Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The SEO noise can only get worse

Everything I do is centred around Search Engine Optimised words. This means that anything I write needs to be loaded with the correct keywords that people search for on Google which will in turn raise our clients importance in Google search results.

One of the key balancing acts of my role is to keep the copy I do interesting and readable while stuffing it full of those SEO words. This is tedious at the best of times, but some people don't even bother doing this. Do a Google search for "small business marketing", go on. I'll wait.

Did you notice how the first page was filled with nonsensical results like: "Small Business Marketing: Small Businesses" or "Business Marketing- Small Business Marketing"?

The first thing that strikes me is how awful that search string now is. It is cluttered with SEO loaded pages that read like a 14 year olds myspace page (Amateur Capitalisation Of Every Word Makes Me Look So Professional And Cool, Don't You Think?).

Secondly, the search page is almost useless now because it is almost impossible to get any informational differentiation between the results. All they are focused on is cramming it full of keywords.

Over time with everyone doing this do you think Google will get better or more cluttered with indecipherable search results?

No, you say? You're positive the staff will change Google around to work again when the complaints start rolling in!

Sure, they may tweak the overall design, but people will keep up with these changes and adjust their SEO to match. In fact, a whole industry is blossoming with the singular purpose of messing with search results to yield better results for their clients.

So what happens to Google when the primary function of its existence is no longer effective and people cant tell one result from another. Random clicking? How long before they give up and turn elsewhere?

Personally, I don't even use Google for certain search strings any more due to all the SEO clutter. I go to outside third party sites who vet and evaluate websites on a much more strict and tightly controlled basis. is an example of this.

Perhaps whoever solves this dilemma will become the new Google visionary of the next decade?


  1. Hi Thomas

    You are definently a passionate blogger and great copywriter, but if you think search engines are bad now, did you know how they were 5 years ago??

    As you know SEO is mainly about link building and good content so eventually google will see you as having relevant content for a particular keyword/phrase and therefore index you on the first page.

    Just a few examples of what people have done back in those days: The keywords tag was once one of the most significant factors in search engine algorithms, so webmaster's would stuff heaps of keywords within their keywords tag, therefore resulting in sites being on page one, even though a website looked really crap or was not relevant to what people are searching for. Also exchanging links (reciprocal links) were also weighted more and so online marketing companies would setup rigorous email campaigns, whereby they would ask pretty much anyone for a link as it would benefit both companys standings in search engine's. Back in those days you could say search engines were spammy

    Let me answer to your response with this approach: The whole point of SEO is to award companies that make an effort in optimising their pages relevant to their targeted audience. Now if everyone did that, then would we need to do this so called "SEO Clutter"

    Everybody, especially small business need to get up to speed with the times. They've got this thing called the internet, and most of them don't even have an online presence. They go blame other people for their failure.

    Relating back to Google, look Thomas i agree with you,there are still pages which are pointless and rubbish, but dont forgot the internets only 14 years old(consider it a teenager).

    Google has recently made incremental changes to its SERPS pages including social search, breadcrumbs for its url and many other things, and will continue to do so. They are constantly adding variables to their algorithm to ensure it can "hopefully" be a win-win for society. Ive got an issue with their monopoly but well leave that to another post.

    There is still alot of innovation and potential for search engines; people are becoming smarter consumers (hence why there are analytics programs that businesses use to identify consumer trends) and users of technology and if they don't realise this then let the businesses with the weak models fall. Im all for the survival of the strongest.

    Thomas would like to finish off with this note. You shouldn't see SEO in a negative view, rather a marketing strategy that will see benfeits for yourself as a blogger and for google and society, if implemented correctly.

    Thanks for the post


  2. Yeah, I very familiar with keyword spamming. Another trick that is still used today (although less frequently) is to put in a bunch of keyword links at the bottom of a page and render the text colour the same as the background colour.

    Google has never really been a search engine I've used because it's too easily manipulated. For any reviews of games, movies or news I have specific sites that specialise in them.

    GameFAQS is the best example as product reviews are generated by the users and any tampering or manipulation is quickly picked up on.
    Have a look at the amount of user submitted reviews.

    For any information I need, I rarely use Google because I know how much it is manipulated.

    I'll agree that I do look at SEO in a negative light, but this doesn't mean I'm not fascinated by it, it's just my own bleak personality and cheery outlook. I've learnt so much that will come in handy in my last few weeks and am always keen to find out more.