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Monday, September 13, 2004

The Blind Leading the Blind

It's often said that volume is the secret to making a living as a freelance writer. However, when the topic is business, readers don't need volume, they need quality. The straight goods.

Recently, the Globe and Mail published this timely and relevant article about optimizing your site for search engines.

"Timely," writes trusted colleague Shane Wagg in an email correspondence, "if it was 1999." Continued Wagg: "Do you think they could have released this in time for Search Engine Strategies [Toronto, back in May]?"

The author of the piece, Paul Lima, has been showing up as a feature writer in technology sections of Toronto newspapers for more than fifteen years, telling folks how to get the most out of their SOHO experience. Here though, in his latest incarnation as a writer and speaker on SEO, he's still at the level of rank amateur. The experts he quotes don't appear to be much farther along on the learning curve.

Search marketing is a challenging field. It's not just a question of breaking down the technical tasks required, but thinking strategically and keeping up with the zeitgeist at companies like Google. Without even a whiff of a sense of the impact of developments like "Florida," the importance of post-click analytics, trends in search engine user behavior, or the need to consider a mix of paid search options, companies listening to the likes of Lima are going to be getting off on the wrong foot.

What's with this advice, for example? "Once your site is optimized, submit it to the major Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, Mamma, Lycos, AskJeeves, Excite, HotBot and Go." That's wrong on so many levels. Where to begin?

This isn't 1999.

Thumbs down to the quality of recent articles in Globetechnology.com.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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