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Search Engine Optimization: It's all about the content

By on Oct 17, 2005 in Search Engine Optimization & Marketing

When working to improve your website’s search engine ranking, it’s easy to get focused on coding and technical details and forget that they actually play a relatively small role in your overall results.

When clients ask me what they should do to optimize their sites for search engines, my frequent recommendation is to use that budget to create better content, better products and a better user experience.

This isn’t always what they want to hear, but it’s the right recommendation. As Google itself writes, “Make pages for users, not for search engines.”

Today, SEO extraordinaire Mike Grehan writes on about the notion that “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dead.” I think the Grehan’s analysis is spot-on.

The point is not that SEO can’t make a difference — it can — but that you’ll generally get a higher return if you focus on creating more compelling content for users than if you focus on optimizing your website for search engines.

The factors of Google’s algorithm that you can control (onsite factors) are dwarfed by factors you can’t control (offsite factors) — these include how many sites link to you, which sites those are, how often they link to you and how they link to you, among others.

By investing in making your website a great place to be — through awesome, easy-to-find content and easy-to-use applications — you’ll not only increase the number of people coming to your site through external links, but you’ll also increase the number of people staying at your site, reading your articles and buying your products.

More resources

The Tao of CTPM: Why SEO is Doomed and CTPM is The Way (pdf)

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