It’s no secret that SEO has a controversial past which has led to some scepticism about the whole practice.
Indeed, in the early days of the internet, it was easy to game the search engines with questionable methods including white text and link farms.
However, SEO has come a long way. The search engines are well equipped to deal with spam now, and most SEO companies practice with transparency and a quality service.
But, there are still naysayers that argue SEO is not necessary. Often this is because they don’t fully understand the practice, and have misconceptions about what search engine marketing involves.
Moz has a brilliant guide to SEO in which they defend the need for search engine marketing…
A Common Argument Against SEO
We frequently hear statements like this:
“No smart engineer would ever build a search engine that requires websites to follow certain rules or principles in order to be ranked or indexed. Anyone with half a brain would want a system that can crawl through any architecture, parse any amount of complex or imperfect code, and still find a way to return the most relevant results, not the ones that have been ‘optimized’ by unlicensed search marketing experts.”
But Wait …
Imagine you posted online a picture of your family dog. A human might describe it as “a black, medium-sized dog, looks like a Lab, playing fetch in the park.” On the other hand, the best search engine in the world would struggle to understand the photo at anywhere near that level of sophistication. How do you make a search engine understand a photograph? Fortunately, SEO allows webmasters to provide clues that the engines can use to understand content. In fact, adding proper structure to your content is essential to SEO.
Understanding both the abilities and limitations of search engines allows you to properly build, format, and annotate your web content in a way that search engines can digest. Without SEO, a website can be invisible to search engines.
This argument simplifies SEO but provides a good example of where it is necessary.
In an online market where search engines can make or break a business, it is surely obvious why you would want to have employees or outside agents monitoring your performance, and making changes to improve your ranking.
Understanding where you rank for your key industry terms is essential for monitoring your online performance and taking steps to improve it.
SEO may have doubters, but you only need to look at the top performing companies to see that they all value SEO and invest millions into the practice.