Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Does SEO=SPAM?


  • Please log in to reply
167 replies to this topic

#1 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13638 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 07:43 AM

The heat is on lately for anyone specializing in optimizing web sites and web pages for search portals. The idea behind SEO/SEM (search engine optimization/search engine marketing) began as a way to promote pages so that they could be found easily among the competition and rank well for their intended keywords. Some sites need help being indexed because of how they're constructed.

The profession has grown to include usability improvements for better quality pages, and content copywriting for accurate indexing.

To accomplish these, and other, goals, methods vary. Many of them are considered "unethical". It would appear as though more and more attention has been put on what some people consider "tricks", with a near complete disregard for any SEO that strives to help a search portal produce quality search results - something many SEO professionals are devoted to.

In light of the launch of Google's page about SEO, - http://www.google.co...asters/seo.html

the lawsuit by SearchKing against Google for possible PR penalization, and the suggestion by Google and other SEO professionals to report SEO "spam" to search portals, do you feel that all SEO is SPAM?

This forum is very interested in your thoughts, opinions and comments.

Kim

#2 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 09:09 AM

Does SEO = Spam? No, tinned spiced ham = spam. :D

Would the majority of SEO techniques be regarded by search engines as spam ... yes. The moment any technique, however 'ethical' or 'unethical', results in a poor quality resource coming up high in the SERPs.

Search engines make a business out of making referrals based on some very minimal criteria. A user enters a couple of words in a search box, and the search engine will be judged by the user on the quality of the results returned. Good results can gain customer loyalty, while poor results can cause a customer to never return.

A few simple SEO 'tricks' by an amatuer webmaster trying to make 10 bucks on an affiliate scheme can affect the fortunes of a multi-million dollar search engine. Naturally, this causes a certain amount of tension. ;)

Very few SEOs are as commited to long-term sustainability as are the search engines that have invested millions of dollars into building their system and brand. As a result, I'd say that the majority of SEOs are happy to risk the long-term reputation of an SE for a few thousand fast bucks today.

I mention the above as an essential part of understanding how search engines view SEO, and why. Search engines would probably rather that even the most ethical of SEOs would vanish, because so long as anyone makes SEO work in any way, the fast-buck merchants will keep spamming and scamming.

All the talk about 'ethics' just confuses the issue. If a client comes to an SEO to gain top-ten ranking and the SEO accepts the contract, then it is unethical not to deliver. Sure, it is also unethical to use tactics that carry a risk to the client without that client being aware of the risks. It is 'unprofessional' rather than 'unethical' to use tactics that pollute the SE.

#3 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 December 2002 - 04:06 PM

Is SEO spam? Yes - at least according to one definition of seo spam:- anything that done to a website or page, solely because search engines exist, is spam.

The question should be, "is search engine spam wrong or unethical?" The answer to that is a definite NO!!!

As long as search engines display their results 10 (or nn) at a time, and imply that the most relevant results are at or near the top, then people will rightly attempt to get their sites, and those of their clients, into those top positions. Whether they use real search engine optimization or more friendly techniques, such as seo copywriting, they will still try to maipulate the rankings to favour their sites - and so they should!

Webmasters didn't choose to display the serps 10 at a time - the engines did. The engines made it what it is, and they knew exactly what they were doing. Even in Brin and Page's original PageRank paper, before Google was introduced to the world, they talked about people trying to manipulate the results. So the fact that it happens didn't come as a surprise or shock to them. If they are still unable to prevent it - tough. It's their problem and not ours.

They may imagine that they place the most relevant sites, for a given search term, at the top, but they don't. Yes, they do place relevant results at the top, but they don't place all the relevant results at the top. The '10 at a time' system ensures that they can't do it.

Take the search term "search engine optimization" as an example. Google has 600,000 web pages that match (it's a rounded figure so we can be sure that there are more). It's a safe bet that you can go down the listing as far as Google allows (around 800) and most of the listings will be equally relevant to the ones listed in the top 10. That's the system that the engines created and, as long as it exists, people will always take steps to manipulate the rankings to favour their sites - and so they should.

The engines may call ranking manipulation spam and I don't mind it being called spam. What I do mind is the idea that search engine spam = wrong. That idea is a load of BS.

If anyone want to discuss specific seo techniques with regard to spam, let's hear some views. As far as I am concerned, search engine spam doesn't exist.

If anyone is interested, here are some short articles about some seo techniques and spam:- search engine optimization spam.

Phil.

#4 Web Diversity

Web Diversity

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 199 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 04:42 PM

Ethics.

PAH

Unfortunately, a little knowledge is the cause of most of the spam that search engines suffer.

Inspite of the fact that Google was still a pipedream when "keywords" ruled the roost, there are many web designers who claim to do SEO which will consist of "optimising your keywords" and "submitting your site to 100,000 search engines" and that is now.

I think the sad thing is that those that have taken the time to forge relationships with the search engines, spend their own money and valuable time attending events like Search Engine Strategies, and Pub Conference, and helped many small business owners, often unpaid, get tarnished with the same brush as those that take $99, do an Inktomi submission of a home page or creat a ghastly doorway page and get the whole thing wrong.

People that understand the issue/conflict of frames/flash/dynamic content and help the owners of those sites stand a chance of getting their share of traffic are classed as evil and cheats.

If the search engines put forward some form of accreditation, how many SEO people would there be then? But the thing is the search engines are in competition and have to make money.

I have a question.

If the search engines removed from their index all those sites/pages that were designed with improving rankings in mind, how many billion pages would Google have indexed? How about FAST? As much as they say they may hate these sites, they swell the numbers, which make things look great from an investors point of view.

Double standards will always apply and if SEO=SPAM then I am proud to be a spammer, and so are the many clients making a good living from the work we have done for them.

Jim Banks
http://www.webdiversity.co.uk
Don't let your web site kill your business

#5 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 04:51 PM

I've always wondered about the fundamental conflict of interest: why would a search engine tolerate a third party getting between the client and the paid listing placements? When you add to the fact that the seo value proposition is to er...herm..."influence" the relevancy as decided by their golden child (the algo)?

There are some advantages seo's provide search engines. Websites need to be in a format suitable for their crawler, which, let's face it, isn't very clever. It wants old school HTML, not Flash, or dynamic content, or any other innovative web design technique that emerges. So why not provide seo's with an acceptable practice list here?

Also, webmasters allow their sites to be cached, and their bandwidth used by the crawler, presumably in return for the traffic. To make that process opt-in would kill any search engine overnight. There's got to be a bit of give and take.

Is all seo spam? Depends what is meant by seo and what is meant by spam. The recent guidelines by Google talked a lot about the later, with only a brief mention of the former.

Why was that?

Personally speaking, it matters little to me either way. Corporate clients will pay-per-click if traditional seo is no longer an option. Just curious as to why the search engines have never come out with a definitive statement to legitimate seo.

#6 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 05:01 PM

I think it's only recently, that Google themselves have realized there are people out there simply helping sites be more search engine friendly through simple design changes that allow the spiders better access, using more appropriate language within the copy of the pages, turning graphical text into real text, and other things like that.

This is where SEO is heading, thankfully, and we really have Google to thank for it. They are the only engine who is truly committed to getting rid of the junk and the sites that try to trick them.

Just a year ago, I would have said that there were very, very few pages out there that were penalized or banned from any engine. You had to really go out of your way to p***o** the engine if you were going to get penalized. These days, however, you really can get a penalty. And you can get that penalty for attempting to reverse engineer their algo. If that's the kind of SEO you wanna practice, you will constantly be chasing your tail.

Me...I'd rather simply help sites to be the best they can be, let them naturally get their high rankings, and not have to worry about it again for years to come.

This is the real future of SEO, and Google or any other engine will NEVER have a problem with that.

Therefore, all SEO is not spam.

Jill

#7 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 05:15 PM

This is the real future of SEO, and Google or any other engine will NEVER have a problem with that


I think Google are the only people capable of making that statement.

Me...I'd rather simply help sites to be the best they can be, let them naturally get their high rankings, and not have to worry about it again for years to come. 


That simply isn't true. It might be true for areas with very low competition (who I would argue do not really need to employ an seo anyway, merely a competent designer) but it is not true for competitive market sectors.

This is no different to marketing in the offline world. Try and convince Coke to sit back, build a better bottle and don't worry about all this agressive marketing placement guff.

#8 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 05:21 PM

What's your definition of "competitive"?

Jill

#9 sanity

sanity

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 6889 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 05:47 PM

Is all seo spam? Depends what is meant by seo and what is meant by spam. The recent guidelines by Google talked a lot about the later, with only a brief mention of the former. 

Why was that?


The fact that most SE's keep quiet on issues to do with SEO and SEOers speaks volumes to me.

#10 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 December 2002 - 06:25 PM

I think it's only recently, that Google themselves have realized there are people out there simply helping sites be more search engine friendly through simple design changes that allow the spiders better access, using more appropriate language within the copy of the pages, turning graphical text into real text, and other things like that. 

This is where SEO is heading...

Absolutely wrong. For one thing, your description doesn't describe SEO at all. It describes making sites "search engine friendly", which is something that has always been done, and was never considered to be search engine optimization except, perhaps, by those people who do or did it.

In recent times, some people in the forums have tended towards search engine friendly techniques. They like to think of themselves as SEOs but they aren't. Those people are only a few of the tens of thousands of SEOs out there, so it is impossible to say that "This is the real future of SEO". It may be the real future of SEF (search engine friendlyizing) but it certainly isn't anything to do with SEO or its future.

As I said earlier, as long as search engines display the results 10 at a time, people will always attempt to manipulate the rankings to get their own sites to the top, and they will do it with SEO methods when SEF methods fail.

Me...I'd rather simply help sites to be the best they can be, let them naturally get their high rankings, and not have to worry about it again for years to come.

You just made my point for me. That isn't SEO.

Therefore, all SEO is not spam.

Turning to actual SEO.....there are 2 main definitions of it. One is that anything that done to a website or page, solely because search engines exist, is spam. The other is that whatever a search engine says is spam, is spam for that engine.

By the first definition, ALL SEO is spam and ALL SEOs and SEFs are spammers. By the second definition, not everything that an SEO does is spam and SEFs are probably not spammers.

Me...I'd rather simply help sites to be the best they can be, let them naturally get their high rankings, and not have to worry about it again for years to come.

That simply isn't true. It might be true for areas with very low competition (who I would argue do not really need to employ an seo anyway, merely a competent designer) but it is not true for competitive market sectors.

I completely agree.

Phil.

#11 Sharon_and_Roy

Sharon_and_Roy

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 62 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 06:35 PM

In light of the launch of Google's page about SEO, - http://www.google.co...asters/seo.html the lawsuit by SearchKing against Google for possible PR penalization, and the suggestion by Google and other SEO professionals to report SEO "spam" to search portals, do you feel that all SEO is SPAM?

This forum is very interested in your thoughts, opinions and comments.


Hi Kim & Fellow Forum-Mates,

Of course all SEO is not SPAM.

This is now very evident since Google has publicly stated that not all SEOs are unethical.

Therefore one can conclude that not all SEO is SPAM.

Here is what Google has to say on the matter ...

Search Engine Optimizers

SEO is an abbreviation for "search engine optimizer." Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners, from writing copy to giving advice on site architecture and helping to find relevant directories to which a site can be submitted. However, there are a few unethical SEOs who have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.

While Google does not have relationships with any SEOs and does not offer recommendations, we do have a few tips that may help you distinguish between an SEO that will improve your site and one that will only improve your chances of being dropped from search engine results altogether.


Google says ...

Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners.


From that statement, if the statistics were actually counted and reported, we would have to say that the following statement would be more accurate ...

Of all the individuals and/or companies that refer to themselves as Search Engine Optimizers, a few provide useful services for Website owners.

Google goes on to also say ...

However, there are a few unethical SEOs who have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.


Here again we would have to say that the aforementioned statement would be more accurate if they said ... However, there are many unethical SEOs ...

Also, while it is not wise in certain instances to READ INTO ...


---

Since Googles Says: Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners ...

Then Google Implies: Not all SEOs provide useful services for website owners ...

Then Google Implies: Not all SEOs Spam.

---

Since Googles Says: ... unethical SEOs ...

Then Google Implies: That there is such a person as an ethical SEO

---

Since Googles Says: ... through their overly aggressive marketing efforts ...

Then Google Implies: That means that non overly aggressive marketing efforts are OK (or ethical).

---

Since Googles Says: ... their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.

Then Google Implies: That attempts to fairly manipulate search engine results are OK (or ethical).

---

We are sure that Google went to great lengths to come up with those exact words and therefore they must have covered the possibilities of what we just posted in respect to what they have also implied.

We are simply adding our commentary and not adding words into their carefully chosen words that aren't already pretty obvious and implied.

If we are, then again, we stand corrected and we apologize.

So does anyone agree with our deductive reasoning? If you do (or even if you don't) we'd love to hear from you, thanks.

#12 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 06:46 PM

From what Phil says, this whole argument would not exist if either he or I (or our "camps") would give up calling ourselves SEOs.

I maintain that what I do is indeed SEO and the stuff that Phil may (or may not do, but that is possibly considered spamming the engines) is not SEO.

Think about what SEO stands for. Search Engine Optimization. Yes, it's a bit backwards in that we don't optimize search engines, as my pal Bob Massa sometimes says. However, we do optimize Websites for the search engines. That describes exactly what I do. Not what search engine spammers do. They don't optimize websites for the search engines. They create pages filled with stuff that will rank high in the engines, and then redirect the user to the web site (the one that was not optimized to rank high in the search engines).

So you start calling yourselves something other than SEOs. Not me. I do SEO.

Jill

#13 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 December 2002 - 08:29 PM

From what Phil says, this whole argument would not exist if either he or I (or our "camps") would give up calling ourselves SEOs. 

I maintain that what I do is indeed SEO and the stuff that Phil may (or may not do, but that is possibly considered spamming the engines) is not SEO. 

Think about what SEO stands for. Search Engine Optimization. Yes, it's a bit backwards in that we don't optimize search engines, as my pal Bob Massa sometimes says. However, we do optimize Websites for the search engines. That describes exactly what I do. Not what search engine spammers do. They don't optimize websites for the search engines. They create pages filled with stuff that will rank high in the engines, and then redirect the user to the web site (the one that was not optimized to rank high in the search engines).


To be fair, you do describe your operations in a way that could possibly be described as "search engine optimization". But I have a couple of objections to the use of that phrase when describing what you do.

(1) Historical: Going back a number of years, the common understanding of search engine optimization was the act of optimizing individual web pages to rank highly for their targeted keywords/phrases. The word "optimizing" was used because individual pages really were optimized; i.e. keyword densities, etc. etc. etc. If done well, the pages were optimized to a point where the degree of optimization couldn't be improved upon. "Optimizing" really did mean optimizing back then. That's how the phrase "search engine optimization" came about.

<added>Optimizing also included oprimizing filenames and filepaths</added>

(2) Literal: From what I've seen you write, it seems that in those days a few people, including yourself, found that they were getting top rankings without such precise optimizing, and they decided not even to learn to optimize. Instead, they stuck with writing copy that was likely do well in the rankings. They were not optimizers in the way that was understoond by everyone but, because they were getting top rankings by placing some thought into the copywriting, they presumably decided to adopt the term that the optimizers were using, and call themselves search engine optimizers.

As much as you'd like to think otherwise, nothing has changed. Optimizers still optimize, and those who don't "optimize" are not optimizers - they merely adopted the phrase because they were in the same business as the optimizers - getting top rankings.

So you start calling yourselves something other than SEOs. Not me. I do SEO -- you don't.

Jill, I know what you do because you've written publically what you do. You only know a little of what I do because I don't write much of it in public. You do precisely what is known as making web pages "search engine friendly". What you do is not search engine optimization. People who make search engine friendly pages and sites are SEFs, not SEOs. They never were SEOs.

Phil.

#14 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 08:46 PM

Optimize: to make optimal.

Optimal:

"Refers to the extremal (maximum or minimum) of an effect in a desired direction. Something is optimal when it is the best there is and there is nothing better."
source: http://www.see.org/e-ct-glo.htm

"An algorithm which produces the best possible solution."
source: http://www.cs.usask..../glossary.shtml

"Best, most favorable or desirable."
http://www.med.unc.e...rb/Glossary.htm

Optimal in the case of SEs means bang-on the algo. Anything less than perfectly matched to the ranking criteria is less than optimal. On such grounds, Phil's statements are closer to true of optimization, Jill. Sorry :D

A page that "does okay" in searches is not optimized.

There's nothing 'wrong' with Jill's approach to SEO, and neither is there anything 'wrong' with the approaches Phil defends and that so many call 'unethical' either. If I were seeking to promote an online casino I very much doubt that I'd consider Jill's approach adequate to the task however.

I admire Jill's stance on SEO. I seriously do. However, there are still always going to be companies that want to buy a high ranking, including in highly competitive areas such as gambling, adult material, travel related and health related. Already you'll find it very hard to even dream of cracking a top ten position in any of those fields without pulling out all the stops and using all of the tricks that work.

Personally, I prefer the gentler side of SEO. I like to deal with SEO more as a marketer than as a super-geek with a slide-rule and complex software designed to produce huge shadow-domains full of cloaked doorways. The trouble is, so long as one of those super-geeks can get results, I *have* to be able to compete, or I have to stick to easier keywords.

If Search engines really want to stop spam then they have only one realistic option - they have to stop it from working.

#15 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 09:01 PM

That has to be one of the best posts I've seen on the subject, anywhere, Ammon.

#16 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 03 December 2002 - 11:15 PM

Phil, your historical view of SEO is your view.

I've been doing SEO the way I do it now since I started doing it in 1995. I can't quite recall when it started being called search engine optimization, however, but the term is exactly what it is I do.

Again, we're not arguing about whether SEO is spam. We're simply arguing about the definition of SEO, and obviously we will never agree on it.

When you start calling the type of SEO you're talking about SES (search engine spamming) then I'll start calling mine SEF.

Deal? :?

Jill

#17 BillSlawski

BillSlawski

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15644 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 03:08 AM

There's a flaw in the very idea of a search engine like Google, or Altavista, or Fast, or even Aliweb. The flaw isn't in the engine itself or how it ranks pages. It has more to do with the underlying anarchy of the web itself.

In a small and controlled environment, you can get people to build pages which are "optimized" solely on the basis of their content. Metadata information would indicate how and where something should be indexed. Human review would verify that information about the contents of documents was correct. If it wasn't, corrections could be made, and the index would be valid. Libraries have systems like this.

On the web, you have a large number of authors of web pages, many of whom are unaware of the use of metadata, or of titles that reflect actual content, or the use of headings. There are so many pages that human review and indexing is almost impossible. There are noncommercial sharings of information based upon ideas maybe best described in writings about "gift economies." There are also people who are trying to engage in commercial activities on the web. The lack of structure and order and focus makes indexing a challenge.

Some regulation of the web is left to private commercial entities like Google, and other search engines. The internet is a nonspatial place, and it's difficult for government to say what practices are right and wrong, especially since those practices have little regard for national boundaries. It's not against the law to cloak, or create doorway pages, etc. It is against the law to commit fraud, and engage in some other practices. The government does provide some regulation. But, search engines try to shape behavior on the web by offering a benefit for acting in a certain manner.

On one hand, it's in the engines' best interests to have knowledgeable and capable people building pages that are search engine friendly. Because of them, there is some relevance to results of searches.

On the other hand, people who are knowledgeable and capable also have some insight on how to manipulate results so that one competitor's pages show up in results before anothers.

To a large degree, Google, and other search engines, are private companies, attempting to regulate the web. Or, at least, to regulate the activities of people who care about whether or not they show up in those engines' results.

It has to be a real struggle for them, because the more information they provide people about "best practices," the more they give people insights on how to manipulate their systems. Unlike a library or intranet, they have often have little control over the pages that appear in their indexes beyond the threat of doing such things as applying penalties or banning sites.

If you asked someone at most engines whether SEO = Spam, I think that they would say that SEO is good when it helps provide relevant results in their index, and SEO is bad when it makes their index look less relevant. They would also say that SEO is also bad when it chews up a great amount of the indexes' resources, such as using automated programs to check rankings. It's not a question of ethics or morals as much as it is keeping searchers' perceptions of the relevance of results pages.

Some people make claims that engines should be regulated as if they were a public resource. They say that should happen because so many people rely upon them. I'd say that those people are right, but for the wrong reason. The engines have taken it upon themselves to index the web. For a number of them, you don't sign a contract with them, nor do you have to submit a page. They will follow an indexed page to your site, and index the site. You don't opt-in to having their spiders visit, though you can opt-out with a robot exclusion file. There's no unwritten contract out there that says that these engines can make commercial use of your pages by including you in their index. By taking without asking, and by regulating in exchange for a listing in their index, they've made themselves a public resource.

What implications does that hold? Here's one: if a search engine is going to penalize a site, they should inform the site's owners why, and give them an opportunity to respond or to make changes. If they do end up penalizing the site, they should let the site's owners know that they have, and why.

Engaging in arm length conversations with other business owners and with the builders of nonprofit and noncommercial web sites is a great practice, and one which search engines should embrace. One which can benefit both sides. There's a great article in the December 3, 2002 edition of SearchDay which looks at AliWeb, and the personal index that they required people to build in order to have AliWeb index their site. People didn't build that index, and the engine suffered because of it.

#18 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 09:30 AM

Phil, your historical view of SEO is your view.

Are you suggesting that it was SEFs who first called themselves "search engine optimizers". If so, you are mistaken. The word "optimization" was used because that's what SEOs were doing - optimizing pages according to Ammon's definitions.

Again, we're not arguing about whether SEO is spam.  We're simply arguing about the definition of SEO, and obviously we will never agree on it.

This is true. We're a bit off-topic. I suppose I'm still under the influence of someone going way over the line by refering to people like me as a "scum bucket companies" and "scummy".

When you start calling the type of SEO you're talking about SES (search engine spamming) then I'll start calling mine SEF.

Deal? :?

Ok, it's a deal. I already said that everyone who takes steps to manipulate the rankings is a spammer. I take steps to manipulate the rankings, so what I do is SES (search engine spamming).

Will you now admit that what you do is SEF (search engine friendlyizing) and not SEO (search engine optimizing)?

Phil.

#19 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 09:40 AM

LOL

I'll admit that it's SEF, but not that it's not SEO. I don't imagine you'll admit that your SES is not SEO either, right?

Meanwhile, we still can't agree on a term for SEO!

Jill

#20 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 10:00 AM

Ah. You want it both ways.

You see, I "optimize" pages, whereas you don't. So I am correct in calling myself an optimizer, but people who don't actually optimize, are incorrect to call themselves optimizers. They would be correct in calling themselves "search engine promoters".

It's perfectly simple - people who don't actually "optimize" are not optimizers. I don't know how I can make it any easier to understand.

Phil.

#21 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 10:06 AM

Aha! I knew you wouldn't do it either!

Actually, I optimize pages too. How 'bout you tell me what it is you do to pages to optimize them? I'm quite certain I do the same things.

If you are under the impression that all I do is have keyword-rich copy added to pages, you'd be...well...mistaken! (I'm not a copywriter, by the way. I'm an SEO :D I do hire copywriters to do that one aspect of my SEO work, however. I sure wish it was all I had to do, because then I'd have a whole lot of free time on my hands!)

J

#22 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 10:39 AM

Of course I won't do it. Whether or not I am an SEO isn't in question. It's whether or not YOU are an SEO that's in question.

Actually, I optimize pages too. How 'bout you tell me what it is you do to pages to optimize them? I'm quite certain I do the same things.

I don't need to tell you. It's the description of your methods that is in question, so you tell me what you do.

I'll tell you one thing though. There are two main parts to SEO. The first is known as making the existing pages search engine friendly. That's the easy part. The skillful work starts after that. From what I've seen you write, you do the first part, but then you stop and leave the sites to rank naturally - as you said earlier in this thread.

This is my understanding of what you do:-

With each suitable page in the site, and for one or two target search terms, you friendlyize elements like the Title tag, meta description and keywords tags, alt text, link text, title attributes, perhaps comment tags, perhaps filenames and filepaths, you probably make H tags where they didn't exist, and any other on-page elements that you think might help. You sometimes split pages so that you can increase the number of targeted search terms. I know you don't do the copywriting yourself, but you do include that.

Apart from good copywriting (which you don't do), anyone can do that stuff. All good SEOs do it if the site is suitable and site owner is happy to have the pages altered. It's known as making the pages search engine friendly.

It is my understanding that you don't "optimize" the on-page elements. E.g. you have freely admitted that you don't optimize one of the most important elements - the Title tag. It is simply impossible to optimize it for more than one search term. You can, of course, friendlyize it for more than one search term, but that's not optimizing. Similarly, it isn't possible to "optimize" the H tags for more than one search term, and so on, and so on.

I think you are making a mistake and thinking that techniques like redirects, cloaking and multiple domains are what I mean by optimizing. I don't. They are nothing to do with optimizing. They are techniques that some optimizers use, but that's all. Optimizing a page is optimizing. Sticking a target search term in roughly the right places in the various on-page elements is making the page search engine friendly. That's what you do Jill. It isn't optimizing.

I'm sorry, Jill, but you are not a search engine optimizer in the accepted sense of the phrase. You are a search engine promoter, and you do it by search engine friendlyizing. But do correct me if my understanding of what you do is wrong.

Phil.

#23 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 01:12 PM

It is simply impossible to optimize it for more than one search term.


Says who? Now you're just talking crazy talk. :silly:

Just because you can't optimize a page for more than one phrase you say that it's not search engine optimization? :roll: :roll: :roll:

#24 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 01:35 PM

Jill, if you don't know that it isn't possible to optimize a Title tag for more than one search term, then you don't know what optimizing is. You only think you know.

Phil.

#25 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13638 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 01:37 PM

In the middle and late 1990's the popular term was "website promotion", not search engine optimization or search engine marketing.

I went back through my files to remind myself what it was like when search engines meant there were at least 10 of them to worry about, not today's single Google. Back then, a webmaster was faced with the shock of learning their website just might not get into search engines at all because, low and behold, search engines weren't created to work with all types of web pages.

For example, frames. How many people loved them, only to abandon them when they learned crawlers ignored them?

Example, links. Deep crawlers crawled links. This presented problems. What if your site was graphic intensive? How would it be added to an index unless you submitted each page separately? This gave rise to software that could submit pages by the thousands, to which the search engines responded by blocking IPs.

The link issue brought forth doorways, hallways, and gateway pages of just links - because this is what was needed to be added to an index for some websites. It was necessary to devise all means to attract spiders, and from this it was learned that those pages worked so well that search engines began to shut down any domain that relied on them.

Engines aren't the only ones who created their own mess. Yahoo! started out by listing websites alphabetically, not by relevancy. People found they could take advantage of this by putting symbols and the letter "A" in some form at the beginning of their title tag or company name.

Back in the days when a website wanted to be found, it had to adhere to the rules and algorithms for Alta Vista, Excite, Hotbot, Webcrawler, OpenText, Infoseek, Lycos, Yahoo and Northern Light. An entire industry was born out the need to satisfy the desire to get into those search engines because each has its own algorithms, indexing and ranking criteria.

Someone needed to know how each engine worked, how each directory worked, how to make pages that would be indexed by each them, where to put them so that they were separate from the versions that needed to meet the requirements of another engine, keyword density, how often to submit, how to read search engine logs, how to track indexed pages, how to track visitors, how to build meta tags, how to construct a page so that crawlers could navigate JavaScript, what dynamic links couldn't be crawled, FLASH workarounds, frames workarounds, MSFrontpage code workarounds and then the killer skill of all, how to get a page to rank well and beat the competition.

A lot of us come from that time when our skills were worth gold and in high demand. Without our help, there was little hope of ever getting into a search engine unless you had money to buy ad space.

Then Yahoo! introduced a fee per URL. Everyone else followed suit except Google and DMOZ (of the top guns.)

Today, the only player anyone seems concerned with is Google and it costs nothing to get into. You don't even have to submit your site because if other sites link to it, Google will find it.

The other search engines merged with directories and now we have search portals, including Yahoo! (which always was a directory and engine). There's very little discussion on how to get into these others and they're dying or still merging (like FAST/Lycos). Trying to decide whether or not to bother with getting into them and paying their fees is about as exciting as driving around town looking for a gas station that will save me 3 cents per gallon. After awhile it doesn't seem worth the worry or effort , especially when Google brings the most traffic and isn't costing anything.

Search Engine Optimization is not SPAM. It is not evil. It is a skillset that complimented and serviced the search industry. We counseled clients on how to purchase ads for better exposure, delivering revenue to their doorstep. We studied their FAQs and guided clients on how to adhere to those FAQs. There were times I wanted to plaster that Yahoo! FAQ on a client's forehead and make them repeat after me - "We have the right to change anything. We have the right to refuse your site. We have the right to put your site wherever the heck we want." Because if I didn't make them read it, they would ignore it altogether and get upset with Yahoo! when things didn't go their way. Or, worse, blame me.

Rank is where the road we traveled turned the ugly corner.

Search engines do not know how to effectively sort and filter those billions of pages they index. Google turned it into a popularity contest, which was easy to take advantage of - so people do.

Before Google was introduced, it was learned how easy it was to play head games with servers and crawlers and so cloaking, redirects, etc. were created. These tactics were devised because the search portals were not delivering what they promised. And how could they? What is the definition of "relevant", "quality", "popular" anyway? When 100 websites are ALL relevant, quality and popular, WHAT NEXT?

Pay per rank. We may have to get past the idea that just because a site paid for the number one spot doesn't mean it isn't also worthy of being there and we may have to get used to really ugly sites being in that same number one spot simply because they have the money to be there. We will have to click to decide relavancy and not take an engine's word for it anymore.

It's my feeling that my work in SEO began as a "search engine helpdesk" role. It was about promoting pages TO search sites and teaching clients how to get in the door of each one. When the way to get in became fee-based, the need for my help seemed less vital. But, the other sister industry, SER (search engine RANK), is booming. It's faced with trying to work with an industry that's still inventing itself, as in the recent Yahoo!/Google "blended" results.

The need for SEO remains as long as the technology struggles with frames, FLASH, and dynamic sites.

The curious thing about Google, to me, is that they would have any problem with SEO at all. Their problem is with submission practices developed to help sites compete in a global environment because the present solution for ranking sites isn't working.

I'd like to see a fair ranking system developed for an environment of many cultures, languages, and user needs such as ecom, research, blogs, personal pages and news. Google, nor any other search company, hasn't found the answer yet (although Google has the best so far). In the meantime there's millions of websites pounding on the doors, some of whom will locate a savvy programmer who will find a way to unlock those doors because they see the loopholes and errors in theory.

Kim

#26 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 01:48 PM

Jill, if you don't know that it isn't possible to optimize a Title tag for more than one search term, then you don't know what optimizing is. You only think you know.

Phil.

You're simply not making any sense to me, Phil!

Who else here can optimize a site and get high rankings for more than one keyword phrase? Please raise your hands...

Surely I can't be the only one!

Jill

#27 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:16 PM

No, Jill, you are not the only one. You are not even one, because it can't be done. I'll spell it out for you.

For a particular search engine, there is an optimal position for a search term to be in the Title tag, as compared to the number of words in the tag, and there is an optimal number of words in the tag. It is a matter of common sense that the position can be occupied by only one search term.

Now don't go reading things into that that I didn't say. I didn't say, for instance, that the number of words and the position of the search term are the only things are effective with the Title tag. I simply said that that there is an optimal number of words, and an optimal position within thse words for the search term.

It's no good asking "who can optimize a site and get high rankings for more than one keyword phrase" because the answer is - everyone can. I never said that a site cannot be worked on to get high rankings for more than one search term; I was talking about a page - not a site, and you know it! Subliminal switches like that are plain silly.

Another thing. Everyone can target more than one search term per page. But nobody can optimize a page for more than one search term. I don't think you know the difference.

Phil.

#28 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:22 PM

Jill, if you don't know that it isn't possible to optimize a Title tag for more than one search term, then you don't know what optimizing is. You only think you know.

Phil.

You're simply not making any sense, Phil!

I've had a thought. If I'm not making any sense, please explain to me the practical details of how to optimize a page's Title tag for more than one search term. If it can be done, I am more than willing to learn how, and I will gladly admit that I've been wrong.

Please demonstrate it by writing a Title tag that is optimized for the terms, "new york hotels" and "san francisco hotels"

Phil.

#29 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13638 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:26 PM

Who else here can optimize a site and get high rankings for more than one keyword phrase? Please raise your hands... 

Surely I can't be the only one!


Phil was referring to the title tag being optimized for more than one search term. My three terms (cre8pc, search engine optimization and usability) don't have much to do with each other but my site covers both things so I have to try. It really helped to have a weird, uncommon name for the website.

My title tag brings back these results, from Google. Title - "About search engine optimization & usability by Cre8pc."

cre8pc - #1
search engine optimization and usability - #1
search engine usability - #4
search engine optimization - #32 (it's taking a beating there. Was better.)
usability (buried)

search for "user interface usability" brought up one of my inside pages in the #22 spot, which will lead the user to the rest of the site. Not bad. Competitive terms. Example of a page acting as a "doorway" by choosing a related keyword/phrase.

My site does pretty well on "website promotion", which it used to be really optimized for years back, because of the site description, not the title tag.

Branding plays a part in this too. The more people who remember "Cre8pc" and then manage to actually spell it, is all the more better for searching on it. It's a case of promoting the domain, as opposed to the subject.

I've successfully reoptimized a client site from their main keyword, to a secondary phrase they felt was more accurate for what they do and didn't force them to bang heads with their competition. All I did for them was revise the title tag and back it up with something that complimented it within the content. One recrawl and my job was accomplished.

Kim

#30 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:29 PM

I meant 'page' also, not 'site.'

Another thing. Everyone can target more than one search term per page. But nobody can optimize a page for more than one search term. I don't think you know the difference.

You're right, I sure don't know the difference, and I don't believe there is a difference.

I can't optimize your Title tag for you, because I optimize Title tags after the entire page is optimized. That's one of the last things to do. Since all factors on the page play into each other, it's impossible (for me) to simply optimize a Title tag out of thin air without a corresponding page to go with it.

Jill

#31 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:33 PM

Can't you pretend that the page is written? You can even pretend that it's been written in an absolutely ideal way for those 2 terms to optimized in the Title tag.

Phil.

#32 chris

chris

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 134 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:33 PM

ROFL. Eh Voila, there you have your difference.

Whether something can be considered optimized or not depends on your definition of what the end result should be. One phrase, or many, short term rankings or long term stability. Pure traffic, brand awareness, ROI. Optimized, and optimization is another one of those very broad terms the industry loves. When we optimize we do so to a goal definition that exists within our minds and that is appropriate to the site.

After all, the only true search engine optimizers are the search engine engineers. Or is that just another example of how different goals affect interpretation of the term :-)

"Optimal" is a goal we strive for. An optimizer is one who strives for that goal. Optimization is the process of striving for the goal. But the specifics of the goal vary.

As for "search engine friendliness": A page is not friendly to the search engines, putting the following text in your pages does not help with rankings:

"Hello Googlebot, glad you popped by. You know what, you're a really great search engine. When you're next in town stop by and we'll go for a drink".

She optimizes, plain and simple. Calling someone something different just because they go about it a different way is a whole different ball game.

#33 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:49 PM

Another thing. Everyone can target more than one search term per page. But nobody can optimize a page for more than one search term. I don't think you know the difference.

You're right, I sure don't know the difference, and I don't believe there is a difference.

And there you have it. You don't know the difference.

Chris, you make some good points. I differ with your final sentence though. A person who doesn't optimize isn't an optimizer. I think that's quite straight forward. I believe that many search engine promoters call themselves search engine optimizers. They promote sites in different ways, including making the pages search engine friendly. What they don't do is optimize web pages. Jill has said she doesn't know the difference, or even believe that there is one, so I think we have the answer.

Phil.

#34 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:50 PM

Thank you, Chris, my knight in shining armor! :robot: <--high tech knight!

And, Phil, I said I don't know the difference because there IS no difference, imo.

Jill

#35 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:55 PM

I said I don't know the difference because there IS no difference.

That's my point exactly. You don't think there is a difference. You've never been on the inside of optimizing web pages so what on earth makes you think that there is no difference between it and making pages search engine friendly? You don't have the experience to know.

Phil.

#36 chris

chris

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 134 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 02:55 PM

And indeed if there was a difference, not knowing it does not of itself not mean you are not an optimizer.

Of course, the easiest way to test if she is an optimizer would be to ask the all knowledgeable Google.

http://www.google.co...8&start=20&sa=N

Which is a pretty good show for that term from a non-optimizer :D


P.S. Sorry about the Page 3 Jill ;)

#37 Guest_PhilC_*

Guest_PhilC_*
  • Guests

Posted 04 December 2002 - 03:03 PM

And indeed if there was a difference, not knowing it does not of itself not mean you are not an optimizer.

Of course, the easiest way to test if she is an optimizer would be to ask the all knowledgeable Google.

http://www.google.co...8&start=20&sa=N

Which is a pretty good show for that term from a non-optimizer :D

Oh, there is a difference alright - a very big difference. As you say, not knowing the difference doesn't mean that a person isn't an optimizer, but I put my understanding of what Jill does to her in an earlier post, and invited corrections if there were any. As no corrections came, I assume I was correct. What I described her as doing is known as making pages search engine friendly - it is not optimizing pages.

Also, I asked her to demonstrate an optimized Title tag for 2 search terms in case it is me that is wrong. She can't.

Incidentally, search results are not relevant.

I'm off to watch The Bill.

Phil.

#38 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13638 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 03:05 PM

Phil said:

They promote sites in different ways, including making the pages search engine friendly. What they don't do is optimize web pages.


When I read this sentence, I read it as:

"They promote sites in different ways, including making the pages search engine friendly. What they don't do is optimize web pages for rank."

For my own work in SEO my focus was simply getting the pages into the engines in the first place. I guess you could call that the "search engine friendly" part. If a client wanted to be competitive, I added optimization to my list of things to do for them.

An example of my work would be a client I had that hired a design firm to build their website for them. I was hired to REBUILD (and recode) the entire site because the design firm made the site entirely in graphics, including the content. There wasn't a stitch of engine usable code on the entire website. My job was to fix that, after that original design firm was fired.

SEO professionals provide a wide variety of services. To lump them into a narrow category and blast the lot for being a bunch of spammers is a load of bull.

K.

#39 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13638 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 03:25 PM

Incidentally, search results are not relevant. 

I'm off to watch The Bill. 

Phil.


ok. Guess that means I can go watch General Hospital. :shock:

#40 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 04 December 2002 - 03:43 PM

I'm actually writing these posts in the middle of writing today's newsletter, which is why I haven't been able to give you more details. If I'm still able to think/write later tonight, I'll definitely be answering your various points. (Although I kinda think it will be a waste of time.) However, if not answering them makes you think that I don't have an answer, then that's what I'll have to do!

Jill



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users