Back in February, Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, weighed in on the touchy topic of SEO for businesses.
Sadly this is the way that a lot of people see SEO; They see it as some kind of sketchy back-alley business in which we as providers are working to corrupt the internet and make things unpleasant for everyone, all in pursuit of the best possible rankings we can achieve for ourselves or our clients.
Not Every SEO is a Pantless Weasel
In fact, very few are, but it is that minority that are giving the entire industry a bad name. You know the ones we’re talking about, the people who personify the term “Black hat SEO” and are doing exactly what is described in the comic, or making their best effort anyway.
By and large, most SEOs are good, honest, upstanding people who are dedicated to promoting and practicing sustainable SEO strategies. We don’t like to really assign labels like “Black hat” or “White hat” too much because things like that are highly subjective from one person to another. We feel that the heart of the matter is whether or not the practice is sustainable, i.e. publishing a few pieces of high-quality content and encouraging social sharing as opposed to spinning something to death and auto-posting it to a ton of no-name article directories. One practice is sustainable, meaning it is going to benefit the brand behind it for some time, and it encourages engagement with the people who consume the content. The second practice is just cluttering up the internet, and there’s nothing sustainable about that! Just ask Google about some of their recent algorithm updates…
How We Can All Fight Back
Slowly but surely, the kinds of unsustainable practices that have given SEO a bad name are dying out. This decline is largely attributed to the Penguin and Panda algorithm updates Google rolled out this past year; knock out the benefits of the unsustainable practices, and they begin to go the way of the dinosaurs.
As SEOs, we can help to force the early retirement of these Pantless Weasels and the techniques they employ. We can do this by being active users of and advocates for more sustainable techniques. Things like high-quality content on a regular basis, such as blog or forum posting. Social media activity that is useful to our friends/followers and isn’t overly spammy. Networking and guest blog posting. Any of these things can provide value for the people that see them and interact with us, and they also provide us with the reputation and ranking boost that our brands need to succeed.
If you met a Pantless Weasel SEO, what would you say to him/her if you though you could change their minds?