Sunday, December 17, 2006

SEO - The Game of Mice and Cats

Search Engine Strategy Conference is one of most influencing event in search industry when delegates from major search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN meet and discuss about the latest development in search technology with Internet marketers and SEO consultants who have been trying harder to rank their clients’ target keywords on Google, Yahoo and MSN. The recent SES conference just held in Chicago a few days ago.

It’s harder to make a distinction between what is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and what is Search Engine Manipulation (SEM, not for Search Engine Marketing here). This is as harder as to define exactly the difference between white hat SEO and black SEO. Sites get good ranking without SEO or SEM are really quality sites, such as and A good Internet markert wears no hats or invisible hats. Search Engine Optimization become Search Engine Manipulation as long as it wears a hat - white hat or black hat doesn’t matter.

If search engines won’t tell SEO consultants how their ranking algorithms work, it’s likely SEO part won’t tell their SEO techniques to search engines too. Your won’t expect mice to tell cats and say: “Hello, cats, I’m here and eat me , please”.

Besides the SEO's efforts to manipulate search engine search results, the competition from other search engines may be one of important reasons (even have more weight than the treats from SEO) that Google won’t discuss their ranking algorithms than rather say “just get more links, quality links”.

As long as the search engines relies on links to evaluate the importance of web page content, there’s room for link building to impact the SERPs (search engine result pages). So the game of mice and cats continue. The interesting part of SES conference is that the search engine think they will learn about SEO to improvement quality of search results and SEO consultants think they will learn about the algorithms to rank well. It is a fair game.