So, I was chatting with my old-school pal the other day. We were talking about web browser extensions, and I’d recommended he have a look at my page about extensions here, and whether he had any suggestions. Stop right there! He couldn’t view it.
Why couldn’t he view it? Because his privacy protection software completely blocked the page as a threat. That’s not because I have objectionable content. It’s because I participate, proactively, in the game of SEO. Thus, the source code required for certain types of analysis exist on my site, and your web browser is (or should be) smart enough to know that.
I wouldn’t have put that there if Google Analytics didn’t exist, because I don’t care about it. If you read it, cool. If you’ve never seen it, it didn’t affect me in any way. This site was borne of my desire to have a central place to keep various notes on web development. Anything outside of that which seems to be authored for public consumption is to satisfy my desire to entertain. Not unlike your desire for “followers” and “likes”, which is a function of many psychological concerns, such as low self esteem and a desire to be an “influencer” as the medium allows for it.
SEO is an industry that exists because of the existence of Google Analytics. Why does Google Analytics exist? Not for you, or your website. If you’re going to analyze your website, analyze it where it matters. You can make a lot of money as a so-called SEO Analyst. haha. Maybe you do?
Your website doesn’t need to be analyzed by Google. Does it? Why? No one has the answer to that, but whomever decided it was a thing. Of course it’s a thing when scientists want to study something, and “Google” is certainly “something”. But, is SEO truly improving your content, what you create and publish, or your quality of life in general?
I can think of one way that SEO has enhanced my life, actually. In the beginning, the aspirations of people who knew the direction that things should go (and were ultimately responsible for HTML5) the common thread was web standards advocacy. A natural by product was the greater ability for sites adhering to web standards scoring higher in some search engines. The use of semantic markup is naturally easier to read, for example, by the likes of the crawlers (e.g. Google, Bing) which will understand the content better (e.g. think of a JSON tree).
It’s been nearly 20 years since people started integrating the concept of SEO into their websites. Choose which side you’re on. Good content, or content for the presupposition that what you create will satisfy your SEO goals, and hit the numbers? Which game are you playing: Analyst or Creator? Whose pocket do you wish to fill?
How about your sense of urgency. What if you bailed out on your participation in SEO. How would you go about your content creation? Moreover, how would you go about your day at all!?
Have a look at an article that I wrote about it in 2007. At that time, Google Analytics had been on the block for about 2 years. It hadn’t really started bullying the neighborhood kids yet.