Is Search Engine Optimization really bullshit?

According to Eoghan McCabe it is. And he used to study, practice and charge for Search Engine Optimization so he should know what he’s talking about.

I don’t know enough about the topic to weigh in but a recent trend in visits to this blog would seem to back up his opinion. It’s only a few weeks since I posted here about the collaborative map of Irish wifi hotspots and already that post it coming out tops for Google searches on ‘Irish wifi‘. Now this blog’s design is as dull as dyke-water and I’ve never even attempted any SEO ‘tricks’ but I’m guessing it was due to the enthusiastic reaction and linking from other bloggers, Twitter and Jaiku users that the post so quickly percolated up to the top.

Eoghan continues, "I genuinely believe that the only reason you need to hire someone specifically for SEO is if your site wasn’t built using best practices in the first place. Relevant page titles, human-friendly urls, accessible alt attributes, title attributes, semantic markup and on-topic content is all part of best web development practices".

I guess my TypePad template takes care of most of that and it’s up to me to ensure the content is on-topic / of interest.

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4 Responses to “Is Search Engine Optimization really bullshit?”

  1. Peter Knight Says:

    It’s a real shame that those original comments are floating around on the web and ‘floating’ I think is the most apt term for comments like that.
    Like many web-related studies, the SEO industry is full of self proclaimed experts because the entry barrier is so low. *But* that learning and expertise curve goes north rapidly once you work with any client in a competitive market that needs to put some distance between itself and it’s competitors. Factor in the competitor also carrying out their own SEO and you get a lot of leapfrogging on the search engines. It gets very scientific, technical and creative very quickly when the paint has long dried on the standards built web site and you’ve got 2(sometimes 200) competitors battling it out for maximum exposure on the major search engines.
    Just a side note…some of Ireland’s best known SEO’s (Richard, Dave, Martina, Ed, Tom D) are a credit to the entire industry and working very hard in their fields to get great results for their SEO clients.
    Disclaimer: I do quite a lot of SEO myself.

  2. Will King Says:

    Couple of reasons why I think your site comes top in google search.
    Firstly you are using a Google product – Google MyMaps and Google kml. In my experience Google promote sites (in unpaid listings) which use their products anyway ie Blogger, Adwords. Google have recently made kml searchable so this will add weight to your site.
    Secondly have you looked what other sites cover “Irish Wifi”? This map fills a real gap, before it there was hardly any resources to find wifi hotspots here.
    I’m going to test this theory by making a map for something exotic and see how long it takes to get indexed and ranked.

  3. Bernie Goldbach Says:

    I think another special ingredient of the eirepreneur search engine standing goes back to Six Apart’s ping services and to the XML generated by Feedburner RSS feeds from eirepreneur that are later folded into Google Reader by those who visit this site. Both Feedburner and Google Reader talk to Googlebot. The results, when corroborated by search engine queries, can push topics described on this blog to the top of the search results.
    It’s happening now, juiced by Google, stoked by RSS XML-RPC.

  4. Louie @ Eire-WebDesign Says:

    Just because someone studied, practised and charged for SEO doesn’t mean they did the right thing. SEO, is a long process and just by making changes to a website it doesn’t mean it’s going to show up in the SERPs. It’s a long process, has many factors that needs to be taken in consideration, requires a lot of patients and from my point of view it’s an art.
    Another thing, blogs tend to rank quicker in the SERPs because they are full of content related to a particular subject, it’s spoken from the heart and for people, the reason Google advice is to “Make pages for users, not for search engines” as mentioned here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769&topic=8522
    Most blog packages, pings SE anytime a user writes a new post, while adding a new product to a commercial website doesn’t.
    Hope this answer few of the questions raised.

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