webcentric - 2:22 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)
I have to say, I dont like to reading the word "SEO" in the same sentence as spam or link schemes, etc.
Well, that horse long since left the barn (IMHO). I think many here agree that the association of a legitimate skill-set with the darker side is unfortunate. Is is too late for the reputation of SEO as a label or is perhaps a little re-branding all that's needed? Perhaps a full-scale PR campaign to restore its image is required? I don't know. There is a bigger picture though and my preferred approach (certainly not for everyone) has been to market comprehensive website development services, namely
1. Follow best practices for markup (as much as possible and practical given the ongoing nature of the browser wars). The Internet needs to be machine-readable as well as human readable (this isn't an SEO-only consideration).
2. Consider the needs of people using assistive technology. People are people too.
3. Follow best practices for client and server-side programming which includes the topics of security and scalability (just to name a couple).
4. Offer something of value from a content or service perspective (content addresses the needs/desires of both humans and machines so why narrow its definition by emphasizing it first and foremost as an SEO component?). Which came first? The keyword or the content and why did the meta-tag cross the road?
5. Make it intuitive, useful, and dare I venture, "fun" for the end user.
If you can do the above (not a comprehensive list by any means) and then monetize successfully, now that's a think of beauty...something to write home about (which is another excellent form of marketing BTW).
I'll also add that the needs of the client (i.e. the web development client if there is one) is a pretty darn big consideration in development and I don't mean to leave it aside. Translating business rules, goals and objectives into a web solution is a developer's most important craft, again (IMHO).