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“Search engine optimization is not rocket science” is not wit

June 12th, 2009 No comments

I have heard the offhand statement “search engine optimization is not rocket science” a number of times lately. As if this statement is somehow witty or helpful in discussing SEO.  Of course search engine optimization is not rocket science.

But anyone with a bit of real experience in SEO will tell you this – there are a ton of subtleties to wade through in this industry. While it is not rocket science (or brain surgery, as the other cliche goes), it is most definitely diligent work that should not be done by inexperienced amateurs. There  is a ton to be said for experience.

For example, have you ever  been page one for a term that actually has over 100,000 searches a month? Neither have most rocket scientists and brain surgeons, Mr. Notsowitty.

The following things can be said about SEO, though:

– It is search engine optimization, a specialized knowledge. You can buy it for cheap but I will tell you, you almost always get what you pay for.

– True, worthwhile SEO is a many-splendoured thing that mixes long tail content development, robust backlink gathering, social media awareness and a mixture of many other things, to create what has been called “a tasty soup.”

– True SEO can’t be learned at a conference and can’t be taught.

Learning how to get legitimate ranking for tough keywords and to acquire significant traffic comes only with experience and nitty gritty work. If you don’t have experience and/or the time to acquire it and to do the nitty gritty, you’ll have to pay for the use of someone else’s experience and time. And you’re far better off doing that anyway.

And by the way: Rocket science is also not brain surgery, and vice versa, but I’ll bet you never hear people at a rocket science conference, saying things like, “Look, rocket science is not brain surgery….”

Only rocket science is rocket science. And do space shuttles even use rocket science? Or do they use space shuttle science, in which case rocket science is obsolete? I don’t know but in any case, I do not think SEO will be any time soon.

Categories: SEO, the SEO industry Tags: , ,

Bing more likely to bomb than get big

June 6th, 2009 No comments

I looked at Bing for about ten minutes when the hype came out about it last weekend. Then I went back to the old familiar when I wanted to really google some information.

Don’t get me wrong – Bing looked really interesting and it had a bunch of features that were new and seemed potentially more useful than the big G. But it also looked a whole lot like Google. And I’m sure Google is simply watching to see what people like about Bing before they swoop in and scoop those same features to add them as an option.

But the thing for me, really, is, I trust Google. And I trust Microsoft not so much. This goes well beyond search and operating systems. To my mind, Microsoft owns the dominant OS, in spite of the fact that is not very good (and is sometimes terrible).  In fact, if Microsoft debuts new products in other spheres I almost always hate them. Google is not only the best search engine, but I often like a lot of Google’s products, notably Google Earth, Google Analytics and – well, to a degree – Adsense.

Okay, I like most MS Office products better than others’ offerings but that is the exception, and the only excellent product is Excel.

I like gmail better than hotmail, although neither is awesome. And I like Chrome better than IE, although, again, neither is awesome.

So why would I trust Bing better than the Google product that started it all, The Search Engine?

<Post script: Bing was the number two search engine for exactly one day. It’s pretty much bye-bye Bing unless all that advertising for this “decision engine” actually works.>

<Post post script: Thanks to advertising, in part, and probably perception of value, too, let’s admit, Bing is growing, at least for now. >

Categories: Search engines Tags: