BBC's Duncan Bloor, a producer in the User Building team at the BBC, wrote a blog post on the BBC blog named A Journey through Search Engine Optimisation.
In that blog post, he made a comment that got the WebmasterWorld forums talking. Duncan wrote:
What makes SEO unique at the BBC is the editorial slant content producers have to take on it. For example, search engines tend to trust BBC content (because of the number of inbound links to the site and its stability over time) and rank it highly so when BBC staff choose keywords, we need to be as honest as possible. This is so that we don’t inadvertently outperform other content on the web which may be more deserving of that top spot in Google. (This is almost “reverse SEO” if you like!)
Duncan is saying the BBC is unique in that when the BBC choses keywords they are honest about it.
Really, BBC is the only place that is honest about keyword selection?
If they were not honest about it, would it lead to a good user experience? Would it lead to reader retention? Would it lead to more views in the long run?
Why would any site want to rank for a keyword that wasn't really relevant for the content anyway? That kind of traffic has almost no value unless you are getting paid for ad impressions. And even then, ad impressions that don't send clicks have no value for the advertiser so that also becomes problematic pretty fast.
I often try to eliminate poorly targeted traffic, and I don't do it for ethical reasons. I do it purely aout of self-interest. I think this comment from the BBC is a bit of spin. Nicely done spin, however - but it's still spin.
Maybe we are being a bit defensive on this story or maybe not?
Note: This story was scheduled to be posted on this day, but was written earlier.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.