An interesting post and discussion titled “Ranking, SERPs, SEO Dead in 2009?” at Sitepoint got me thinking…
Once upon a time, you could build a site about “foo”, fill it with invisible text containing the word “foo” and get in the top 10 results in the SE’s. Years later, if you could find enough pages to stick in a link with “foo” as the alt text, you could grab top search results easily.
Search engines use increasingly more data sources and variables to determine where a webpage ends up in the search results.
Since the Florida algo update in ’04 and Adsense, it has become a trend for webmasters to “build content” with a more equals better philosophy. How often do you end up on sites looking for instructions, information, etc about a given subject, but the content reads like it was produced by an ESL student who thesaurus-ed a decent article into a mess? Soulless, awkward, re-hashed writing makes me leave such sites for warmer content.
The search engine’s goal is to provide “the best” search results to its users. The way to rank high is create “the best” content, not the most content. Finding holes in algorithms and keeping up with the latest rank manipulating schemes may bring short term gains, but I think quality sites that provide value and keep visitors engaged & returning will be the long term winners in the SE’s. Drink my kool-aid!
But, maybe I’m completely wrong. I mean, look how Ebay is SEO’n it like it was 2002.
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