. What that means to YOU, as an Internet user, is that the pages you are served first are not necessarily the pages you would have wanted to find.

Am I saying SEO is superfluous inanity?

Well, obviously it is something you can’t get away without anymore. It seems if you don’t do SEO, but everybody else does, you are screwed. Now that’s a hell of an argument, isn’t it? It kinda reminds me of a similar shortsighted reasoning with mass destruction weapons: If you don’t have mass destruction weapons, but everybody else does, you are screwed. Absolutely.

But do mass destruction weapons make this a better world to live in?

Nope.

The same is true about SEO.

  1. Which is why Google are revising their ranking scheme every now and then – to compensate against inadequate page rank consumption. []

8 Comments

  • the statement was to big to be justified by such argenments that you got some irrevalent results.?isnot like this?.. sorry i have contradict your views. let me try to convince you.
    there was time the site with content relevant ranked well.
    then all the sites started doing this, so the space for the first page was only ten positions more often. then the googler dicided to introduce some crtitaria for the ranking. new things introduces and this way the process goes on and on. this all started with the content to ROI and some other more advanced ranking factors that accounts well in the ranking of the websites. so where is the descrution? if you aree nto getting relevant result then try to think about your search query. google is human its a machine to it fine the results according to already set algorithms. there some black hat SEOs there but they do not get long term benefits from such practices.
    so its not like that SEO is causing somthing harm to anyone. if someone has ranked higher thats does not mean that he/she has cheated google it may mean that it deserve this ranking.

    • Anjum, I’m afraid you completely missed the point. My argument was not that it was me who’s got some irrelevant results, as little as it was me who’s got hit by a nuclear weapon. Rather, my argument is that SEO as such is nothing more than trying to cheat the system, and hence is basically a waste of resources, as all time and energy that goes into cheating a system is better spent into expanding and enriching the system.

      Similar to nuclear weapons, the only argument to keep it up is the assumption that everybody else is probably doing it as well. The same vicious circle applies to SEO. If we left it up to the search engines to just do their job, their efforts to improve the relevance of their search results would converge much faster, as they would not have to do all the battles against SERP manipulation.

      One needs to be able to change the perspective to a bird’s eye view of things to be able to see that this IS harm, not against individuals, but against the system as a whole (where individuals are indirectly but not less certainly affected).

  • Zoran,

    your last paragraph is intriguing. I used to think little of SEO because i thought Brin and Page will probably laugh at these “SEO Gurus” effort which seem to imply they know more about Google than them.

    But SEO awareness is picking up and giving these gurus good businesses. Do u think this is ethical?

    I am toying with the idea of writing an SEO book with an accompanying website to reveal all tactics and techniques with 2 dominant theme:

    1. Don’t Be Evil: To prevent further exploitation of unwary website owners to think that SEO is the ultimate WMD they need to outrank others.

    2.Universally Accessible And Useful Knowledge: Using the very same SEO techniques to create awareness among technically-challenged people that they don’t need to give up an arm or a leg for SEO.

    any thoughts on this?

    thanks!

    • Hi Ideal,

      and thanks for your truly refreshing view. :)

      Ethics is difficult to judge about in a broader context. Can you say it is wrong to try to make a living by helping a paying client achieve better search engine ranking? Is the SEO expert responsible for his client’s content and goals? Where to put the limits of where righteous business ends a shades of scam begin to emerge?

      Effectively, every market, once “discovered” by the broader mass, tends to morph into its own perversion. Perhaps what gave rise to SEO was to help good people with something real to say the chance to be heard (well, read) despite all the big names on the Internet. But once benefits and techniques start to become more widely known, they inevitably attract morons who just see the fast money without anything real to say. Without any circumstantial changes, this process would inevitably degrade the market to a point where it is of no use for anyone, and finally abandoned. It’s like a plague of locusts who descend on a new fertile field and irreversible destroy it.

      However, since Google and Co. are constantly refining and changing the rules, it’s hard for the locusts to keep up, and Google’s latest trend, personalized search, is definitely going to be a hard a nut to crack for them.

      One way to oppose the locusts is definitely to increase people’s awareness and educate/evolve their habits and thinking patterns. My idealism wholeheartedly embraces this way, but my realism has doubts about the human ability to make such change.

      And it is exactly because of this why the world needs MORE impulses in this direction. Hence, I can only encourage you to write that book. I hope you’ll reach many many readers with it.

      Good luck! :)

  • SEO-driven results are a new form of spam. I wish Google would rank those pages (and content-mill sites like associatedcontent, demandstudios, etc) LOWER because there is usually no info on those pages, just repetition of keywords.

    • I’ve been increasingly getting “WordPress-related” search results that got me to pages that are a mere aggregation of one line summaries of blog posts taken from announcements on twitter and co. These sites obviously rank better for (some) WordPress-related keywords than the blogs they are referring to. That’s pretty ridiculous, but shows how ridiculous the whole SEO thing can get. That said, it is not Google, but human nature that takes SEO (and everything else) to perversion – that omnipresent element in human nature to “beat the system” by first learning than circumventing the system’s rules.

  • I agree also. It’s a never ending story to find creativity ideas for writing them, and you except that “google” will appreciate unique articles by ranking them appropriately. BUT, they are wasting our ideas by looking on links between mega portals that cost millions that are promoted on TV, while your genuine ideas goes last on the search.
    And then you have to either pay an “SEO” master or Spend more time on the internet trying to put a link here and there.

    Also, Google announced a Change in their algorithm-they “mention” that a big factor of the ranking is calculated due to the users, which mean the more access you have the higher you get,But then again, how can i fight financed portals?

  • I agree wholeheartedly with this article.

    SEO is ruining real content-rich websites that don’t optimize their page title or header tags.

    One of my pet peeves is delving through search results that just duplicate their keywords for the page title and page description.

    It doesn’t tell me what I want to know.

    And also I hate going through websites that have keyword-stuffed anchor text on every sentence or in every menu navigational link!

    One thing you can always expect from our species is the ability to exploit an idea when the the original intention was for the good. eg. invention of nuclear power gave rise to nuclear weapons, etc.

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