To us, the type of SEO attacks revealed this week are only a few steps away from what tons of bloggers/websites do every day: purposely try to game search engines just so they can get more hits to their site, and by extension, maybe make a few extra dollars. Unless you are running a straight-up scam link-farm or very, very lucky — the highest search engine rank in the world is not going to have lasting benefits if the content is nonexistent.
One Angry Wolf
The full post got quite a strong response from Michael at Graywolf's SEO Blog, who literally says Christina is a clueless idiot. That kind of language is a little strong, I'm not going to personally attack Christina, but I will state that her post was a personal attack on folks like me – who work our blogs with passion and technical savvy to attract and keep the most readers.
Recognizing search engine technology and optimizing your site is not unlike researching traffic and finding the best location for your corner store. You've got great product and a great store, isn't it intelligent to place the store in the best location? Is it gaming unless you put your store in the middle of the desert where no one can find it?
Christina also appears ignorant of Google's ability to accurately analyze and rank links. Truth be told, you can do all the gaming you'd like, but if no one is referencing your site, you won't be in the standings for very long. Popularity is key on the web, and bloggers help to drive each others' popularity. I do hundreds of searches with Google on a daily basis, and rarely find a page ranked high that doesn't have the information I'm seeking.
Is Blogging Opportunistic? Absolutely!
If you're not taking advantage of the opportunities that search engines have put forth, you're just plain stupid. I'm not gaming the system by concentrating on my page structure, content, keyword selection, etc. I'm putting a red carpet out for Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! to find me easily and organize my content properly.
Google wrote the recipe that all good sites should follow. If you can't follow the recipe, don't complain to me that your dinner tastes like crap compared to mine. Get to cookin, follow the instructions… and ask for help when you need it!