Archive for August 30th, 2011


#1 Most Important Requirement for Quality Content

#1 Most Important Requirement for Quality Content:

It must be useful and/or interesting to somebody somewhere.

No, really.


SEO: Is Your Site “in” with the Popular Crowd?

Not quite sure when it happened, exactly, and even less sure why—but it seems search engine success has taken a turn for the Junior High School. You remember those glorious early teen years of cliques and gangs and cool kids and dorks and smokers and shy kids and jocks and Squeeeeee!

It was the time of raging hormones and the utterly unquestioned Cult of Popularity. Your entire life depended solely on who you hung out with, who you didn’t hang out with, and who wouldn’t hang out with you even if your dad owned the ice cream store. Popularity determined where you could sit at lunch. Where you could chill after school. Who you could sit next to on the bus.

And then, damnit, we grew up. Supposedly left all that crap behind. Way back there.

Until this so-called “Social Media” thing happened. Everybody jumped onto MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blah Blah Blah and started accumulating “friends” like they were Beanie Babies. All of which was okay, we guess, if anybody cares what Joe saw on his way home and what Janet ate for lunch.

Until the search engines started jumping in. That’s when everything went straight to hell. Of course, Google kind of started down this path long ago with their “link popularity” algorithm (PageRank, anyone?). But now it’s getting just a little bit more Jr High every day. Now, if you want to rank high in the SERPs, you better have “friends” and “likes” and “+1s” and “reviews” and “re-tweets” and “pingbacks” and whatever-the-hell-else-is-“popular”-this-week.

Trouble is, none of that really means a thing. Does anybody really think a B-to-B site selling handheld scanners has better content or is more relevant to a search just because they have a FB page with 35 friends? Really? And who believes that more than half of the product reviews out there are genuinely spontaneous outpourings of opinion, instead of paid reviews from some sweat shop in Jakarta?

Sigh. It’s bunk. It’s silly. It’s unhelpful. Relying on social media popularity for search results is like giving the 25 popular kids in the Junior High School free lunch and making everybody else root through the garbage bins for scraps.

C’mon, Goog and Binger and whoever else. Can’t y’all come up with some better way to rank search results? Something a little more useful? A dart board, maybe?