Saturday, April 7, 2007

Who Are You Creating Web Content For? The Balance of Power Between People and Robots


I’m asked frequently about how do you get a website ranked higher on search engines. This art is constantly evolving. Some people pay a monthly king’s ransom for the silver bullet to getting a guaranteed high rank. The days of simplicity where you just put topical stuff in your META tags to attract search engines is long dead. The secret formulas to search engines are complex and ever-changing. Here are some of the current ingredients:

  • Explicit links to what is on your site
  • External links to your site
  • Title tags
  • META tags
  • Well-written page content
  • Age of domain

At the 2007 SXSW Interactive Festival they talked specifically about this topic in their “Making SEO and Usability Work Together” discussion panel. I’m personally very interested in venues where machines and people have to coexist, so I was excited to read about this. Their recommendation to tailor content to humans and let the robots sort it out was good to hear, but there are those who will always pay for the silver bullet. This breeds an environment where people will write content for search engine robots and not people. I’m hoping that just like the topical META tagging died, so will things like the weighting of keyword density for robots.

My recommendation to people is to use a large dose of common sense and write for your customer. Build a good website, get it noticed by others and they will come.

1 comment:

GERI@MYEXECUTIVECOACH.COM said...

MICHAEL. YOUR WRITING REFLECTS THOUGHTFULNESS AND PERSPECTIVE. THANKS FOR BRINGING A COMMON SENSE PERSPECTIVE TO A NON-GEEK LIKE ME. YOUR WRITING IS RICH AND FRIENDLY AND ALWAYS INTERESTING.

KEEP WRITING.

GERI G.
BUFFALO, NY