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  1. #1
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    Target visitors or search engines?

    A lot of the advice given on this forum boils down to 'content is king' and 'write for the user not the search engine'. These articles show both sides to this important element of SEO. Writing great content for users whilst taking advantage of Google's rules to rank well.

    From Google's Webmaster Central blog - Target visitors or search engines?

    From the same blog -

    "Visitor-friendly design makes for search engine friendly design as well. The team at Google webmaster central talks a lot with site owners who care a lot about the details of how Google crawls and indexes sites (hyphens and underscores included), but many site owners out there are just concerned with building great sites. The good news is that the guidelines and tips about how Google crawls and indexes sites come down to wanting great content for our search results"

    Google have a huge influence on the content (not the subject matter itself) of their index and understanding how Google wants us to build sites is the secret to ranking well on Google.

    An article from Dave Taylor on keyword density which adds weight to the theory that keyword is a factor in on-site optimisation and that not exceeding 3.5% isn't such a bad rule of thumb - Can you explain keyword density?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot Gharibe's Avatar
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    i think search engine traffic would be better (preferable Yahoo*)

  3. #3
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    What good are search engines without visitors? Isn't the *real* point to get visitors (aka buyers)?

    Second point, these are not mutually exclusive!
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  4. #4
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    It is idiocy to write a site for search engines. Sure, they play a crucial role in directing traffic to your site, but what good is that traffic if your site isn't usable once a person arrives?

    Who are you trying to sell to? That's who you write for.

    And ParkinT's second point is pertinant. You can do both.

  5. #5
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Supposing you do only write for search engines, what's next?
    THE VISITOR!!!
    What is the visitor going to do once they arrive?
    How can you get the visitor involved in your site so that they will return and tell their friends?
    Is your goal to grow, or just keep getting traffic from search engines that does not return?

    I don't mean to sound rude here, but it is important to think in the right terms, and it makes all the difference!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvduval View Post
    I don't mean to sound rude here, but it is important to think in the right terms, and it makes all the difference!
    Not at all, why would I think you were being rude? I agree with everything that's been said on this thread.

    Did you think I was arguing for writing for search engines over the visitor?

    The best comment I thought was the one about them not being mutually exclusive.

  7. #7
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    This is Matt Cutt's opinion on the subject which happily matches mine exactly -

    Matt Cutts - Optimize for Search Engines or Users?

    It's the first 1 minutes or so.

  8. #8
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    All things done should be because of visitors and count all SE as your visitors?
    Who uses SE? potential visitors right? that might lead our site through query

  9. #9
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    The two go hand-in-hand. Don't ignore one but work for a good balance. Quite frankly if you do some keyword research for seo then you will be able to optimize for visitors as it is people behind those searches!

  10. #10
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    I think it is a balance between the 2. If you do not take search engines into consideration then you can loose alot of traffic with the wrong keywords

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict intelligence's Avatar
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    Optimization of specific keywords is the key.
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  12. #12
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The search engines are attempting to optimise for best visitor experience but are not quite there yet. That means that it may be necessary to tweak the page content slightly to get better search engine optimisation. This should only be done though after the page has been written to be useful for your expected visitors and should primarily consist of replacing words with synonyms so as to increase keyword density.
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  13. #13
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    search engine marketing is good i think.

  14. #14
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoopyboy View Post
    search engine marketing is good i think.
    So how often do the search engines buy your products? Do you charge search engines a higher price than human visitors?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    So how often do the search engines buy your products? Do you charge search engines a higher price than human visitors?
    I don't think that's what he meant. Search engine marketing or SEM is the use of search engines to market your services/goods and includes, but is not limited to, SEO and PPC.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  16. #16
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    I think you should target visitors,visitors are the kings.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict Hafsoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
    The two go hand-in-hand. Don't ignore one but work for a good balance. Quite frankly if you do some keyword research for seo then you will be able to optimize for visitors as it is people behind those searches!
    Agree with you both targeted visitors and the se should be in a good balance

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkinT View Post
    What good are search engines without visitors? Isn't the *real* point to get visitors (aka buyers)?

    Second point, these are not mutually exclusive!
    I think ParkinT said it best, search engines and visitors are not mutually exclusive. If you create your site keeping your visitors in mind, you'd be optimizing your site for search engines as well.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot jvr's Avatar
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    I think you must target both...it's just a matter of priority.

  20. #20
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I know it is an abstract concept but if you target visitors you also target search engines as well. If you target search engines you generally aren't targeting visitors and in some cases are turning them off.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    I know it is an abstract concept but if you target visitors you also target search engines as well. If you target search engines you generally aren't targeting visitors and in some cases are turning them off.
    Absolutely.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Good content for the search engines will ultimately lead to visitors - lets not forget that as well.
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