This article is for all those valiant souls out their still optimizing sites for clients. It's obviously getting tougher each day. I recently got a call the other day from a gentleman that was in need of some SEO services, yet was literally fed up with the search engines, SEO, and the amount of horrible sites in the results. He sounded like he wanted to hold a group of SEO's hostage and demand that they give him top rankings, threaten them with hidden text, cloaking, and popups. If they didn't do what he said he would turn to the black art of search engine spamming! Oh the horror! In his mind spam worked better than anything that a current day SEO could provide for him, and gave him instant results and traffic. I reasoned with him a bit and tried to explain WHY spamming a search engine was not a good idea. In any case if you feel like you would like to hold a group of us SEO's hostage. Please don't. We are in the same boat as you most of time, except we have more than one website to look after.
There is an excellent thread started at Highrankings, detailing how one particular member was "utterly disillusioned with SEO", many felt his pain. He and some of my biggest concerns are the following:
1. Poor sites did well in the search engines. 2. Terrible site design and architecture. No usability considerations. 3. Markets which are terribly over-optimized 4. Little control over the process of submitting to a directory 5. Pay For Inclusion as a gamble then, and in its altered form now still a gamble (SiteMatch ?). 6. Feedback and responsiveness from the search engines
It most cases it hard to decipher what in the world is going on. I believe it has a lot to do with human nature, and that accepting search engines are perfect informational creatures is a pipe dream. It's like living in New York City, you eventually get acquainted to all the advertising and large lights, and learn to find quality among a sea of concrete. Which as "BungleBob" related to that search would center around hubs of "quality". It sounds like some biology terms I use in the field, "natural selection" among search results and sites.
I do believe like many in the below thread that search results and the nuisances that come with them will get better with time. Which as history has shown, new innovations will get replaced by even better new innovations. I also believe that SEO's are part to blame for some of the trouble people feel and part of it may be indirect mistakes committed during the optimization. When it comes down it to it though, there is a lot of responsibility associated with working with the search engines. Its your responsibility to know for example that an offensive and poor design will result in a poor website. Usability is a responsibility that you will need to learn. Learning to build link popularity is something that you are responsible for learning to rank effectively in the search engines. All this information is the responsibility of the SEO or webmaster, and even the search engines to know this. So with that being said, it kinda looks like search engine results are really one big test bed of people all trying to be responsible for their websites either correctly or incorrectly. What happens is that since we can't know all the information we need, we get varied results. Hence the junk, quality hubs, great or poor content sites, and sites that can't sell anything.
Check out the thread over at Highrankings: Utterly Disillusioned with SEO