Is SEO Bullshit? Discuss.

Sam Brown recently published an interesting post on the value and merit of SEO: Why I think SEO is bullshit – in which Sam says:

For me, it’s all about my personal brand, Sam Brown is who I am and who I want to be known as. I do not want to be known as that “web designer from Scotland”. But herein lies the problem,SEO is a flooded market, everyone is trying to game the system, get a higher rank and profit from it, too many people spend too much time trying to get Number #1 rank on Google instead of focusing on improving themselves, their sites and their products. Doing this will not go unnoticed and links will grow organically.

I found this particularly interesting following my own experiments with optimising this blog for search. Shortly after that post this blog rose to 17 in Google UK’s search  rankings; but then almost as mysteriously dropped to the mid 40s. At this point I decided I had done as much as I could, and really should listen to my own advice:

The biggest factor in getting that to happen is of course content; if you don’t have content of interest to people they aren’t really going to link to you are they?

Having said that I didn’t start writing more in an attempt to increase my search ranking. I have been writing and posting more because I’m enjoying it again, and because I feel I’ve got back to where I was when I started blogging: simply sharing my thoughts and the things I find online. A kind of digital scrapbook if you will.

Intriguingly, and reinforcing Sam and my points regarding quality and content, since I stopped focussing on SEO I’ve had articles linked to by a number of higher profiles sites including Boing Boing Gadgets. As the quality and quantity of posts has increased I’ve also seen the number of visitors increase.

The final surprise came last week. I thought I’d see where I sit in a search for David Hughes on Google UK. At first I thought I’d dropped even further down the rankings, but when I started from page 1 I was stunned to see that my little blog now sits at number 3 – on both .com and I was amazed.

I guess content really is King.