When SEO takes the value out of a website
Every webmaster would like to see his/her website to be the number 1 search result returned in search engines. A number 1 spot in Google pretty much guarantees loads of traffic to a website which can then materialize in high revenue for the website owner.
To reach that number 1 spot search engine optimization (SEO) is the tool webmasters have to use in almost every case. Several books have been written covering search engine optimization. Hundreds of websites cover the topic and give loads of advice. There is so much information about this topic – it’s almost impossible to digest. Webmasters have all they need available at their hands at any time and also share the knowledge.
Google (as an example) changes the rules all the time and missing out on these things can mean that a website drops down to the bottom of the search results delivered on any given search. The hunt for the best search engine optimization results is on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
As with anything there will always be people who go a step too far.
Search Engine Optimization is no exception. You’ve got the Black Hats who do use every legal or illegal trick to increase their website’s search engine ranking and you have the so called White Hats who play by the rules and only use legitimate SEO tools and tricks. And then you have people who just over-do it. They build their websites completely optimized for the search engines but seem to forget about the user in the end. These websites are stuffed with keywords and phrases all over.
Navigation and presentation of content is optimized for the search engine but they seem to completely forget about the human factor. Yes, driving traffic to the website from search engines is great. But what if the site is difficult to navigate for the visitor because it is optimized for a search engine and not for usability? A website not meeting the needs of humans is set up to fail.
Having the number 1 spot in a search engine will not materialize in higher profits and revenue if the site does not meet basics requirements for humans to a) navigate the site properly and b) to be able discover what they are looking for in an easy way. Articles stuffed with the same keywords over and over again are hard to read and the information the user is looking for is difficult to extract. Links to sub-pages covered under keywords over and over again will make it difficult to even get to the information the user is looking for. The user experience will be disappointing and will lead to the user moving on to other sites that are able to deliver information in an appropriate way. There are other webmasters who are able to achieve high search engine rankings and still offer satisfying experiences for users on their websites?
So, if you are a webmaster – will you optimize your websites for search engines or for the user?