Scary Findings Show SEO is Misunderstood. Now What?
About a week ago I was asked by Armando Roggio at Practical eCommerce what I thought about the findings of a survey his organization had conducted. The statistics made my head spin, and ever since then I’ve been biting my nails just waiting for the story to be published so I too could write about it. The wait is finally over!
Throughout January, Practical eCommerce asked readers if they’re optimizing their site for search, how successful their SEO efforts have been, and some questions to gauge their understanding of SEO best practices. The findings of the survey were reported by Armando in his article Survey of the Month: SEO is Both Important and Misunderstood.
So I figure everyone reading is on board with the first part about how SEO is important. And it’s probably safe to assume that a good number of online retailers might not fully get SEO. But that’s an understatement if you believe the answers submitted by the 117 ecommerce merchants who participated in the survey.
Here is what Practical eCommerce found:
92 percent of merchants surveyed said SEO is part of their current marketing efforts.
Awesome! All the hard work that’s been done in the industry to spread the word about the importance of search engine optimization has finally been recognized!
69.5 percent of merchants surveyed said that purchasing links is a somewhat effective SEO tactic.
Hmmm… Maybe there’s a bit of a disconnect between credible search marketing advice and online retailers. Sure, advertising links can have some positive effect on SEO goals, but it’s a tricky tactic that should be approached carefully to stay in line with search engine guidelines.
53.9 percent of merchants surveyed believe keyword stuffing is a somewhat effective SEO tactic.
Whoa there! Were the phrases “keyword stuffing” and “effective SEO” just used in the same sentence? Danger Will Robinson! Something has gone terribly wrong.
You can read my initial response to the findings within the article. My guess is that thanks to the do-it-yourself culture that’s evolved on the Internet, site owners are eagerly looking for SEO tactics they can perform on their own. As a result, long-reprimanded tactics are being mistaken for sound advice by those new to search engine optimization. My theory is supported by the fact that only 25 percent of respondents had ever hired an SEO professional to help them and many believe that there is enough info available for free to do a good job without professional help or training.
That said, I’m curious to know what the SEO community thinks about these findings, so I’ve created my own little poll. You’d make me the happiest little blogger in the whole wide blogosphere if you let me know:
I’ve never used PollDaddy before, so hopefully this works as planned. I’ve included “other” as a response so you can fill in your own answers, but if that doesn’t work please share your ideas in the comments!