From SEO Skepticism to SEO Fascination

Skepticism is a quality shared by truth seekers, free thinkers and realists.

Skepticism is both a good and bad quality to have. There are good and bad SEO practices to follow. It’s good to be an SEO skeptic.
(Photo by cbcastro, Flickr, Available via Creative Commons License)

Back in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), when it was picking up speed as an industry in the late 1990s, I didn’t think very highly of it. After all, I was a web content manager working on corporate intranet websites and I was writing with my target audience in mind, not search engines.

Some of the early SEO tactics (e.g., keyword density) contradicted “writing for the web” best practices. (I was a big fan of Jakob Nielsen’s “Writing for the Web” findings and philosophies at the time, by the way.)

Whenever I stumbled across a website that obviously had been built by an SEO company, I cringed. The writing was horrendous. How was anyone supposed to read, much less learn anything from the poorly written (yet highly search-engine-optimized) content?

Despite the disdain I felt for SEO, I appreciated that there were (and still are) search engine optimization best practices to know and follow.

After all, an unreadable website is wrong. An un-retrievable website is also wrong.

Regardless of my feelings toward the SEO industry, I have paid attention. In fact, I have read, studied and learned a great deal over the years. I’ve incorporated SEO best practices as I’ve outlined, written and edited website content for the past 12+ years.

The reason that I’m writing about a topic that I was skeptical of for so long is that I believe the new age of social search will lead to fascinating changes for web content strategists. I’m watching. And, with some luck, I’ll be blogging about it.

Stay tuned for my next post…my view on social media.

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Filed under: SEO, social search, Writing for the Web

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