Finding critics of SEO
June 17, 2013 1:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in reading a thoughtful and well-researched article criticizing modern thinking about the merits of Search Engine Optimization. But because SEO is SEO, every time I search for an anti-SEO article, it seems to be pro-SEO click bait disguised behind an anti-SEO headline ("SEO sucks...that's why you should hire our company to do SEO.") I'm not saying I don't believe in SEO, but in our content farm era, I'm interested in whether there is anyone out there criticizing the whole concept?
posted by steinsaltz to Technology (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Here's one. And another. And another (mostly the latter half). There are lots of these, but because SEO is SEO, you can't really search for them.
posted by dekathelon at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

Can you give a little more detail? What do you define as "modern thinking" about SEO? Matt Cutts of Google has gobs of videos on YouTube you can watch for free that will detail the real state of what search engines are looking for. As much as they will let on, anyway. This will debunk a lot of the crap you'll find. Another place to find worthwhile info is But I'm not sure if those fit your criteria without knowing what you mean by "modern."
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:46 PM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't have articles, but it may help your search if you have a specific type of SEO in mind. Are you talking about the merits of link building, networking, title tags, referrals, page content, page rank, pay per click advertising, or the whole thing?

The most recent reasons behind the new Google updates (Penguin 2.0) may interest you, as they are looking to decrease some of that "content generation", "linking farms" and other "Black hat style SEO". Therefore they are starting to focus more on actual helpful content for users as opposed to numbers of links and ways to "Trick the system."
posted by Crystalinne at 1:47 PM on June 17, 2013 is another great resource for what actually works in SEO. i.e., not the methods that used to be referred to as "black hat" and are now pretty universally understood to be scammy/scummy, like link farms.

Twitter is chock full of good resources. Just minutes ago SEL posted "The Best Link Building For Local SEO — None!"
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:11 PM on June 17, 2013

Here is an aggregator for SEO BS that you might find amusing. It’s called, and the tagline is “The Home for Shite that SEOs Write.”

Great if you’re looking for articles with lulzy titles like “Why SEO Is Like An RTS Game (and why you should care)”, not so great if you are looking for usable information.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:03 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for opinions that SEO is bad from a marketing perspective? Or from a media-consumer/internet-user perspective?
posted by pocketfullofrye at 7:48 PM on June 17, 2013

There's a really great article on how to do SEO correctly (ie, by writing good content, updating often, and using descriptive title -- basically the opposite of "SEO" as preached) by Matt Gemmell titled, awesomely, SEO for Non-Dicks. It's a great article, and is certainly quite critical of the idea of SEO apart from the idea of creating content that people would like to find.
posted by duien at 11:37 PM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

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