Seth Godin has some good insights into the business of search engine optimization (SEO) today in a post titled “The problem with search engine optimization“. He provides good reasoning why he believes that most of the benefits of SEO simply aren’t worth the money. Basically, it comes down to this very important point: spending lots of money to get to the top of a Google search result isn’t a business plan – it’s a symptom of a lack of a business plan. It’s a shortcut, and it usually doesn’t work.
Seth goes on to say that businesses in the bricks and mortar world spend money on real estate and advertising to grow and generate revenue. The equivalents online are adwords and good site design. They may not be as exciting as SEO, but they should work in the long run, which is what businesses should be worried about.