I happened upon the search phrase "SEO technology environment" today and was surprised to see so many people searching on it. People in our search engine optimization industry are always talking about SEO technology. Most of what I see is debate around the use of automation tools in support of search engine marketing efforts. Perhaps this is what they mean by the SEO technology environment phrase I saw. I decided to take a stroll through the top Google search results on the term and see exactly what was being talked about. Here are the results of my hour researching “SEO technology environment”:

1) A bunch of crap written specifically to catch this search term, but offering no real insight into the discussion at hand. In many cases, I was not really sure what they were even selling.

2) Discussion of SEO technology tools for doing keyword research and determining the competition on these keyword phrases. This seems very useful to me. It is true that there are real patterns of search. And they are not always the most logical. Human behavior is often a little confusing. This is why television advertisers run focus groups. They want to know how people will react before spending the money. You could think of keyword research as a similar process in the Internet advertising space. And it's amazing how often you are wrong when you only use intuition. You might think people would try certain terms when searching for information on a specific topic. But then you look at the data and it suggests otherwise. As in all business strategy decisions, I say let the data inform you.

3) A bunch of SEO services firms saying things like “dare to increase your rank” and “we can put you on page 1 of Google.” So, we know what these are: Businesses to avoid. I read through their pitches and didn’t find much of substance. Sounds dangerous to me for any meaningful business to trust these types of sites.

4) Domain registration companies trying to get your registration business. I know that there is big money in domain names, but that space just seems so crowded to me. i guess they need to pursue any term they think is remotely related.

5) Legitimate web design firms that include the SEO technology environment as part of their pitch for web design services. This also seems really useful. When web sites are designed, it is important to include SEO considerations in the process if you hope to gain any meaningful organic search traffic to your web site.

Reviewing this list above, it is hard for me to really understand what is going on here. I see the camps of folks positioning themselves for this search traffic on the term SEO technology environment. But I am still a bit confused about what exactly the searcher had in mind when they typed this term into Google. What exactly are they looking for with this phrase? I guess if it were me, I would be asking for the latest trends in SEO technology tools. But why not just search on that. What is special about the word “environment?” That implies to me that they are trying to understand if there are any SEO platforms available. Perhaps they are wanted to get information on white hat SEO, but I don’t think so. In the end, I have no idea why this phase get’s the volume it does. Perhaps it’s a robot hitting Google :-)

Our definition of an SEO technology environment (which I will coin right now) is one that helps you structure the white hat SEO activities that are needed to promote your web site. See, we take the position at Semify that most people know what these activities are. If they don't, a quick visit to any one of hundreds of SEO forums and they will. This includes things such as title tags, keywords, keyword research, directory submission, article writing, blogging and so on. I did a full piece on on-site and off-site SEO strategies a while back. See, these are not rocket science. Nor are they big secrets. But as with everything in life, execution is the key. And many companies fail at doing the very things they know they need to do to succeed. So, looking through my lens, an SEO technology environment is actually a platform that helps you with a combination of technical automation as well as work flow organization.

Vague? Yeah. But that's why we don't really use that term around here :-)