Optimizing Your WebSite: Focus on Visitors or Google ?

Nick Gerner gave an enthusiastic presentation, Tuesday night at SEMNE in Providence RI, about the underpinnings of search technology and SEOMoz’s new LinkScape tool.

Here is a simple example to illustrate a fundamental point:

1) Search Engineers – they create the search algorithms

2) Search Algorithms – are constructed to provide the searcher with relevant search results

3) Relevant User information – the Search Engines hope to provide relevant results to you

Now, off to the side are the search marketers with a decision to make as to where they focus their attention to improve a website’s search results.  The choices are listed above, 1,2 or 3.  Which do you choose?

1) Search Engineers.  Never met one.  I assume that they must be pretty tight lipped in order to keep their jobs.  Not an easy target.

2) Search Algorithms. Again, never met one.  I assume that they don’t even have lips. Not an easy target.  Now you can setup a test bed with hundreds of domains, scrutinize Google patents or read celebrity SEO bloggers and gather information that may have been relevant.

You can never be certain of every detail and the details definitely change as sure as the sun will rise the next day.  The search engineers constantly improve the search algorithyms to provide more relevant information to searchers. It’s certainly a moving target.

3) Relevant User search results.  I am one who seeks relevant search results.  I have met other people who use search engines seeking relevant results.  Maybe this is a sensible place to focus my attention for the long term.

Technical or Fundamental SEO

If you choose #2, you are called a Technical SEO

If you choose #3, you are called a Fundamental SEO

If you are a Fundamental SEO and focus on the user, you will by default have pretty good aim on the algorithm as well.  Seems reasonable and sounds like the Fundamental SEO’s have a bit of a short cut.

How do you approach your SEO?