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SEO Pros and Woes

Search Engine OptimizationSearch Engine Optimization for Your Blog: Three Easy Techniques, and also Drawbacks to SEO from Tom Johnson on I’d Rather Be Writing takes a good pros and cons look at SEO. I have to admit, I liked the cons better than the pros.

How can there be any drawbacks to search engine optimization? I never considered this, and it is a bit odd admitting it. But I feel a complete loss of anonymity as well as an unfounded power. I also have a greater responsibility to be accurate. When you Google Tom Johnson, I’m on the first page. Uhm, now instead of telling people my email and phone, I can tell them just to google me.

A crazy Haitian guy from Miami called me repeatedly last week affirming he knew me and wanted support for his studies…

I covered this in my Blog Herald article, Learning From Blithering Idiot Blog Readers, the price you pay for being “the expert” and getting calls at all hours of the night because readers think you are that expert, whether or not you are.

SEO is the technique of preparing your blog to be search engine friendly, easily searched and indexed by the search engine web crawlers. SEO has become a major industry with the promises of riches and fame. Without a doubt, SEO techniques should be a natural function, and most blogs, especially WordPress Themes, come fairly optimized for search engines, but there is a consequence to the fame part that comes from a well SEO-tricked out blog.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted July 19, 2007 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    You are right about that. But some people are really confused. A few days ago I wrote on my blog about the Salman Rushdie-Padma Laxmi divorce and someone wrote me “Padma I want to be friends with you, please write to me.” Do they even read the posts properly?

  2. Posted July 19, 2007 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    One downside to SEO is that it’s hard to know who to trust. Often there are several ways to do things and everyone’s got an opinion. You could easily make a mistake that could damage your SEO in your efforts to boost it. At the end of the day, the best SEO is strong content.

    When people start asking you questions, you have to decide for yourself where to draw the line between being helpful (and expert) and helping people for free. How much is enough and when do you feel you’re being taken advantage of? Is your free advice worth the money you make from ads or other blog monetization efforts? This doesn’t just apply to SEO work, but anything.

  3. Posted July 19, 2007 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I’ve latched onto this idea of getting people to google me too. Although I have to compete with Wikipedia and a person who already bought the domain:

    As far as I know, there are only pros to being able to reach number 1 on Google for your own name. That way you have maximum control over what people read about you if they look you up.

    I think you should also try Yahoo and Live/MSN/whatever it is. The results there are often pretty different.

  4. Posted July 19, 2007 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I find that the whole practice of SEO is a bit of a double edged sword. People are so desperate for traffic that they cheapen their site to do it.

    I am one to talk though, because I make my living writing SEO articles and such assorted products. It’s pretty easy money, but every cent of it is tainted with the guilt of making the internet just that much more frustrating. Some websites get traffic when they really shouldn’t.

    On the other hand it’s a drop in the ocean sort of thing, and on my blog WriteNonsense I explain how to get into it. I’m also trying to pull at least one finger at the whole business, because I believe nothing needs to be ridiculed more than trying to outsmart Google.

  5. Posted July 22, 2007 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Loved your presentation at WordCamp 2007. It was soooo great meeting you and getting to know you. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for being a WordPress Goddess. Your tips and feed are a great source for us newbie bloggers.

    See you in Vancouver!

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  1. […] on Successful Blog: “Blogging in a Foreign Language?” … Lorelle on WordPress: Covers an equally good SEO post from Tom on i’d rather be writing, with some additional reading […]

  2. […] SEO Pros and Woes: An interesting perspective on the drawbacks of search engine optimization. […]

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