As Google’s bots crawl across this page, they may well glare angrily at the rather provocative headline above. But what will they report back to head office?

Of course, we have no idea, and Google aims to keep it that way by hiding the intricacies of its algorithms. But such is the search giant’s power, they could easily prevent this page from ever being accessed via search results alone. And that’s another reason why Google’s monopoly on search is so much to be feared.

No company that seeks to connect with its potential customers can afford to ignore SEO; and let’s face it, it’s almost always Google to whom we’re trying to appeal.

But at the same time, some of the techniques that make a page rank highly can directly conflict with our other principal task in web design: to express the client’s marketing messages with power and simplicity.

Some of what Google likes – such as clarity in keywords and logical tagging – are actually good discipline for the web creator. But equally, their love of content for the sake of content and social media linkage is guaranteed to kick off a very lively discussion every single time we develop a website.

What Google sees and what the human visitor sees can be two very different things.

And that’s a conflict of interest we work constantly to overcome.

UPDATE: When it comes to website content, Google has since come round to our way of thinking. It no longer values content for content’s sake. Although sadly we cannot take credit for this change.

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