My friends at RedShift and I started an email dialogue about a MediaPost article that proposes that SEO consultants need an attitude adjustment. I gathered my thoughts in a blog post to avoid a long email thread, so here goes.
From the article:
Mike Moran, chief strategist at Converseon, rallied the troops at the Search Insider Summit in Captiva, Fla. Friday to not only become transparent, but focus on serving consumers rather than getting backlinks or appearing on the top spot on the first page in Google search results. Don’t forget the PageRank, but think more about answering consumer questions.
I had seen the article and completely agree. Search Engine Optimization is increasingly focused on content marketing and promotion (as it should be) to serve consumer needs and help them accomplish their desired tasks online.
But let’s not ignore the reason SEO exists in the first place. There still needs to be plenty of attention paid to the basic blocking and tackling of SEO. Social media, PR and content marketing folks parading as SEO’s frequently miss the point and blur the lines between two distinct yet complementary skillsets.
Search Engine Optimization (in my mind) is a more technical specialty that includes some very geeky “behind the scenes” tactics that are often overlooked or ignored by people focused solely on creating content, including:
- Proper server configurations
- Transitions to new domains
- Site redesigns
- URL and duplicate content issues
- Search crawler accessibility
- File structures and site architecture
- Information architecture
- Link building
Again, content creation and on-site SEO go hand-in-hand and should never be separated. I’m just wary of people pretending the technical components of SEO are no longer necessary or important just because they haven’t taken the time to learn them.