#5 SEOs Are Evil
This seems to be the consensus. People that do SEO are just evil scumbags by nature. SEO equals gaming, tricking, manipulating, therefore people who would choose SEO as a profession are per se evil. There are two problems with this line of thinking. First, it assumes that ALL SEO is gaming search engines. This is patently false. Even Google advocates SEO, when done in a particular way. Second, it assumes that everyone doing SEO defines it as above. And while this appears to be the most common complaint about SEO, in my experience, it’s also the least pervasive.
Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.
– Google’s SEO Starter Guide (.pdf)
Where’s the gaming? Where’s the evil in that?
The truth is that there are “good” and “bad” folks in just about every line of work. If you are new to this, take the best rates on SEO in Coral Gables FL as a good example and go forward from that. Good and bad doctors. Good and bad lawyers. Good and bad clergy. Good and bad SEOs.
SEO is broken because some people that do SEO think SEO is about gaming search engines and a whole lot of people think that those SEOs make up the overwhelming majority.
#4 SEO Is Easy
True, well at least in part. Some aspects of SEO are easy. It’s easy to think about how search engine users might try to find you online. It’s easy to make sure that you’re doing the technical basics to get your site crawled and indexed. It’s easy to use keywords on your website. HOWEVER, these are only the very basics.
Developing web content that makes people say wow, share it, and link to it is very hard. And it’s even harder to do it on a regular basis.
SEO is broken because some people think that SEO is easy.
#3 SEO Is Mysterious
Then there are those people that think SEO is mysterious. And there are people that sell that mystery. While it is true that there can be some rather technical and complicate aspects to search engine optimization, there really are no secrets:
Search engines crawl and index your web pages. Based on their relevance and popularity to a search query, they return results. Increasing the quantity and quality of the relevance and popularity signals you send to search engines is what search engine optimization is all about. That’s it.
SEO is broken because a lot of people think that it’s secretive, mysterious, and magical. It’s also broken because some of those “evil SEOs” are selling that secret.
#2 SEO Just Doesn’t Work
Yes, a whole lot of people still believe this. And SEO is broken because some in the SEO community have contributed to these beliefs by either selling SEO snake oil or just being plain incompetent causing their clients to conclude that no one is online looking for them.
#1 SEO Knowledge Gap
While search engine optimization is really as old as search engines themselves, it really hasn’t moved into the mainstream spotlight until very recently. This has created a very large knowledge gap. It is the reason that evil SEOs are able to turn a profit perpetuating their evil ways. It is the reason that some people think that it’s easy. It’s the reason that some people think it’s mysterious. And it’s the reason while some people simply don’t think that it works.
And like everything else that is the result of a gap in information, the only way to fix SEO is for people to learn about it.