Wulf's Webden

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Searching for Help

Or should that be help for searching? Whether or not it is an anastrophe, I sometimes get asked for advice in the broad area known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Pish and fiddlesticks is my gut reaction and I think most people who sell their services in that area greatly over-egg what they can achieve.

I offered some thoughts (in a little more depth) to a couple of separate people I know last night. They have widely differing sites but both felt a desire to be the number one search result. I hope I deflated that aim gently and set some better targets in its place. One thing I did point them both to was a recent article from The Guardian: Search Me.

It suggests that what you search for is itself a factor in affecting what other people search for. I suppose it is a bit like a patch of grass; take a particular route across it enough and it begins to form a path which other people become increasingly inclined to follow. Pursing that metaphor further, you can’t hope to pull them somewhere entirely different to their intended destination but you might influence which side of an obstacle they pass and, as they visit your site, find it useful and recommend it to others, you have the chance of your influence growing.

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