by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
Last month, I wrote an article on the Myth of Search Engine Optimisation. In it I referred to the danger of overoptimising your site to be search robot friendly vs human friendly. I also mentioned that In a competitive category, SEO will not do you much good.
I still firmly believe this, but an excellent article in The Age tells the other side (although my points are mentioned in passing). I particularly liked the story about BMW and Google:
Even the biggest companies can fall foul of "black hat" work. In February, Google temporarily removed results for the German language websites of car maker BMW when it used so-called "doorway pages" - text-heavy pages liberally sprinkled with key words that attract the attention of Google's indexing system. BMW said it did not intend to deceive Google.
I am unsure why BMW felt they had to do this. Their English language site has a Page Rank of 7 because of 400,000 links to their site- not because of their use of keywords. Apparently their German site had its Page Rank wound back to O! And if they are prepared to do it to BMW for transgressing- they won't think twice about you.
So make sure you get good advice before you embark on SEO. There is a cost to it (even if it is just your time), and opinions differ. There is no single answer. It depends very much on what you are promoting.
Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions
The Australian Small Business Blog