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Dangerous SEO

I’ll be the first to admit, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is something that I don’t necessarily understand completely. I’m willing to bet most people don’t understand it either. Oh to be sure, we think we get it – it’s all about getting those coveted top spots in Google, Bing, Yahoo!, {insert your favorite search engine here}. So how does one get one of those spots? There are a number of ways, but as this article from ComputerWorld shows, there’s a proper way to go about it, and there is the shortcut methods. It’s those shortcuts that may ultimately get you into trouble. Not with the law, but rather with the Search Engines, which can get you pushed back down, or even possibly ignored all together.

OK, so if I don’t understand SEO but I want to increase my rankings, I should just hire one of those SEO consulting companies right? Not so fast. As JC Penny’s found out, you need to make sure you know who you are doing business with and how they are doing their business or you may get hit with the penalty. For what ever reason, JCP seems to have managed with barely a slap on the wrist. But they are a giant (of sorts), they have a multi-media advertising campaign. They have TV ads, print ads, and more. I seriously doubt they were affected much. Usually when I want something from JCP, I straight to their site. I don’t usually stumble upon it while doing a search. And when I say “I want something from JPC” … I mean “when my wife wants something from JCP…”

But the danger of lost business is very real for a smaller organization, the smaller retailers who rely on online sales to get by each month. For them the darker side of SEO is very much a temptation. It’s these companies for which any loss of ranking could mean the difference between staying open or having to close down the store front.

It’s up to us as designers, developers and IT professionals to make sure that we educate our clients on the importance of proper SEO, and to avoid the dark side of temptation of taking the easy way out. I’ll admit, SEO is still something of a mystery to me, and in the past I wouldn’t have given much thought to it. But at least now I’m a little more educated in the white, gray, and black sides of it, and should I care about SEO in the future, I’ll know enough to hopefully ask the right questions of the right people.

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Categories: Technology
  1. May 31, 2011 at 9:09 am

    one name: Graywolf 🙂

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