Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Kevin Benedict, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rene Buest, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing

Cognitive Computing : Blog Feed Post

The Great SEO Swindle

In our rush to better our rankings, we tend to forget why people are using search engines to begin with

I have been writing about the Web since it was nearly invented in the early 1990s and one of my continued sources of amusement is the snake oil search engine optimization vendors. Repeat after me: content is king. Everything else is just a shell game.

In our rush to better our rankings, we tend to forget why people are using search engines to begin with: to find the best content. Those search sites that don’t deliver (remember Altavista? Or Yahoo, for that matter?) are going to find out really quickly that their users will go elsewhere.

What does that mean for you as a Web site owner that is trying to move up in the charts? It means you first have to focus on your content, and deliver what your visitors want. It is a matter of managing expectations, but also about making sure that your content is continually tuned and adjusted to meet the needs of your ever-evolving audience.

What it doesn’t mean is hiring some SEO firm to tweak your meta tags, flog your links, and hire a bunch of offshore keyboard pushers to promote your pages.

I got a PR pitch for an SEO company that I would rather not promote here, but the essence of their existence is that charge their clients only after the desired rankings have been achieved, with a sliding scale depending on whether you end up higher or lower than your goals. This is just utter nonsense, although the company is growing by leaps and bounds.

I coincidentally was meeting with a young entrepreneur here in St. Louis last week who runs a real business that is based on carefully tweaking search engine results. His name is Mark Sawyier ([email protected]), and his business is in listing apartments near major colleges around the country. (Movingoffcampus.com is just one of dozens of domains that he owns.) He is the cyberspace version of a major urban real estate developer: he understands SEO, Google Analytics, and how to play in a game where you live and die by your rankings and page views. He has managed to up his pay-per-click rates from his sponsors because:
a. He has tons of content – in this case apartment listings,
b. He has tons of relevant content – the apartments are listed by proximity to campus and other things that students are searching for, and
c. Results – because the people searching actually end up as renters more often from his site than his competitors.

He told me: “The fact is that the combination of the constantly changing algorithms search engines use to calculate rankings with increased competition from other websites, guaranteeing someone a rank and still playing by the rules, to me, is almost impossible. They would need infinite resources and time and have to have a ridiculous amount of startup capital to get it going.”

I offer my own modest example to buttress what Mark says. I have a page on my Web site that I have maintained for more than a decade. It is a simple list of dozens of Web conferencing vendors, with some basics on what they cost and what client platforms they support. I spend about an hour a year on maintaining this listing.

A few years ago, I started getting unsolicited emails from vendors of conferencing products who wanted me to list them on my list. Then I realized why: a quick Google search on the term “web conferencing services” has me in the top ten results. Did I stuff my page full of keywords? Did I abuse my meta-tags? Did I hire a bunch of third-world keyboarders to hit my page? Did I pay some SEO firm to work their magic? Did I have some special insight into how Google ranks my page?

No, no, and no. I just doggedly set out to provide good content, week after week. And gradually, this got results. It may take years, but eventually, as Mark says, the best content will win.

So instead of gaming SEO or hiring someone to push you up the page charts, think about making a quality website with tons of content. Mark reminds me: “search engines are ALWAYS trying to connect people that use them to search for information online with the absolute best websites to provide it – the minute any of them lose sight of this objective, they will stop being a good search engine. This is the core concept behind all of the variables and algorithms that go into calculating search engine rankings. And while external links and proper SEO coding are certainly important elements in the battle, at the end of the day, the most important thing is having a website that provides the right answers and information to the searchers.”

And if you really must hire someone to do your SEO, think of hiring Mark. Off Campus Media offers campus, social media and search engine marketing services using his own experience with building his own Web sites.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Strom

David Strom is an international authority on network and Internet technologies. He has written extensively on the topic for 20 years for a wide variety of print publications and websites, such as The New York Times, TechTarget.com, PC Week/eWeek, Internet.com, Network World, Infoworld, Computerworld, Small Business Computing, Communications Week, Windows Sources, c|net and news.com, Web Review, Tom's Hardware, EETimes, and many others.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).