Spam is term with a pretty broad definition these days, but at least we can rule out one component from its meaning: SEO. Google recently “made it official” that SEO is not spam, with Web spam department head Matt Cutts addressing the issue once and for all in a video circulating throughout industry blogs.
If you watch the clip, you’ll notice Cutts is addressing business owners directly here, speaking to them about SEO as a practice that can benefit their website if they find the right search engine optimizer (aka SEO provider or SEO company). According to Cutts, the services that a good SEO company can provide include:
- • Helping with initial site architecture (design, URL structure, templates)
- • Making your pages well-represented within search engines
- • Making your pages crawlable by search engines
- • Helping you find the right keywords
- • Optimizing for return on your investment
- • Identifying and providing the “copy that converts”
However, he does make a point to say that SEO can be abused and overdone.
“Are there some SEOs that go further than we’d like?” Cutts asks. “Sure.” He points to those who employ black hat techniques like hacking sites, keyword stuffing and “sneaky things with re-directs” as techniques Google frowns upon (and penalizes, although he does not say so explicitly here).
The best thing that white hat (in other words, ethical) SEO providers can do, Cutts says, is cooperate with Google policies when trying to help search engines find pages better. For those who aim to do their own SEO, he refers to a starter guide offered by Google that users can search for.
The conclusion? “There are many, many valid ways that people can make the world better with SEO,” Cutts says. He is quick to reject the notion that SEO providers are “criminals or snake oil salesman” – something this Los Angeles SEO company is certainly glad to hear. His advice to businesses regarding hiring an SEO company is, “Find the good person, someone you can trust someone that will tell you exactly what they’re doing.” We couldn’t agree more.
It may seem silly that so much debate exists over a mere marketing practice. But that shows how powerful SEO really is today. Still, he acknowledges that the field will continue to evolve, saying, “In an ideal world, people wouldn’t have to worry about these issues. But search engines are not as smart as people yet.”
Don’t worry, though. He follows up, “We’re working on it.”