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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.

FOWA

Dear Reader,

I’m sitting here crammed into a seat in an oversold conference on the Future of Web Applications. The overall experience is a positive one. The sessions are interesting and the speakers are knowledgeable.

I’m sitting here in the session with the Kohi Vinh, the Director of Design for the NYT and overall, I’m impressed. I can’t help but notice that their editorial bias against conservatives extends even to their presenters. One slide he showed to demonstrate embedded MP3s in NYT pages had 3 articles, one showing Republican’s in a bad (and misleading) light, one showing Democrats in a positive light and one stating that scientist (and the unspoken assumption they are leading readers to is “all serious scientists”) feel that the evidence for man’s culpability in Global Warming is unequivocal. (Side Note: Even the UN’s new report won’t go so far as to say Man is responsible, they just state that they think he is but there’s little to no evidence to support the opinion. now THAT is an Inconvenient Truth.)

Anyhow, back on track. I’ll have to say that politics aside, I’m impressed with the efforts that the NYT is making to stay relevant. There has been no small amount of bits strewn about the blogosphere in the past few years about newspapers and how they are going to stay relevant in a blog-centric world. I don’t know that the NYT will be able to but they get points for trying.

The other speaker I saw this morning was from Microsoft. He kept beating the “standards” drum and showing how M$ is committed to standards. Ok, well then why do you make seemingly random decisions like returning all headers in lowercase? It’s great that15 years after the web was invented, M$ has decided that they will now play nice with other browsers but since less than 30% of the readers of this blog use IE, I just don’t care. I stopped using IE about the time that FF went into beta and have never looked back. I urge the 30% of you reading this in IE to consider doing the same.

Anyhow, for my official FOWA wrapup, check DevZone. This is an unofficial wrap-up.

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

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this page are mine and mine alone. Go get your own.

Liability, the WRONG reason to use closed-source software.

Dear Reader,

Ok, back from Orlando. I had a great time at FileMaker DevCon. (Check DevZone for details and Flickr stream) When I got back, among the emails I had waiting was one from a friend that had a quote, I just had to share. It is not my intention to embarrass my friend or the local company so I’m leaving the names out.

Discussing an employee of a local company, he said:

“He said ***COMPANY NAME*** shies away from open source because there is no one to sue if something goes wrong with the software. It occurred to me later that they clearly haven’t read the licensing agreement for all their Microsoft software, especially the parts about no warranty of fitness for a particular use, using it at your own risk, no liability, etc.”

My friend is absolutely correct! If you are using commercial, closed source software because you are under the illusion that the company that produced is under some sort of legal liability, of any kind, you really need to review your EULA and applicable law. In most cases in the US, if your software causes you house to be converted into a smoking crater, no software company can be held liable for anything beyond the purchase price of the software.

One of my best friends is a .NET programmer and he and I co-exist peacefully because we understand that each of our choice in development platform was well reasoned and works best for us. I’m really ok with people who use closed source software. However, make sure you understand your reason and that it’s valid.

‘Nuff Said

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