SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is something that many webmasters are now obsessing over. Many web site owners are spending countless hours 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 that are designed for search engines, are often not designed for human visitors and all the traffic that your web site gets will be worthless. Visitors will visit and then soon leave your web site and not return again. Return visitors are critical for the success of any web site.
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 too keyword dense, the quality of the writing will not be as high as it should, and quite frankly, many of your visitors will be annoyed if you keep using words such as "mesothelioma" or "home insurance loan" to get your web site high in the search rankings for these terms. They will leave your web site and most likely not return. If you create a web site where content is created for people to read and is well written, chances are you will get many return visitors who like the quality of the content you provide and come back 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 at 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 run, the visitors you get from your SEO efforts will not 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.