SEO needs better PR, but is not ‘disgusting’

Although ridden with problems, dismissing search engine optimization is extremely shortsighted.

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Earlier this summer, a man much smarter than me wrote on the subject of how search engine optimization (SEO) disgusted him. A week later, the post ran on PR Daily.

This type of post has been written in a variety of ways on thousands of different blogs over the last few years. It’s almost formulaic. SEO is dead/evil/disgusting = pageviews and links.

But regardless of one’s motivations, the author, Mark Schaefer, has every right to have this opinion. And in his experience, he’s 100 percent correct. He spoke to one “CEO of a leading Midwest search firm” and heard about a bunch of tactics that many would consider spammy. He also gets a ton of comment spam in the name of poorly thought-out “SEO.”

Fair enough, those are his experiences.

There is no doubt that SEO, much like PR, has its ethical issues. And when the article was reposted on PR Daily, for more than a few PR pros, this article was enough to dump on SEO as a relevant marketing strategy. That’s unfortunate, and potentially dangerous to one’s career.

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