To your average Internet marketer or online business, SEO is the mother of all Holy Grails and seems to be a gift with only good to offer. It has the potential to transform the fortunes of a business and see any name in lights, but does this mean that it doesn’t have its haters?
Of course not – in fact there are large numbers of anti-SEO advocates that see it more as a curse than a blessing. And it isn’t like they don’t have their fair point to make truth be told – here’s a look at the top five example reasons as to why some are just not won over with the idea of SEO:
First in the list is always the way in which SEO does not encourage the production and development of quality websites for users. Those opposed to SEO argue that the more time and attention a business focuses on SEO, the less time and attention the site as a whole will receive. This can lead to the overlooking of key considerations concerning presentation, navigation, presence of relevant information, ease of access and so on and so forth. Over-optimisation has a tendency to lead to sites which are for want of a better description pure garbage.
Next comes a rebuttal to the suggestion that SEO creates a level playing field and gives all businesses at all levels a fair shot at the top. Those on the flip-side of the argument state that this is absolute rubbish – you get what you pay for with SEO so those able to pay more take the top spots. Which to an extent is understandable – SEO takes serious time, effort and skill to perfect and must be constantly tweaked, honed and added to. As such, opting for the cheapest package on the market isn’t going to get you the same quality SEO as a six-figure sum invested in the best team in the business. So once again, the bigger companies come out on top.
Google has no choice but to change its indexation systems and algorithms practically by the week in order to make sure those manipulating SEO don’t get away with it. Sadly, this also brings collateral damage in the form of honest businesses making all the right moves suddenly being stripped of their exposure when Google shifts the goalposts.
From a business point of view, SEO is a form of marketing which for a variety of reasons can never, ever guarantee a healthy return. As not even the best in the industry know what Google is going to do next, they cannot promise their efforts will be met with positive results.
And finally, every single effort made in order to fulfill an SEO demand means another effort made in favour of bots rather than people. This is becoming an epidemic of global proportions already, with the vast majority of websites now being designed, maintained and marketed to an extent of at least 95% with bots in mind. As such, the web as a whole is losing its way as the dedicated people-portal it was supposed to be.
Lisa Morton is a keen blogger on the subject of internet marketing and link building and regularly contributes to several leading newsletters.