While gently warming up for another blog, Grumpy Green Granny came across a notice telling her she had eight comments – but that they were all junk! What could this mean? On peering (shortsightedly) further, it became clear that most of these were long spam posts explaining that her blogs were short of SEOs.

SEOs? short energetic otters? slapdash editing options? Some head scratching ensued, and as usual off to trusty Google, where the phrase ‘search engine optimization’ was revealed and some light shed on the topic. SEOs, which I’m sure people younger than Methuselah already know, are key words within text and headlines of web pages that  affect its ‘visibility’ in search results.

In short, more people will see what you have written – even if it is complete rubbish – if you use certain key words. I understand this, partly because I was writing headlines back in the days when you had to measure them with a ruler to make sure they would fit (note to the young, a ruler is a piece of wood that is marked with regular, er, markings that denote inches, centimetres and other things you will know nothing about). I am not saying that my headlines were complete rubbish, I add hastily, just that the principle of using words that attract the reader’s attention is not unfamiliar to me.

SEOs, however, are slightly different and – it seems to me – rather more unsavoury. If a reader of a magazine sees a headline that says, oh, for example, ‘Brad Pitt sex scandal’, they might expect to find within the body of that article some mention of Brad Pitt and a sex scandal, presumably related to each other. If they found no mention of either, then they might feel justifiably miffed and fire off a letter to the editor. They might not buy that publication again, thus depriving the editor of a lunchtime pint (oh woe!).

It seems to Granny that SEOs, on the other hand, are words that can be used to pepper (and salt) text and bring that all-fired wonderful ‘click’ rate up regardless of whether everyone who sees what is written there goes ‘oh ffs!!!! *@£$£%Q£$%!!!’, and moves instantly somewhere else. What is the point of writing complete gibberish just to get people to visit a particular page?

One presumes the answer to that (as it is with so many things) is money. Money money money free lamborghini wolf alpine extinction anniversary diamonds. This explains why, when Granny steps outside her somewhat esoteric field of interest (wastewater treatment! not naked men! honestly… *seraphic smile*) sometimes the web search results are spectacularly bizarre.

Let me tell you, Granny deeply resents being gulled, pulled, and downright cheated into getting some idiot’s click rate up. And if that idiot is making money, well… the old brain cells are whirring here… *Clears throat* All I am prepared to say on this topic, and it is my final word, is: Porsche sadism bilateral Royal Family Cluny Moonie Snow White. All proceeds to helpagreengranny, which will go towards buying a computer that has a hashtag symbol, enabling Granny to be grumpy in a pseudo-modern mode. I thank you.

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