webcentric - 3:05 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think "SEO" is unfortunate term as it is often connected with manipulation. Today's SEO has expanded on what it covers, also because of the usage signals, but ultimately the task is still Search Engine Optimisation.
The point I'm making and I'll credit this point to others who introduced it in this thread, is that if you take concept of "Web Site Optimization" (WS0) and break it down, you will find that SEO (White Hat SEO) fits very neatly inside of it.
I disagree that the task is simply SEO unless the only objective is fast money. There are also many other means of promoting a legitimate business concern, i.e.
Flyers and other printed materials,
Articles and press releases,
Door to door,
Word of mouth,
Traditional mailing campaigns,
Paid advertisements in any media,
SEO (even in its most angelic form) should be primarily a foundation for getting along with the main search engines (not dominating them). Any other motive (like dominating a keyword) (I'll qualify this with the admission that there may be some some good motives that aren't crossing my mind right now) belongs in the category of manipulating the results, pushing the latest fad or otherwise going for quick money. If one is looking to build long-term success and one thinks that the search engines (which are fighting a constant war with Black Hat SEO types) are gonna keep one in the game forever for any reason, then that particular personage is delusional. To bolster the point, say goodbye to InfoSeek if you already haven't done so. Spamming of the Keywords meta tag basically rendered that Search Engine useless in it's final days.
Another point I've been trying to make is that if you're constantly trying to push yourself to the top of the SERPS, then you're not spending as much time as you probably should be creating valuable content that, in many instances, can sell itself. I'm not gonna devalue the comments by publishers of high-quality content who have been shoved down in the SERPS by junk competition (because it's happened and will continue to happen) or by scrapers or other devious types but I am saying that people can either keep playing the game of artificially manipulating the SERPS or they can just focus on business as it should be and not be part of the ongoing problem.
I'm really loving the acronym "WSO" because it reflect my ongoing attitude toward this whole subject, namely, build a real website, offer something real and let it stand on it's own "real" merits. Make sure you follow best practices (which include suggestions from search engine services). Forget the inequities (particularly the ones you can't control) and just be the best you can be. Don't rely on one means of promotion (i.e. don't let Google dictate your success) and stop feeling like a failure for not dominating a world filled with other people who are also trying to dominate the world. Oh, and stop thinking that the SERPS are the extent of the known world. Of course I could go on but this dead horse is not gonna move.
If you want to make money with a website, fine. Just don't expect that Google, the USPS or any other entity has a stake in helping you do it or that their gonna help you get it done.