Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Problems with Search Engine Optimization

Everyone talks about Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) It's the holy grail of online marketing. Although, frankly, I've seen such widely divergent statistics for how much of a web site's traffic comes from search engine referrers that I think we all might be worshipping a false God.

But the synapses in my brain have finally come together to allow me to realize that SEO is the reason blogs are becoming flooded with Comment Spam.

Not all blogs, of course. Frankly my blogs hosted by Blogger and iBlog aren't troubled by this phenomenon at all. But the blog I write for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, which is hosted by MOvable Type, is absolutely hammered by Comment Spam every day. I spend way too much time deleting and rebuilding the site, time I could be spending blogging.

I didn't really get it at first. I thought, well, gee, why would they hammer me? I don't get that huge a readership. Who's going to see their stupid ads for various things inappropriate to mention here?

It's not about that at all. it's about SEO.

Recently I also started commenting more on blogs myself. real comments of course, not spam! And I noticed that those comments came up pretty high in the results when I ego-surfed.

Blogs in general do pretty well from an SEO perspective, because the content changes so dynamically.

So the spammers are hoping that a search on any random topic will eventually serve up references to their ads...because they are posting those ads as comments on blog entries on many random topics.

Insidiously clever.

I hope every blogger is as diligent as I about deleting their Comment Spam, but it is tedious.

And I have to say that right now I can't imagine recommending anyone to use Movable Type, as it seems clear spammers have figured out how to automate dropping their comments into Movable Type blogs and are focused on doing that.

And it never would have happened if the marketing world weren't convinced that search engine results lead to every web site click.

But it's not true on my sites. How about yours?

Great, Keep posting more blogs. Keep it up.

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