Good morning, Marketers, who ruined the SERPs?
“Once companies realize that search is their lifeblood, they will change what they do to get more than their fair share of search.” That was marketing guru Seth Godin, speaking on his latest podcast on how search has become corrupted.
But that wasn’t the only callout that caught my attention yesterday. A recent Reddit thread (not linked due to profanity) called, “Does anyone else think Google search quality has gone downhill fast?” featured admissions of guilt like this: “Yes, I work for a large company that maintains a blog virtually for the sole purpose of feeding SEO terms to Google. If someone happens to actually read it, that’s a nice little bonus surprise.”
Search marketers mainly play by the rules we’re given, and absent the bad actors who abuse the rules, are trying to do what’s best to create visibility for our clients and employers and good experiences for searchers. But is winning the SERP battle worth “corrupting” the experience, as Godin puts it? Should our pillar pages all be as succinct as the USDA’s are? Obviously, it’s not that simple. But worth a thought?