I read a disturbing, but not too surprising blog this morning by Virginia Nussey over at the Bruce Clay blog. Scary Findings Show that SEO is Misunderstood, Now What? Virginia was commenting on the Practical eCommerce Survey of the Month SEO is Both Important and Misunderstood.
What Practical eCommerce found is that 94 percent of surveyed merchants understand the importance of SEO (or at least claimed they do) and that SEO is part of their existing marketing efforts. Yay! Great! People are starting to understand, like Virginia said, its a great payoff for the SEO industry that folks are listening and heeding our advice.
Unfortunately they also found that 69.5 percent of the merchants think paying for links is an effective SEO tactic and 53.9 of them will take a nice big serving of keyword stuffing…thank you very much.
Now, I didn’t find the actual survey that they sent out, and I wish I could. I would really like to see how the questions were phrased to determine if the participants were led down the wrong path by the questions or if the results are true to life.
Here’s what I mean. If a question asks: Is keyword stuffing an effective SEO tactic, and someone answers yes, then that’s scary. But if the question asks: Is using keywords in as many places as you can on the page an effective SEO tactic, and someone answers yes, they probably don’t realize they just condoned keyword stuffing. They probably just know that keywords are good, and they use them as often as they can, so SURE, stuff away.
As for the purchasing links stat, that is hopefully a result of just not knowing better, not being led down the wrong path by a bad SEO consultant.
So before I jump on the “this is bad, we must rectify” bus, I’d really like to see the actual survey.
Either way though, the results are a sign that for the white-hat SEOs out there, there is still plenty of work to be done. And for the black-hats, keep your mouths shut and go away.