The credibility of web site search engine optimization search results has been the subject of major debates for many years. How reliable are the search results and how much can you trust them to bring up relevant information?
When search engine optimisation or SEO first became an important tactic in online marketing the result was a littering of spam results that showed great inventiveness of the SEO specialists.
Amongst the many search engine spam techniques are keywords unrelated to site, redirects, keyword stuffing, mirror/duplicate content, tiny text, doorway pages, link farms, cloaking, keyword stacking, domain spam and more where that came from. A whole new art form of rearranging the search engine results.
Of course the search engines had to tweak their algorithms to combat these abuses and have become much more effective in weeding out this kind of spam.
But have they managed to overcome this pestilence or are search results still far short of showing credible results?
Enter in your search term and see what comes up. In all probability you will find that the results are more cluttered with blogs and user-generated content. These are not always credible or authoritative sources of information.
Blogs are more likely to rise to the top of the search results because they naturally achieve a fair number of inbound links due to other sites referencing their content or using other posts to support their point of view.
So the big question would be whether blogs are necessarily the most useful and relevant information for users?
Not only this fact lends some dubiousness to the search results, but also the fact that often much older articles come up on search.
In the fast moving technology of this age we are living in, any article on internet marketing for instance that is older than three years should be viewed with suspicion. Yet, they come up regularly.
The search engines focus on looking for new content enriched with relevant keywords can be to the detriment of information rich sites that might not have new content uploaded at regular intervals.
Bloggers have the advantage of being able to post keyword-rich textual content, negotiate a high number of inbound links, insert descriptive meta titles that are spider friendly and bookmark their content on search friendly social bookmarking sites such as Technorati.
This means that often a blog could come up top of the search lists by the clever use of SEO principles rather because the content is relevant or credible in terms of search.
How can users know whether their web site search engine optimization search results will provide the best possible and most credible results?
Difficult to tell nowadays. As user generated content grows it could be that this is what will dominate the results that search engines will bring up.
Just try a search for any topic and see what comes up. You will find it quite interesting to try and work out which of your first page results could be a credible source of information.
Users will have to learn that just because a page ranks highly and shows up on page one of the search engine they cannot draw the conclusion mean that the content is necessarily credible.