SearchEthos : rethinking search on the internet & SEO practices

best practices for search usability and SEO

Why should I care about SEO?

You have a business online or your own website:

Although SEO has been around almost as long as the Internet, it's still not well-known outside of internet marketing circles. For any business that has a presence on the web, it's short-sighted not to employ good SEO techniques that can increase both traffic and conversions. There are a number of basic SEO practices that are easy, quick, and inexpensive to implement. If you're planning on launching a new site (even if it's purely personal), using good SEO practices can increase your audience and better assist search engines to properly index your site so that you can be found in the future. And it will save you from having to re-design your site too often if you "do it right" the first time around.

You don't have a website but you use the internet:

Even people who don't have sites and have no intention of putting up any sort of web presence- are affected by SEO. If you use search engines (e.g. Google) or directories (e.g. Yahoo), and you're frustrated by the poor-quality results you receive during a search, you're not alone. Or if you visit one website, only to be redirected to one that has no bearing on what you're looking for, you could blame bad SEO tactics.

One old and humorous example of interesting (but arguably less relevant) search results was found in October 1999 for a search on "more evil than Satan himself". The #1 result? The Microsoft Homepage. (Read more about it from, one of SearchEthos' favorite resources.)

Search engines are only partly responsible for the above scenarios. More often than not, the reason behind such irrelevant or poor results is bad SEO. Some possibilities include:

  • Sites that rank high but are poor matches for your search could be using unethical or bad SEO techniques- either knowingly (in a misguided effort to increase traffic) or in ignorance.

  • Or the site you're trying to find hasn't employed the most basic of good SEO techniques. Thus, it hasn't been indexed by the search engines or ranks very low for its keywords (despite it being a good match for your needs).

  • Last but not least, there's user error (using poor keywords, not employing intelligent search restrictions or parameters, etc.).

As the number of sites on the internet increases, we increase our reliance on those tools that help us to find the information, products, or services we need. Useful tools such as search engines or sites that are good references/experts are invaluable.

SEO isn't important simply from a business perspective; consumers (and all Internet users) are affected as well. We should care because the mechanics behind both good searching and being found- rests on good search engine optimization.

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