Friday, July 07, 2006

Required Programming Skill: SEO

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I occasionally do some moonlighting as a consultant. One thing I've noticed lately is a lot of projects where one of the "programming" skills needed is Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

Programming is my profession. So to see SEO labelled as programming is ... offensive to say the least. SEO is a similar skill as spamming or creating pop-up ads. How can it be compared to "true" programming skills.

Then again creating spam that dodges spam filters or pop-up ads that avoid pop-up blockers is non-trivial. It does indeed involve a skill. It may be a skill that I wouldn't brag about to my friends and family, but it is a skill and it is a skill that involves programming of some sort.

So maybe SEO is a programming skill. I made a post on Slashdot recently talking about so-called Internet Operating Systems or WebOS. To me a WebOS is a different kind of OS that lets people create web applications. Traditional OSses allow you to save bits to disk, whereas a WebOS would allow you to save a photo. Perhaps SEO is a part of WebOS.

In the B2B world I've been working in for many years, there is a lot of talk of using web services. One of the idea of web services is that you can publish a description of your service to a UDDI repository. That's a lot like the old Yahoo directories, which did not work. Search is the easier technology than directories or repositories. If search is an integral part of WebOS, then indeed SEO is part of it too.

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