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  • Findability: 5 reasons to let others do the dirty work and to reclaim true SEO

    Search engine optimisers are often treated like the plumbers of the web. In many cases they have to clean up the mess architects and construction workers left. Also they get treated as if they do some kind of dirty work. The ensuing reputation problem comes along with a low self esteem of many in the SEO industry. Now the newly revived concept of findability can make this problem a woe of the past.

    What is is findability? To be honest the current concept of findability proposed by the author of the book “Building Findable Websites” resembles simply on-page or on-site SEO best practices. There are some added novelties like Microformats which haven’t been widely adopted by the SEO industry yet. All in all findability is about website optimisation for searchers and users alike, or in other words making a website work both in search as well as from the user standpoint who already is a visitor. While there are also references to off-page factors the focus is clearly the “building” of “findable websites” like the title of the book already suggests.

    There are a few great introductions into the findability concept so I won’t add another one. I want to make you aware what findability means for the SEO industry and/or community:

    1. Findability, usability and accessibility are interconnected along with other facets of information architecture
    2. Findability is marketed as the last missing ingredient in website design and development, it’s not as seemingly detached discipline like SEO might appear
    3. There is no black hat findability
    4. There is no findability reputation problem
    5. The concept of findability allows others, non-SEO people, to do the groundwork

    So basically the people who often for years ignored or frowned upon SEO finally will realise that they were wrong: The information architects, web designers and developers as well as the copy writers or other content creators. Findability is all about making these people do their jobs properly. Now will this make SEO specialists unemployed? It won’t. It just means the we can finally let others do the dirty work or simply groundwork as I do not really assume that SEO is dirty work. People out there do though.

    SEO is a dirty word. Findability isn’t. It’s nice and clean. So offer findability along with usability and accessibility, formerly known as SEO services. This way you also don’t have to explain the acronym S.E.O over and over again as findability is a simple English term everybody has some basic understanding of just based on the well known verb to find.

    So how will SEO experts survive this? SEO long ago ceased to be about making websites findable. It’s much more than that by now. SEO by now is the work of translating websites into profits, whatever it takes, be it findability, SMO or viral marketing. The SEO industry is the fastest evolving online industry. I don’t want to deal with h1 tags and image based menus. The basics must be implemented by those who are originally responsible for them, I want to do the really cool work, the link baiting, the viral videos, the blogging. Reclaim true SEO!

    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

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