Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The directories are a waste of time and other insights

I just read a great pair of articles, by Jill Whalen Is Most Of SEO Just A Boondoggle? and then a commentary on it by Eric Ward: Betting On The Link Building Boondoggle Bonanza.

They seem to be focusing on the enormous amount of nonsense and expense that SEO firms spout and cost when they drag their clients through all sorts of ineffective exercises.

I agree with a lot of the article, particularly that people are spending endless time and money on techniques that are old fashioned and mostly ineffective: listing in directories and posting press releases. These are tired old techniques that google knows for what they are. Thin attempts to get links rather than natural attempts.

I disagree where they start listing techniques that have no value when in fact, the jury is still out on them. How much can link sculpting let you concentrate juice in some place? Can switching to user-friendly URLs make a big difference (I'm betting it can)?

What I like best is that he encourages the use of common sense and testing. And admits how much BS there is in the SEO industry. I've heard way too many of the people in the industry defend their approach as "Industry-standard best practices" which is a clever way of saying, everyone else does it, so it must be right.

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