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Just Say No to SEO

Dear Reader,

I’m in a discussion over at johnon.com about SEO. The owner of that blog, John, took issue with my review of this book. Even after asking him and receiving his response, I was still not sure why he insisted on talking about the Zend Framework in a post that was obviously about my book review. (Not event loosely related to the Zend Framework) That is till I was explaining the conversation to wife 1.23, the lovely and talented Kathy. She is trained in the black arts of SEO but refuses on moral grounds to call herself a SEO professional. She explained to me that the reason was, he wanted anyone looking for Zend Framework and SEO help to find that article. Hmmmm…..

Ok, this brings up two points that I feel need to be aired.

1) In Google’s history, I’m not sure if there is a search phrase that is less likely to be searched for. It’s not that programmers don’t want to “SEOify” (I’m coining a word here, help me out) their pages. The problem is that there are very few things you can do at the framework level to affect a page’s SEO. You can do SEO friendly URLs but really, at the framework level, that’s about it.

2) My biggest problem with SEO Professionals is that they exist only to gum up the works. For instance, if you happen to be interested in learning what you can do with the Zend Framework and SEO, you can search Google for those terms. Up until John wrote his post about my book review, the top hit was this article about how to build SEO Friendly URLS using the Zend Framework. Now however, the top his is John’s article. An article that does NOT discuss how to do anything SEOish using the Zend Framework and does nothing to increase a reader’s knowledge on the subject.

John’s main bone of contention with my book review seems to be my low opinion of SEO professionals. I’m sure it was not his intent but by using SEO techniques to push an irrelevant article to the top of that search, he has simply validated my opinion. SEO Professionals exist solely to separate web site owners from their money. Their actions reduce the value of search engines like Google and cause Google to have to expend resources combating them.

Web site owners, here’s an important money saving tip.

If you want to rank high, write relevant copy. There’s no real secret in that and any good marketing copywriter can help you with that.

That’s what the search engines want. They want to put to in the search that you are relevant for. It does no one any good for people searching for Zend Framework and SEO to read a negative review of my book review. (Mind you I’m not upset that he doesn’t like the book review, to each his own)

I know this little post won’t do much to change the world but I felt it needed to be said. Who knows, if enough people get interested, I’ll print up some bumperstickers and maybe have a WebAid concert to raise awareness. Since Al invented the web, maybe I can get him on board.

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
=C=

p.s. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. Go get your own.

2 thoughts on “Just Say No to SEO

  1. It really depends on the framework… Zend Framework is very SEO framework. Others that rely on a lot of ajax or javascript POST callbacks to facilitate basic navigational tasks will stop a search engine dead in its tracks.

    I have also seen frameworks which use strange http redirects as part as the controller, this has the habit of killing search engines as well.

    Speed is also important in SEO, being able to output the correct http cache tags. You should have complete control over the output HTML, the ability to create descriptive css styles and have full control over the structure of your html output.

    Clean URL support is good in ZF, but the default front controller still needs some modification to be truely SEO friendly.

  2. About your “SEOify” coin: I suggest “SEOize” – works well when expanded (Search Engine Optimize), plus as one drunk robot once said, “the Z makes it sound cool” ;)

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