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Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Mike Grehan on SEO Reform

By Robert Gorell
August 14th, 2007

Be like MikeOver at Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog, ClickZ columnist, Bruce Clay VP International Business Development, and SEO thought-leader/soothsayer-of-doom Mike Grehan laments the lack of shared vision among marketers and SEO “geeks”.

This is still a rising medium with a long way to go. An emerging industry with, seemingly, a lot of people who can’t deal very well with change. Just when they’ve set their stall up to sell one thing, the search engines get a little more clever with information retrieval techniques and then their optimization methods become less effective. But because they’ve invested time (and money, probably) into developing a system that seems plausible, they’ll carry on selling it. And if that’s the case, the last thing they want to hear is someone like me saying in public that we’ve moved on a tad since SEO circa 1999.

[...] I write an opinion column at ClickZ. And I feel that I’ve been around long enough in the business to provide fairly well informed comment. I get extremely positive feedback from the audience of online marketers I write for. But sometimes, from the pimply geek squad, if I dare to suggest that SEO as we know it just ain’t cutting it like it used to…Bang! It’s that heretic Grehan again. And out come the cries to have me dragged into Times Square for a public flogging.

There’s a bunch of people out there who come at the industry from more a of a technical/webmaster background and begin to feel a little alienated when industry pundits and observers start talking more about online marketing strategy and less about tags and server issues. You know, I get completely dumbfounded at conferences sometimes when webmasters ask me things like: “Can Google read my CSS?” I’m like, who gives a shit? Shouldn’t you be more concerned about finding ways to get end users to interact with your web pages, rather than losing sleep over whether a bot can read a little bit of your gobbledygook.

Cheers to that, Mike! No wonder they voted you chairman of next year’s Search Engine Strategies in London. ;)

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Comments (1)

  1. 100% true… And what’s more: 1999??? The SEO that worked for me in 2005 was much better than 1999, which seemed simplistic and archaic then. And then I learned the hard way not to over-optimize, which…

    …led me to embrace AdWords, but now with rising CPC’s, that also is much more difficult. I find certain industries are impenetrable, and more and more I find clients who simply don’t have the conversion rates to profit with AdWords.

    Which is what has led me to finally try to understand persuasion architecture, personas, etc. My current project is combining those with multivariate testing.

    Back to SEO, I’ve experimented with many of the Web 2.0 sites and applications looking for good traffic options, and find about 90% of them to be a waste of time.

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