Should your site be more like Thomas the Tank Engine?

Oct 2, 2007 - 10:41 am 5 by
Filed Under Search Theory

Search engine optimization experts have for a long time equated user experience with SEO friendliness. As the search engines’ algorithms have evolved, one thing has remained fairly constant: sites that have useful content and links from relevant sites rank better for particular subject keyword phrases than sites that don’t. It really is that simple: better sites outrank worse ones, for the most part. Of course people could likely list in the comments below dozens of examples where various search engines have it wrong.

For anyone that has kids, they may know of Thomas the Tank Engine and the other trains on the island of Sodor. The main purpose of those engines is to be “useful,” and their feelings are hurt when they fail to satisfy that requirement. I personally feel that website owners should keep this to heart – either make a “useful” site or you are not helping the Internet become a better place. Apparently I am not alone…

Why should Website owners “care” about their visitors’ educational leads, asked a new member of the Cre8asite Forums recently. Kim covered the post briefly last week when she stated (facetiously) “I'm an SEO and I Don't Give a Flying Cow What Your Site Visitors Want.” As quoted, Ammon Johns took a particularly hard stance against “spammers” which cloud the Internet with worthless content.

This discussion seems to have died down a little, but really drives to the heart of the matter when trying to define the difference between optimizing a site for search engines versus optimizing a site for humans in a manner that search engines appreciate. As one administrator suggested, the thread elevates the importance of considering “why” when adding content to a page, and should be featured as a part of the SEO Primer for beginners.

Add your thoughts to the discussion at Cre8asite forums.


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