Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I work in Web Marketing and have been thinking about SEO, or "Search Engine Optimization".  Everyone wants to be found especially on the big search engines like google or yahoo.  Sometimes in the computer industry companies get big and successful and start to feel they have the "political capital" to impose their will upon the rest of us. More and more we begin referring to them as "Evil".

Google, for example, is my favorite search engine.  My belief about the metaphor for their purpose in life is that they want to allow us to find what is out there.  They search the web.  Simple enough.  More and more it seems people are desperate to please the famous google so they can glean visitors to their pages from the many users who are using google daily. People begin complying with googles limits on technology so that their pages please the "spider", which is software that browses the web and looks for content.

The spider is at the core of this game. You see, the spider should be finding what web publishers make...not forcing web publishers to limit themselves so that they can be found. The ideal spider would be a human being using a web browser. Though for speed and convenience, the spider is actually a piece of server software that can't actually do everything a web browser can do. So you loose Google's attention if you employ dynamic technology like Flash or DHTML, that Google's spider cannot process in the same way a user's browser can. This is why Google urges us all to fall in line so we can be "found" and "counted".  This logic is all backwards. 

Google should be finding what is there not dictating what can be. We need to get a little more "quantum mechanics" sense into this reasoning and convince Google and other search engines not to destroy or influence what they are trying to observe. 

Search engine optimization is really an incidious buzz-word. Sure, it is the way to position one's site under the faucet of dollars on the web, but it is giving too much control to the tool whose mission should be to search the web, instead of forcing the web into compliance with its weaknesses.