Monday, December 12, 2005

SEO: Voodoo or Parlor Trick?

It's been awhile since we had a news article about the mysteriousness of search engine optimization (SEO) and how SEOs are either voodoo witch doctors or masters of deception or slight of hand. The latest Newsweek article "Hotwiring Your Search Engine" strays close like most general media outlets do.

Some tidbits:
1. The Tag Line: " Google a topic, and the results are based on popularity, right? Wrong. Inside the shadowy world of 'SEOs.' "

2. "...an obscure procedure called a "search-engine optimization."

3. "Their goal is to boost their clients' (and in some cases their own) sites to the top of unpaid search-engine rankings—even if their true popularity doesn't warrant that elevated status."

The article does point out that search engines are reaching out to SEOs and forming a relationship:
"[Search engines] are increasingly tolerant of ethical or "white hat" SEOs like Fishkin, who primarily help their clients knock down the virtual walls that prevent search engines from fully indexing their site. Earlier this year Google engineer Matt Cutts started a blog directed at the SEO community, dispensing tips on how to make sites more visible to the automated software "spiders" that catalog the Web. It's good for Google and SEOs: better-organized sites increase the amount of content in Google's index, while improving SEO rankings."

At Zunch, SEO isn't voodo or a parlor trick. Zunch's established SEO process consists of best practices for:
  • web development
  • information architecture
  • content writing
  • web server administration
  • public relations

While there is no magic at play, what is being used is tried and true methods for eliminating technical barriers that prevent a site from being indexed properly, arranging, clarifying and specifying what a page's content is about and gathering supportive links that support the purposes of the web site.


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