This is a great article by Adam Audette, one that I have to share now rather than just wait for the link roundup at the end of the month:
If you’re doing SEO in 2012, you have to do it gently … quietly … invisibly.
Less is more.
I actually told a client within the past 2-3 weeks, “Stop worrying so much about SEO.” It was a situation where I felt the focus needed to be on the user, not the search engine. I think with an established website that’s what SEO has become — more about the user and user signals than about the search engine and (traditional) search engine signals.
So much SEO is ugly because the person doing it is using a hammer, when the better tool is a paintbrush.
The hammer just pounds the hell out of a web page. BAM! Title tag. BAM! Keywords. BAM! Anchor text. BAM! More keywords. BAM! Optimize that image alt text. BAM! BAM! BAM!
SEO is important. It’s a must for any business that’s serious about long-term online success. But it can be way overdone. As I said many years ago, in one of the first posts on this blog, moderation in all things — it’s one of my mom’s favorite sayings.
Or, as Adam Audette put it in that great article this week:
SEO should be unseen, when it’s done well, and only noticeable to other SEOs. It should not be overt. It should not take precedence over more important aspects of a site, like the site’s brand message, its purpose, its user experience, and its value proposition.
Amen. Put away the hammer. Be gentle.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)