SEO Gone Bad: This is not the way to optimize your content

by Carl Natale on March 8, 2011

SEO Gone Bad

Can you guess what's the target keyword phrase?

I understand the value of SEO. You need to use language that matches what your audience is entering into search engine queries.

But sometimes you can go too far. Consider this paragraph from a post that pays more attention to keywords than readability:

When you are looking for a merchant account to grow your business, there are many things that you are required to keep in mind. One of the most important and foremost things that you must consider while selecting a merchant account is that it must be a reliable merchant account that is also cost effective so that you are able to get the best value for your money. NAB merchant accounts are a popular choice among merchant account providers that offer almost everything ranging from credit and debit card processing to offering help and guidance for getting the right credit card processing equipment. But take heed in choosing one without adequate research. A provider should be chosen carefully only after careful research is conducted.

Can you guess what is their primary SEO keyword phrase?

I found this while looking for content to share via @CarlNatale. Before clicking I thought this would have good information on how to handle credit card and debit card transactions. Something a lot of merchants in my network would like to know.

Except my eyes glaze over way to quickly. Maybe it’s the constant repetition of the keywords. Or all the content is packed into only three large paragraphs. Or it’s written for a 12-year-old.

I’m sorry. I probably should have written that the problems are:

  • Constant repetition of the keywords
  • Only three large paragraphs
  • Written for a 12-year-old

This post is such a chore to read I almost missed the point that if you sell porn or accept bets, you need special merchant accounts. Did not know that. I don’t think anyone I know needs to know that though.

I’m going out on a limb that the site owners don’t care what I think. They have a business model that depends on capturing attention. And they got me to click through to the post. And I am providing a link (thought long and hard about doing that).  And I’m sure they get enough attention to support their business model that they don’t need to worry if someone actually reads the post or gets value from it. So their SEO strategy must be serving them well.

But is that the kind of business you are in? I’m guessing you offer a different kind of value. And you want readers to understand and respect your content.

So be careful about following SEO advice. Don’t let your keywords become more important than readability. After you attract readers to your Web site, you need to earn their respect and trust.

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