Gerry McGovern writes a newsletter called New Thinking. He is a genius. He also wrote one of my favorite books about the Web, The Stranger’s Long Neck.
In this issue, he talks about what he calls the perils of search engine optimization.
If Google wanted to get found in Google would it have the homepage it has? No. It would have a homepage with lots of content on it. This content would repeat keywords such as “search engine.” For example, a classic SEO statement would be. “Search with our search engine. We are the best search engine to help you search.”
McGovern’s contention is that the Google homepage is “absolutely atrociously optimized for search engines, but tremendously well optimized for people who search.”
For what it’s worth, I ran McGovern’s experiment. I searched “search engine” on Google and the first result was Bing. When I did the same thing on Bing, I got Bing. Google didn’t appear until the middle of the second page of results.
What’s it all mean? Well, for starters, SEO is not your number one priority; making your site functional is.
BTW — This is actually only the second time I’ve ever used Bing. Google must be doing something right.