in SEO by Jeffrey_Smith

Last week Derek Powazek ruffled a few feathers in the SEO industry with a rant, and as much as I would have like to roast on Derek, I chose to pass on sensationalizing the topic by giving it any regard on the SEO Design Solutions Blog.

The SEO Darth Vaders of the Dark Side Vs. Derek Powazek

The SEO Darth Vader's of the Dark Side Vs. Derek Powazek

However, just because I did not “embrace the opportunity”doesn’t stop our co-workers from opening a can of “you-know-what” in response…

So, with no further ado, here is our lead journalist Ms. Dayna Fields in her first SEO Design Solutions blog debut with – The SEO Darth Vader’s of the Dark Site (and no, we are NOT talking about black hat SEO)…

Dear Derek,

I work for an SEO company on the content producing side and usually I would never dare to venture into a hot button SEO topic that is as controversial as your recent post, since I don’t know as much fancy SEO jargon as my techie co-workers. But, since you mentioned my field by name, I suddenly feel a compelling call to action.

“Worse than the hackers are the competent journalists and site creators that are making legitimate content online, but get seduced by the SEO dark side into thinking they need to create content for Google instead of for their readers.”

I’m probably not telling you things that you don’t already know. But, as a young journalist, this gives me a perfect, one-time opportunity to tell off an editor (dream come true).

Plenty of talented young writers are currently working a part-time job in retail, freelancing as much as possible and watching the Chicago Sun Times file for bankruptcy. The message is loud and clear: newspapers are a no-go and freelancing sucks.

Some call me an SEO copywriter, but I take great pride in the copy that I produce and, although it’s not being published in ink or on a dead-tree version, I feel it is the perfect feed for my newspaper hunger.

Just as I would as a reporter, I write about a variety of topics, learn new things everyday and write interesting, witty tidbits of useful information that is relevant to our client’s industry. Even if no one reads my work but Google, I would say that the same amount of people is reading the newspaper. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but, sad as it is, the journalistic trend is clearly moving towards the Web.

So, instead of interviewing experts, we research experts’ blogs and Web sites. The only other things that my SEO content team is lacking are the elitist attitudes and arrogant egos of newspaper and magazine staffs (i.e. publishers, editors and journalists), which is probably what got them into this career-threatening mess in the first place.

In my opinion, gearing our writing towards an SEO format is no different than learning about the inverted pyramid. Sneaking some keywords into my writing here and there doesn’t bother me. In the words of my former editor, “If it bothers you, get over it. Because your competitors already have.” We’re simply doing what is necessary to stay competitive in the Internet-journalism game.

We’re no worse than those high-end, luxury magazines that feature minimal content and multiple Bentley dealership ads. And the publishers who decide only to mail these “special publications” to zip codes whose average household income is greater than $300,000.

And I’m not “dumbing down” my content, as you suggested, much lower than the standard fifth grade reading level, which they now say is the preference of the average Internet reader.

To conclude, just because my content ends up on the Internet and pleases Google in particular ways, doesn’t mean I don’t put considerable effort into my writing. “Seduced by the SEO dark side?” It’s more like being forced to think quickly and creatively in an unprecedented situation where the entire being of journalism is on the rocks.

You’re stupid if you don’t learn as much about the Internet as possible, tweak your writing to fit what the job market demands and be thankful for the opportunity to be a writer that makes a decent living.

Furthermore, as this journalism game increasingly migrates towards the Web, we SEO writers are going to be at the top of the game, with the best hand to play and the most chips to bet.

As a final note, yes, there are scam-artist SEO companies out there, just like there are scam-artist bloggers who write product reviews about products that the manufacturer sent them for free. And I feel no more ashamed to ‘sell out’ to SEO than I would if I had sold out to a degree in advertising or PR.

There are SEO companies that don’t outsource to third world countries and, instead, offer jobs to legit writers (like myself) looking for work. I do believe that anyone promising overnight results can be deemed as “SEO jerkwads”– so eloquently put. There’s no such thing as a ‘quick fix’.

But that’s why some companies only take contracts in six month to one year increments. Natural and fair SEO takes time, dedication and commitment. Luckily, you don’t have to do it yourself. That’s why good SEO companies exist.

I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the Wookie win.

Sincerely,

The SEO Darth Vaders of the Dark Side. 

Read More Related Posts
Tiered SEO Navigation and Link Structure
In our previous post called Search Engine Optimization: Creating Tiered Structures, we touched briefly on the importance of site structure and creating cascading or faceted / tiered navigation for search ...
READ MORE
SEO Design Solutions is proud to announce the Code Inserter Module to the SEO Ultimate All-In-One SEO Plugin. This recent update allows you to add custom html code to your WordPress ...
READ MORE
Landing Pages and the Value of Propositions
During the several hours of perusing the internet each day, I come across many value propositions. Like most web surfers, I can't help but try my luck at winning a ...
READ MORE
SEO Web Design and Principles of Usability
The value of SEO Web Design isn't just about content, code and calculations; like the quantity of list anchors, the content to link ratio, W3C Compliance or the intricacies of ...
READ MORE
Link Interrogation: Is Google Shaking Down Paid Links?
Is Google shaking down paid links now more than ever? It seems that more and more sites are slipping from page 1 to page 3 or 4 in the SERPs ...
READ MORE
Create Stronger Websites and Rankings
Theoretically, websites do not get stronger by themselves, they need help. While aging a website is a factor for prolonged growth in rankings, today's SEO tip shared below works by ...
READ MORE
How to Pack an SEO Punch
Each page in your website should have a purpose. In fact, each page should pack an SEO Punch. If you have a multiple pages lacking a unified structure and site ...
READ MORE
With all of the fancy jargon-rich industry terms flying around, it doesn't really matter if you call it SEO "search engine optimization", SEM "search engine marketing", SMO "social media optimization" ...
READ MORE
SEO Tips for 2011
To kick-off the new year in style, we would like to share a few useful and practical SEO tips for 2011. Each keyword should be carefully considered as a business ...
READ MORE
Scale or ...
The only difference between and market-dominant authority site (replete with SEO), a keyword-sniping niche site, a vast shopping cart filled with thousands products or a blog is scope, scale, resource ...
READ MORE
Tiered SEO Navigation and Link Structure
Code Inserter Module Added to SEO Ultimate
Landing Pages: The Value of Propositions
SEO Web Design and Principles of Usability
Is Google Shaking Down Paid Links?
SEO Tips to Create Stronger Trust & Domain
Each Page Should Pack an SEO Punch
Search Engine Marketing SEO or SMO? Who Cares
SEO Tips for 2011
SEO Reality Check! Scope, Scale, Resource and Intent

About Jeffrey_Smith

In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

4 thoughts on “The SEO Darth Vaders of the Dark Site vs. Derek Powazek
  1. Ms. Fields (and the SEO Industry at large) 1: Derek Powazek 0

  2. Sari says:

    Go Dayna!

  3. Well put, Dayna

    As someone that also employs uk citizens with journalism backgrounds to build websites with excellent content that is fit for both human and google consumption i agree with you 10000% on the matter.

    Excellently put and I think that you just saved me lots of time explaining the role of a web-based journalist and its growing importance in the marketplace.

    A really well made post.

Comments are closed.