aakk9999 - 9:01 pm on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: aakk9999 at 9:11 pm (utc) on Sep 8, 2013]
Lets put SERPs manipulation (ranking mediocre site because of SEO only) to one side.
So you have a site with a great content. And it is nicely designed and looks really pretty. BUT (just for example):
- owing to inconsistent URL capitalisation the site has created many duplicate pages.
- Lets say the site sells something that require information on dates, and it has been developed to put dates in URL. This creates more pages.
- Lets assume that site shows a great custom error page for an URL that does not exist, but the response code is 200 OK, creating infinite URL space
- Lets assume that the users, who were handed this brilliantly designed site, have products that are the same in all respects apart from colour and size, so they create a separate page for each of these products - as it make sense for the user.
- lets say that on a multilingual site someone decides to redirect the user to a page language version based on IP address, so Google sees nothing apart from English
- ... and so on... I could come up with many more examples
What I am getting at is - you can have a brilliant site, great content with a superb design, but without the knowledge of SEO and without SEO best practices being applied, the site will under perform in SERPs.
Now we could argue that this should be developer's job to know and do these things.
In reality - most don't. Or don't know enough. Or the knowledge they had gets outdated. They don't even read boards like this.
In fact, web developers that do know all these things (and more) are rare and if you find a developer like this - stick to them - they are worth every penny!
Most web developers are great coders and when the site is tested operationally from the user point of view, everything is great, but how is developed may not work for Googlebot.
So for this reason SEO is needed.
In a way, you can look at it as if a website has two types of customers. Visitors are one of them. Search engines are the other. And a website must perform great to both.
[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:11 pm (utc) on Sep 8, 2013]