The Scope of SEO / Google’s Privacy Woes

For State of Search I wrote a blog post asking some existential questions about what it means to call yourself an SEO. A good SEO is a jack-of-all-trades (and master of a few of them), so does the acronym still apply?

State of Search: The scope and limitations of SEO

Some have argued that the SEO acronym has evolved over time and now applies to much more than just optimising sites for search engines. I’m not sure I agree with that. I firmly believe that how we name things influence how we perceive them, and that we should take great care to label things as they are. SEO is an acronym with search engines firmly at its core, and when we unilaterally expand this acronym to mean much more, we are creating confusion in the marketplace.

My latest column for the Belfast Telegraph is about the hidden battle being waged between Google and some governments about who controls the private data Google collects. The core message is a question we should all ask ourselves: who do we trust more with our private data, Google or our governments?

Watching the Web: Google and privacy – more than meets the eye

We know that Google stores a lot of data about us online. What we search for, which websites we visit, who our online friends are – we know that Google knows. Many governments see this as a problem. Recently ten countries sent a joint letter to Google in which they criticise the search giant’s approach to privacy, focusing on the launch of Google Buzz which gave rise to a great many privacy concerns.

Blogging, SEO