Search Engine Optimization is For People Who Use Web Sites
:: Friday, August 20, 2004 ::
Ammon Johns is receiving kudos, and rightly so, for presenting what he feels is the bottom line purpose of SEO practices. In a comment he made in someone's blog, he writes,
"SEO is all about usability and accessibility. It always has been. It is incredibly obvious that it always has been."
I can think of no company I've ever worked with who saw how "obvious" this is. Their blinders were on too tight. The negative press SEO receives has tarnished the industry. So have the bad practices deployed by individuals and companies who looked for ways to compete in engines, unfairly.
Ignoring the habits, needs, and intelligence of end users indicates to me the web site itself is desperate. Desperation is a real turn off.
"However, despite the saying being that all press is good press, I donít believe that publishing your lack of understanding of SEM/SEO has done much but allowed others who donít understand it to have a quick rant and underline their lack of understanding.
The basis of all SEO is really simple: we design for one more broad type of user-agent than most of the designers ever think of Ė even the so-called progressive ones. SEOs design for the spiders to get as much out of the site as the human users can.
That is the essence of all SEO in a nutshell.
My job, of the last ten years, is to fix the oversight and inconsiderations of the average designer employed by all levels of companies, from the mom-and-pop business to the large multi-national corporations."
In this one long blog comment, Ammon stated what I've been talking and writing about for the past several years.
I went from Webmaster in 1995, to SEO by 1997, to usability consultant by 2001. Each step forward was because I could not accept limitations.
I came to finally understand the value of putting the web site user first. How a person uses their computer is critical information for a user friendly online property of any type, be it a store, search engine, forums, information site, etc.
Search engine optimization and marketing plays a part in this. The requirements for search engine robots and humans are surprisingly very close. After all, people are the inventors of search algorithms and rating systems.
We train our pets to be more like us. We do the same with our computer technology.
In the early 1980's I worked for an animal hospital. Though hired to help with patients, it became clear I was better at maintaining their computer system. It took up one portion of the office, and my back up tapes where the size of platters. I named this computer "Hal". At an animal hospital, all living things had a name. I made sure "my" computer was included.
This is the fundamental principle for any web site presence. People do matter. Build it for them.
Yahoo! has launched a blog, called Yahoo! Search Blog. Interestingly, they link to the Google blog, a competitor. Even more fascinating, and telling, are their links to several SEO news blogs.
If the Yahoo! blog links to usability resources, I'll be completely impressed.
See What SEO/SEM and Usability Folks Say About...
:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 8/20/2004 11:56:08 AM
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