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Friday, June 6, 2003

Meanwhile on Google Answers

Meanwhile, on Google Answers...

Think EUO, Not SEO

It’s a bit of a misunderstanding of new webmasters that there is such a thing as Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a mere symptom of what one would better call EUO — End User Optimization. I wouldn’t know of a single thing to do purely to fare better with Google et al without actually serving your visitors better*:

*About the only thing that’s mostly SEO, and not EUO, are those meta-keywords and descriptions. And it turns out that’s the one thing pretty much ignored by most engines. Because it doesn’t really focus on the end-user. Which is what SEO should be all about.

So why not name this thing for what it is, to better avoid confusion? Because SEO somehow sounds more technical than “accessibility”? “To protect you against the big cold Google machine, you have to know every twist of their funny algorithm, and adapt your site accordingly”? No. And if anything is funny with Google at a certain moment in time, you better not rely on it to be in the future. Because for them to be successful means knowing what the user is looking for.

To those asking “Will this hurt my ranking? Should this boost my position?”, one should answer:
The user is not looking for Search Engine Optimized, but End User Optimized websites. And to be able to handle that task of EUOing a website, it’s enough to understand HTML, the language you attempt to communicate in, and the recipients, the actual people you are talking to. So ask questions about HTML, and ask questions that help you understand your readers... but when creating your next webpage, think of the mysterious Googlebot as a silent listener who’s lurking around the corner, making notes of what you’re telling someone else. Don’t make signs behind your back. Don’t turn around and talk to the brick wall. Your readers will appreciate it.

And the Webby Goes to Google

The 2003 Webby Award Winners are in:

Google News gets the Webby Award in category News, and is People’s Voice Winner for Technical Achievement for the second time in a row. They’ll be happy to put it in their Google Inc. awards attic after their five-words-limit acceptance speech: “We’ll meet again next year”.

Other ’Net Oscars (with their self-proclaimed mission to “honor excellence” since 1996) went to, — People’s Voice winner for both humor and print + zines —,,,; and for Commerce.


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