Even to this day, I'm still amazed at the brand recognition that coke has - the unique bottle shape, the swirl and the red are unmistakeable. Even with two of those three distinctive points missing, you just can't miss it - even in a small sleepy town in the middle of Spain, in Cantabria.
I've had some sort of web presence since I came to the United States in 1996 - none of them very significant, as I've never figured out the direction in which I've wanted to take it - I've always done what I wanted - sometimes it was successful, sometimes it wasn't, but it didn't matter because as long as I had fun doing it, I was happy. This site is the one that has kept my attention the most, because the first priority of this site is photography, and everything else is second. Another person who has been around for a long time is Derek Powazek, who I've been following consistently since my foray into the internet. He was the co-founder of JPG magazine, Kvetch, and publishes his own magazine, Fray. Needless to say, I have nothing but respect for him.
Recently, Derek wrote a post about SEO and how internet marketers use it to scam clients and non-informed businesses/people and pollute the web. Compounded to this was the fact the next day, there was a rebuttal post, where many people's comments that he thought were from people who just didn't get it - including mine. This is something I totally did not expect from him, especially when he is always preaching about 'fairness'. There has been a big lash back response to this, and I won't go into the rebuttal of each point, but it made me a little angry on a few levels, and I learned some things:
1. When you are a respected person in the web industry such as Derek, and you call people in an industry â€œjerkwadsâ€, â€œcockroachesâ€ and â€œbastardsâ€, there is bound to be lash back - particularly harsh - at the same time, I think you sink a few levels. I agree with 95% of what he has to say on this post - I just think there is a better and more civilized way to say it.
2. Doing 'obvious' things that a good web developer would do, when done by a â€œSEOâ€ consultant, is not extortion. Good web development techniques suggested by a web developer, and SEO consultant, or your mother is not evil, it's just good advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. In the end, why does it matter what it called? He repeatedly replies to people who comment about â€œgood SEOâ€ people with the statement that those people are just good web developers - well - duh, so you can call it that if you want, but it's the same thing.
3. If you're angry that magazine publications are paying SEO people money instead of the writers for good content, take it up with the people in the publications who actually spend the money - don't say that the industry sucks and is evil.
4. There are people in EVERY industry that exploit the situation when they find a client that doesn't know much about what they need. That's the part I DO agree with, and all the negative things written about the SEO industry IS about that subgroup. They employ bots and scripts to get their page ranking higher so people will visit. This isn't totally fair and is dirty business practice, but it's important to remember that it's a subgroup.
5. My comment was specifically in point #2, in regards to why it matters so much what it's called. Supposedly, â€œgoodâ€ SEO techniques are synonymous with being a good developer - if that's the case; does semantics make that much of a difference? Also, I understand that it doesn't really touch on one of the main points of the post (point #3), but really?
6. I'm not an SEO consultant, and I'm by no means defending the industry - in fact, other than making good websites, I don't know much about SEOâ€¦ the repeated jabs on the rebuttal post insinuating that the only people that defend SEO are people in the SEO industry is a little presumptuous, and it pissed me off a little bit. My comment was not attack anybody, but to ask a question and most certainly was not in defense - isn't collaboration one of the best things on the internet? Isn't it cool that someone like me can talk to Paolo Coelho on twitter? To be censored was disappointing.
7. On a different note, I don't feel its right to label a group (industry) because of the experiences you've had. You don't know the whole group and it isn't fair. It's ironic that the post is about the fairness that writers should deserve. The human race has caused enough issues by labeling people.
I've never paid much attention to â€œSEOâ€, except for the general desire that you want to show people what you've done. I've done the obvious things and I find this site to be relaxing for me, and is a way for me to document what I'm up to, etc,. I don't really get many visitors, and that's fine with me, as long as the people that DO visit enjoy the pictures, and my badly written posts. If you're making a magazine/website for the passion of it and not the money, then it's all irrelevant, isn't it? Social media sites are much more effective in this case, and result in quality visitors, who tend to share the same interests and are much more likely to enjoy what you have to offer than visitors from Google search rankings, who may stumble upon your site for a totally irrelevant search. Obviously, it makes me happy when I see more visitors on my site than I'm used to, but it's not why I do it. Which brings me to the heart of the message, which I DO agree with, and that is - the best way to bring people to your site is to have content that people will want to read/see. If it's good, they will come back, if it's not, well - you can always try again. I've been following Derek and his websites for a long time, from kvetch, to fray, to JPGmag and back to Fray - at the end of the day, it was disappointing to see someone I admired stoop low to show his hate...