Last night, Gregory Markel from InfuseCreative revealed to our class the myth of SEO. Enjoying a dual rock-star status in both the SEO industry and the "real" world, Gregory has been working on SEO since the pre-Google days. With his frank speaking style, Gregory jokingly pointed out that at that nascent stage of technology, SEO was as primitive and simple as "a bunch of geeks trying to fool search engines."
Looking back at his decade-plus work in the SEO field, Gregory has witnessed how times have changed since then, and how SEO has evolved alongside the growth of search engines and their search algorithms. From the early days' emphasis on keywords, to today's focus on inbound links and site structural aspects, there are so many factors nowadays that determine whether a site will be optimized to be picked up in search engine results. Search engines like Google have become more omniscient and sophisticated in assessing if a site is worth being presented to its users. As we all know, Google's goal is helping its users find quality websites which provide relevant content, and providing its users with a good web experience. As a result, a site that does provide a good user experience will always succeed and find for itself a favorable place in Google's world. This is also the golden key to SEO passed onto us by Gregory through his speech: after he touched base with us on numerous useful SEO technical skills, all these skills ultimately pointed towards the same direction: building a well-structured, content-relevant website that can provide a better web experience for its users. Yes, as simple as it is, it's the core of SEO. SEO is not just about making friends with search engines, but at its core is about how to better serve your users, as they are the real bosses of search engines.
Given this, it is unarguable that SEO is really something that should be built into the genetic code of a website. It should be taken into consideration from the very first phase of planning the construction of a website: is your site well structured? Keep in mind that an error occurring on your site during your user's visit is more likely to reduce your site's ranking in Google's search results, as it indicates the poor web experience you provide for your users. Are your title, content, and descriptions relevant to what you want to convey? What can you do to design a better landing page for your users? Also, is there any other way to creatively build keyword-relevant content? What can you learn about your competitors? All these questions were raised in class, and made for a fascinating discussion on the topic of SEO.
As I have become very engaged in the SEO topic, I am glad that I will get a chance to do a presentation on this topic for one of my classes in two weeks. This way, I can explore SEO more deeply, and then share my findings with all my classmates and the readers of my blog!