SEO = Search engine overkill?

seo.JPGSmarta.com is still in build mode but we’re getting rather excited about launching later this year – which makes us prime target for SEO experts offering to optimise our site.There’s a whole industry at it. Each has its own understanding of Google’s complex algorithms and how best to trick them.Expect any combination of keywords, meta tags, cramming core terms on every page while not exceeding 250 words and changing logical titles and headings to tenious ‘search-friendly phrases’.What you end up with is barely recognisable or much use to visitors, but hey, that’s the price you're expected to pay for a top five placing.Now we realise the power of search, and yes, we’ve heard of longtail – but we have to wonder if all this is going to come full circle.If all sites become geared to simply catching searchers, will it be possible for anyone to actually find what they’re looking for? Most likely, Google will react by demanding deep targeted unique content and oppose SEO gobbledegook.It’s reasonable to assume the online advertising world will soon also lose its obsession with quantity and demand quality of viewers? At the moment, what value is it getting from visitors who realise they’ve come to the wrong place and leave within seconds?Few advertisers want anyone, so why do we? Retail stores spend millions on branding and presentation to pull in a carefully targetted demographic, not any Tom, Dick and Harry who'll have a mooch but won't buy.So why is there an online propensity to sacrifice the identity of websites to get just anyone through the search door?

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