Tell people about it.

Derek Powazek recently posted a scathing blog post on SEO that got linked up just about everywhere. He argues that dedicated SEO roles are useless and actually harmful. I partially agree with him. The google bombing tactics of piss poor sites doesn’t do us any good. Derek sums it up by saying, “Make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again.”

That I completely agree with. To me, it’s all about the second sentence: Tell people about it. And the tools are getting easier, but there are still some big challenges here. And opportunities too. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are all amazingly powerful tools. These are huge vehicles for casting the net far and wide. But integrating your content with them can still be a challenge, especially for the layman.

And notifying search engines of the pages on your site is whole other ball of wax. One of the more challenging projects I undertook at Fanzter was generating our sitemap files. As our sites grew, the number of pages in our index just got absolutely insane. A nightly job just couldn’t hack it anymore and needed to be completely rewritten. There are quite a few plugins written to tackle this problem. I haven’t done a side by side comparison or tried any of these out yet, but I’m eager to. Ultimately custom code is often needed for this sort of thing, code that exactly matches your content and your application. And that is far from easy.