We’ve long been a bit doubtful about the merits of ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. Artificially skewing the content and structure of a site in order to trick Google into doing something it doesn’t want to do seems a bit counter-productive.
Quite apart from the fact that Google is cleverer than you are and going to be VERY hard to fool, compromising the experience of a real-actual-today visitor to your site in favour of some hoped-for future user just didn’t seem to make sense.
Of course, you have to have a site that search engines can index, but beyond that we’ve always adhered to the principle that the best way to get traffic to your site is to have great content, well presented, which is relevant to what the user is looking for.
Our advice has always been that targeted online marketing is a better use of most people’s time than blindly pursuing a page ranking.
Recent reports of Facebook overtaking Google (see here) would seem to vindicate our position. The trend, it seems, is away from ‘Search’ and towards ‘Social’, and strategies for driving traffic are becoming more and more personal (see here).
This underlines the importance of quality over quantity – it’s better to have 10 users who ‘like’ you than 100 who click away immediately. You’ll only do that if you build a site which gives users what they want, rather than one that you think search engines want.