I wanted to take a minute and talk a little bit about search engine optimization and spam and answer the question, does Google consider SEO to be spam? And the answer is no. Google doesn’t consider SEO to be spam. Now, a few, you know, really tech-savvy people might get angry at that. So let me explain in a little more detail. SEO stands for search engine optimization. And essentially it just means trying to make sure that your pages are well represented within search engines. And there’s plenty an enormous amount of white had great quality stuff that you can do as a search engine optimizer. You can do things like making sure that your pages are callable. So you want them to be accessible. You want people to be able to find them just by clicking on links and in the same way search engines can find them just by clicking on links. You want to make sure that people use the right keywords. If you’re using industry jargon or lingo that not everybody else uses, then a good SEO expert can help you find out. Oh, these are keywords that you should have been thinking about. You can think about usability and trying to make sure that the design of the site is good. That’s good for users and for search engines. You can think about how to make your site faster. Not only does Google use site speed in our rankings as one of the many factors that we use in our search rankings, but if you can make your site run faster, that can also make it a much better experience.

So there are an enormous number of things that SEOs do, everything from helping out with the initial site architecture and deciding what your site should look like and the user structure and the templates and all that sort of stuff, making sure that your site is crawling all the way down to helping optimize for your return on investment. So trying to figure out, you know, what are the ways that are going to get the best bang for the buck, doing A/B testing and trying to find out, OK, what is the copy that converts all those kinds of things? There’s nothing at all wrong with all of those white hat methods. Now, are there some SEOs who go further than we would like? Sure. And are there some SEOs who actually try to employ black hat techniques, people that, you know, hack sites or that keyword stuff and just repeat things where they do sneaky things with redirects? Yeah, absolutely. But the goal is to make sure that we return the best possible search results we can. And a very wonderful way that search engine optimization can help is by cooperating and trying to help search engines find pages better. So SEO is not spam. SEO can be enormously useful. SEO can also be abused and it can be overdone. But it’s important to realize that, you know, we believe in an ideal world, people wouldn’t have to worry about these issues. But search engines are not as smart as people yet.

Google is working on it. Google is trying to figure out what people mean. We’re trying to figure out synonyms and vocabulary and stimming so that you don’t have to know exactly the right word to search for what you wanted to find. But until we get to that day, search engine optimization can be a valid way to help people find what they’re looking for via search engines. Google provides webmaster guidelines on google.com/webmasters. There’s a free webmaster forum, there are free webmaster tools. There’s a ton of HTML documentation. So if you search for SEO Starter Guide, Google have written, you know, a beginner guide where people can learn more about search engine optimization. But just to be very clear, there are many, many valid ways that people can make the world better with SEO. It’s not the case that, you know, sometimes you’ll hear is or SEO criminals or SEOs or snake oil salesmen. If you find a good person, someone that you can trust, someone that will tell you exactly what they’re doing, the sort of person where you get good references or you’ve seen their work and it’s very helpful and they’ll explain exactly what they’re doing. They can absolutely help your website. So I just wanted to dispel that misconception that some people think Google thinks also is spam, and that’s definitely not the case. There’s a lot of great SEOs out there, and I hope you find a good one to help with your website.