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In The Name Of Relevance?

* by: Rev Sale *

It's funny how the best laid plans, even of Google, tend to go awry. There once was a dream of a democratic search based on genuine relevance and meritocracy, where money didn't matter, and anyone's website could compete with the Enterprise. We all know what happened to that dream.

The Primary Dichotomy : Links vs Content

Because of the way Google ranks sites, there have always been 2 distinctly different factors that we know contribute to rank. Content and inbound links.

This has resulted in 2 quite divergent professions, both calling themselves SEO. Just a short visit with our clients demonstrates this dichotomy. There are those who built their ranks from purchased links, and there are those who built them by creating semantic relevance.

And each method has been proven legitimate in that each is rewarded by higher ranks in Google. After all, that's the measure that rewards us with the blessing of traffic.

But upon close inspection, what each method actually does in the name of relevance is only a patronizing dance to the mercurial tune of Google's semantic imperative. And it's an effort that, in reality, works to harm the search for relevance.

The link mess: Clearly the most relevant document isn't the one with the most paid links pointing to it. I'm sure you'll agree, especially when you consider those all those outsourced link buyers in Cebu, frantically purchasing links for your competition. So clearly the link buyers are harming the search for relevance as they make their mess.

The content mess: And it's equally true that the most relevant document probably isn't the one created with precisely perfect, well researched nomenclature used across all tags, filenames, anchor text and content, with the most effective number of exact match impressions of the target keyword. The content guys are also making a mess, just a different one.

So the major efforts of the big dogs, in the quest for high Google ranks, is focused on doing stuff that flies in the face of relevance. And though it's obvious that neither method is generating genuine relevance, these are methods that create the pages that hold the high ranks. Think about that.

And since these are the types of documents we're creating in order to better compete in our markets because of what works in Google, you could argue that Google is really messing things up. The original, idealistic goals now seem so naive and simpleminded.

The sad thing is that everyone has been forced to buy into it, and now we're all on this insanely hysterical quest for higher ranks chanting "in the name of relevance," when we're really just trying to game the system, using whatever works. Because it isn't really relevance that matters anyway. Is it?

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