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The R5 (Rant, Rave, Rant, Rant, Rave) Blog

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What counts as Ethical SEO?

The #1 principle that everyone - SEO practitioners and search engine algorithm designers alike - seem to have forgotten in the fight against search engine spam is that it is all about what the search engine user wants. And what a search engine user wants is nothing more than a website/webpage reflecting the information he had in mind when he typed in the search terms.

As long as the search engine user gets the info he was searching for, he could care less with the usage (or lack thereof) of doorway pages, gateways, redirects, to boost a site's ranking.

Based on this overriding principle, the ONLY criteria for whether SEO is ethical or not is simple and has nothing to do with the usage or non-usage of cloaking techniques or otherwise. It should all boil down to keyword selection.

For Example: A site that sells ringtones is spamming when it tries to get high rankings for keywords related to cellphone manuals.

A site can use all of these so-called black hat techniques, but at the end of the day, if what the search engine user sees is the kind of page he/she is looking for, then practically speaking no spam has taken place. The search engine user got the info he wanted, the search engine did its job and the SEO practitioner provided a value-added service.

Too much effort has been wasted on designing algorithms to fight black hat SEO techniques and too much effort has also been wasted on trying to get around such algorithms. The end result is ironic. Search engines like Google - which ostensibly have superior 'anti-spam' algorithms are returning inferior results to search engines which have simpler algorithms.

The enemy is not SEO practitioners who use 'black hat' techniques per se, it is SEO practitioners who optimize for keywords and search terms that do not apply to the site or page they are optimizing for.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Pen is Mightier than the Mouse

After using an HP tc4200 Tablet PC for a couple of months - I hereby declare that the mouse has been rendered absolutely obsolete by the pen!

Using a pen is such an improvement over a mouse that I can't wait for big screen digitizer or touch-pen monitors to arrive. That way, I can also enjoy pen usage with desktop machines and not just tablets. So far, the only touch monitor I know of is the L1510BF from LG and it is only 15" 1024x768... bummer. But I'm praying that will change quickly.

Accuracy and speed of pointing improves by a quantum leap when using pens over mice, and this definitely translates to a significant productivity increase. Moreover, the fact that the pen is far more natural to hold than mice means no more risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. If those aren't solid marketing reasons for touch monitors, I don't know what are.

The only con? Smudged screens from resting your hands on them. But frankly, the smudges are visible only when the monitor is off.