Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term from the late 1990s when search engines were starting to “crawl” the web and companies saw value in adding their websites to these search engines and being on the top of the list for particular keywords. Since then, website builders like GoDaddy and 1&1 and marketing companies have popularized the term to a point that any website or online marketing company that doesn’t use it can be seen as “behind the times.”
In fact, we believe many forms of SEO are “behind the times” and have been and always will be immoral.
Let’s be clear: we agree that it is necessary that businesses improve their positioning in search results. But there are honest and better practices than manipulation to do this.
When big companies boast search engine optimization, they could more accurately boast search engine manipulation services. Search engines use algorithms to find websites that are going to benefit their customers: users searching. SEO often employs various techniques to attempt to manipulate these algorithms. But search engines, Google in particular, are cracking down on these methods that in the end hurt the end user.
With our focus on experiential design – that is, designing excellent user experiences – we are not going to participate in any practices that damage or confuse the user experience. Excessive use of keywords and linking do not help users to find the information they are looking for.
The algorithms are becoming stronger, and look at the actual content on a site as well as the bounce rates and reliability of a site. So the best way to improve a site’s position in search results is to have relevant content and design that allows users to easily navigate the site.
This is why maintaining a blog, connecting with customers via social media, and having excellent site design is so important. In the end, sites that employ these techniques will always trump manipulative sites that may have short-term gains but face future losses and the possibility of being blacklisted.