The Search Engine Game
SEO is obviously something that is occupying a lot of people’s minds nowadays. Digg and other community websites are full of posts with the three-letter abbreviation. The challenge is to outsmart the search engine algorithm so that your content (well, ads) will show amongst the first search results. The number of SEO experts out there are legio, but so are the skeptics. Alastair Revell, for instance, thinks that all you need is a good grip of basic web design.
“What I believe is that writing search engine optimised pages is part and parcel of good web design and not a black art to be practised by specialists.”
I agree with Alastair on this. To me, SEO with the sole purpose of climbing as high as possible on the Google ladder, is a lot like cheating. It’s like skipping a cue. The effect is that more legitimate content could be pushed downwards. The problem then, is that if some does it, everyone needs to follow or lose their legitimate rank.
A parallel can be drawn to driving in big cities: in order to prevent cars from behind to pass and take your place, you need to keep a short distance to the car in front. This way of driving use up more fuel than necessary. It requires you to accelerate faster, and break more often than what is optimal. The same is true for SEO. The time you spend on optimizing search engine results is waste in the sense of content quality.
Instead of worrying about duplication or other SEO related problems, your time is better spent on improving content and users’ experience. In my opinion, that is the only way to be a long-term winner in the Search Engine Game.