Is SEO for Search Engines or Humans?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is something that many webmasters are now obsessing over. Many website owners are spending a ridiculous amount of time on tweaking and modifying their web sites, adding keyword rich content, and spending hours obtaining back links, so that their site will rank higher in search engines. It is true that over 90%
of all web surfers use search engines to visit sites on a regular basis, but should web masters and web site designers build and tweak sites for search engines, or for their visitors?

The answer to this question is that when you build a web site, you are not targeting web search engine crawlers, you are targeting people and human visitors. Hence, you should build a web site for humans, not search engines. The whole purpose to create a web site is so that you can get traffic. Without traffic, a web site is worthless. No matter how many features and how functional your site is, without traffic, your design and functionality do not matter. Although search engines can help bring in traffic, web sites designed for search engines are often not designed for human visitors. With that being said,  believe me when I tell you that all the traffic that your website gets that you are designing for the search engines, will in fact be worthless. Visitors might stop by to pay you a visit, but it is inevitable that they will not stick around for long and you can forget about ever seeing them again. Your main goal should be to insure that your visitors are getting the information they need, and that they have some sort of incentive to return. As I am sure that you already know, visitors alone are critical for the success of your website.

One good example of optimizing for search engines purely is some webmasters tend to stuff tons of keywords into the Meta-Tags; this is a very bad practice and will get the site blacklisted. Moreover, this black hat technique does not benefit the users.

Hence, when building a web site, one should build it for human visitors. If you have articles that are filled with too many keywords, then you are seriously compromising on quality. To be honest, many of your site’s visitors will quickly become annoyed if you attempt to continue using words such as “home insurance loan” or “mesothelioma” to get your website to rank higher in the search engines for these key terms. Visitors will leave your website and NEVER return. In other words, they will bounce! If you create a website consisting of well written where content for people to read, you will gain many subscribers and return visitors who like the quality of the content your site provides. If you are really lucky, visitors will return more frequently to read any new content you may have added. The more people that visit and link to your web site, the more popular it well become and naturally, it will be ranked higher in search engines.

Also, rather than spending hours building links for SEO purposes, that time could be better spent on adding features to your web site which would prompt more people to return to your site and stay on your web site for a longer period of time.

In conclusion, although spending lot of time on SEO and increasing your search engine rankings in the short term, the visitors you get from your SEO efforts won’t be valuable as chances are they will not visit again. If you build your web sites for people, your traffic will grow and search engine rankings will rise naturally. Hence, the best way to build a successful web site is to build for people and allow your web site to naturally move up search engine rankings.