Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 12th, 2009

2009 SEO Survey Results

SEO_Survey_Chart_0_0.jpgA survey was conducted over the entire month of January 2009 on topics of search engine optimization and its usage. The 117 respondents were all qualified e-commerce merchants, as reported in a recent blog post by Armando Roggio of 94 percent of the merchants said that SEO was a part of their marketing efforts and that 62.4 percent believed that SEO accounted for 50 percent of their website traffic.

Unfortunately, there seemed to be some confusion on the different between white hat and black hat SEO tactics. 69.5 percent of the merchants surveyed identified black hat tactics, such as purchasing links, as an effective way to increase page rankings. Paid links that transfer page rank are an attempt to trick search engines into less qualified results. 53.9 percent of those surveyed also said that keyword stuffing was somewhat effective. This is another risky and shady SEO practice. Only 25.6 percent of the merchants participating in the survey had hired a SEO professional to help them or their business...

The initial results of the survey would send any SEO Specialist reaching for a box of Girl Scout cookies and a glass of milk in celebration. However, it is alarming to think there are almost 70 percent of qualified websites conducting business everyday using black hat tactics, most do not know they are cheating. It’s eerily similar to the steroid debate in professional baseball. Do you use performance-enhancing drugs when you know 70 percent of the league is using them? Here at Volacci, we are the ‘Derek Jeter’ of search engine marketing. We do not advocate any shady or ethically-risky decisions that may juice up your ranking for a few months. You will find yourself banned from the game for the rest of your website’s life.

Volacci. Your Profit. Our Passion.