“A couple of months ago I came up with a recipe for Spinach and Mozzarella Egg Bake, which turned out to be one of my personal favorite breakfasts. Then I discovered the fantastic Earthbound Farm Mixed Baby Kales at the store near my house, so of course I had to try the recipe using kale. I loved that version as well, and at first I just thought about adding a note to the spinach recipe saying that I liked it with kale. But I really wanted all my fellow kale fans to find this recipe, and knowing how the internet works, I decided this version deserves a recipe post of its own.”
This was written by Kalyn from the food blog Kalyn’s Kitchen. And she’s spot on when it comes to search engine optimization.
You see, by optimizing her blog for search engines and publishing a separate recipe, Kalyn is doing us readers a favor. There’s nothing shady about what she’s doing. A well-optimized blog makes it easier for search engines to properly index it, and for readers to find it. And if you happen to be a fan of kale and would enjoy Kalyn’s kale bake, then publishing a separate recipe for the kale bake and giving it the appropriate title (one that includes the word “kale”) is very important.
SEO has gotten a bad rep because just as with anything good that mankind has ever invented, there are always the bad guys who inevitably find a way to exploit it and turn it into something bad. But that doesn’t mean the original invention, or concept or tool, are bad. It just means that they can be used in a bad way.
This is true for nuclear power, and it’s true for search engine optimization. So to the client who recently asked me, “Are you sure about SEO? I thought it was a bad thing to do” I explained that SEO is not a bad thing to do and in fact it is very good indeed. It all depends on how you do it, and on your goal. If you goal is to convince search engines that the site you’re optimizing is about something else than what it’s really about, or if you’re trying to get search engines to index a crappy site, or a malicious site, then you’re doing a bad thing, hurting the Internet, hurting users, and Google is going to figure it out sooner or later and kick you out.
But if you have a perfectly legitimate website with high-quality content, and your goal is simply to make sure people find it, then that’s exactly what SEO is for, and in fact if you don’t optimize, you’d be doing the readers – not just yourself – a disservice.