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Most Of Seo Is Just A Boondoggle


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Jill

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:41 AM

Thought you guys might be interested in my latest SEL article:

Most of SEO is Just a Boondoggle

QUOTE(Article Snippet)
With the latest brouhaha over PageRank sculpting, the boondoggle nature of many techniques that pass for SEO has become clearer than ever. A “boondoggle” is defined at Wordnet as “work of little or no value done merely to look busy.” If that doesn’t sum up PageRank sculpting via nofollow links for the past year, then nothing does!


Nothing new for HRF members, but thought it might stir things up with the rest of the "SEOs" around. naughty.gif

Your thoughts? (I think MM will enjoy the part about PR sculpting!)

#2 BBCoach

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:34 AM

Good article Jill!

#3 1dmf

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:57 AM

Sculpting PR is not proven to be a waste of time, considering Matt Cutts can't make up his mind over the effects or what his official position on the matter is.

And if you apply the attribute at page creation it's not creating any additional work load.

It's only retrospective actions which are an additional overhead.

But if SEO's are employing themselves based on now requiring to perform additional tasks... well I can see the issue you raise Jill.

But heaven forbid should ANYONE sit at there desk doing mindless rubbish just to justify their existence or to look busy.

I mean as if that ever happens in business hysterical.gif


#4 CDNSHOPGUY

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 02:04 PM

I'm not with you 100% on this one .. although i agree with most of your other stuff and its great material.

I disagree with sitemaps being useless since most search engines are taking a semantic approach to interpreting your website not to mention the benefit of webmaster tools. If you just created a site what does it take to submit a sitemap and tell google, yahoo or bing/msn about the pages on your site you want indexed ?

Does anyone really know the true weight that is placed h1 tags, nofollows, sef urls ? i think seo is a combination of tactics and some clearly work better than others .. but it doesn't hurt to try. I think title, meta description, content, inbound links are meat and potatoes... ... then again i'm still learning

#5 Jill

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE
I disagree with sitemaps being useless since most search engines are taking a semantic approach to interpreting your website


Confused about what a semantic approach has to do with sitemaps. Care to explain further what you are getting at?

#6 CDNSHOPGUY

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jul 16 2009, 04:12 PM) View Post
Confused about what a semantic approach has to do with sitemaps. Care to explain further what you are getting at?


Sitemaps are a semantic interpretation of your sites structure to explain to SE's what pages to crawl. For other examples of semantic mapping take a look at froogle's datafeed.

I would still consider this an important practice not to be overlooked. I'm sure there are other ways to get google to notice your pages but wouldn't it make sense to just submit a file that takes two seconds to create and let google decide how those pages will be ranked ? I hope this made sense.








#7 zephyr

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:03 PM

"Gresham's law... applies to any circumstance in which the "true" value of something is markedly different from the value people...accept, due to factors such as lack of information..."

" information asymmetry deals with the study of decisions in transactions where one party has more or better information than the other"

So client education is requisite to a higher degree than in most consultant situations.
It always seems to just get back to the fundamentals, whether it's baseball or SEO -
The ability & interest of the client initially may be a strong indicator of eventual project success.



#8 CDNSHOPGUY

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:47 AM

QUOTE(zephyr @ Jul 17 2009, 12:03 AM) View Post
"Gresham's law... applies to any circumstance in which the "true" value of something is markedly different from the value people...accept, due to factors such as lack of information..."

" information asymmetry deals with the study of decisions in transactions where one party has more or better information than the other"

So client education is requisite to a higher degree than in most consultant situations.
It always seems to just get back to the fundamentals, whether it's baseball or SEO -
The ability & interest of the client initially may be a strong indicator of eventual project success.


true dat

#9 Halfdeck

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

Vanessa Fox's reply in that post is worth checking out.

There are a ton of techSEO tactics that have very limited impact, and others where the impact depends on the site. For example, 301 redirects from non-www to www will not really do much for a 4 page site with 2 inbound links. Cleaning up HTML to make it semantically correct isn't necessary with a clean site but may be absolutely necessary for a penalized site with convoluted HTML - because messy HTML makes it very hard to scan the source to dig up problems. While many penalties are backlink related and on-page issues are detectable using tools (e.g. invis text), there are other types of violations that we have no tools for. For example, I've seen a Googler point at text crammed into a "small space" as a signal of spamminess.

That said, clients need to stop reading SEO blogs to the point where they believe every single optimization tactic is a good idea. Almost every move is site-dependent, so the question they should ask an SEO consultant is "will doing this help my site?" For example sculpting PageRank (in other ways than nofollow) can help a large site but if site:domain.com/* returns less than 1,000 pages for you - save your money.

Yeah you want to make sure a site is crawlable, and do things like track a handful of your highest traffic keywords to monitor penalities, but besides those things, most clients - unless they own sites like abc.com - will do better to focus on stuff like product development, marketing, non-search traffic generation, and community building than to look for SEO shortcuts.

#10 Alan Perkins

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:02 AM

Late to this owing to a long vacation. smile.gif

FWIW I've always thought a bit of Pagerank sculpting was a good thing in the right circumstances but, as always, say something as simple as that and it can be vastly misinterpreted. MC's post was a bit of a shocker, especially as it was Google themselves (through some work they did on the Google Video site) that popularised the idea of Pagerank sculpting. Now, the question is would it be a boondoggle to go back and UNDO all the Pagerank sculpting work previously done? biggrin.gif

QUOTE(article)
Other techniques that make a difference when done correctly are the flattening of the site architecture (for real, not through nofollow attributes)


What does "for real" mean? Flattening architecture means removing structure from the site - this is not always good or helpful in SEO terms and, rather than flattening architecture, the presence of nofollow usually indicates an attempt to UNFLATTEN architecture. An example of a flattened architecture would be a crawlable CSS menuing system in which every page on the site was linked to by every other page. If this is handled through, say, cascading pull-right menus, then each tier in that menuing system represents a flattened layer of the site architecture. The use of some Pagerank sculpting, whether through nofollow or anything else, can really help to re-establish the flattened architecture. BTW Pagerank sculpting is perhaps too pejorative a term in this case ... it's simply site architecting.

That said, anybody who knows me knows I believe that nofollow should be dropped. It's simply a Pagerank manipulation tool. But since it isn't dropped, and since it's only (Google) purpose is Pagerank manipulation, I don't see anything wrong with people using it for that purpose until it finally goes the way of the meta keywords tag - valid, but deprecated. In fact, meta keywords and nofollow have quite a lot in common: they were both bad ideas in hindsight (and even with foresight!), initially provided with the best of intentions and a little naďveté. But architecting your site for search engines and users is not a bad idea.

#11 1dmf

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:56 AM

appl.gif nice post, totally agree.

Hope you enjoyed your holiday.






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