Does Smashing Magazine Fail to Represent SEO Properly or Do We?

Does Smashing Magazine fail to represent SEO?
Patrick Altoft and AJ Kohn are mad at Smashing Magazine for not getting SEO:

Are they right? Do the people over at Smashing Magazine have no clue about modern SEO?

I simply couldn’t believe this. I have been reading Smashing Magazine for several years and even remembered vaguely they do have good SEO resources as well, not just the by now infamous anti-SEO rant they have published last week and not only Patrick and AJ are rightfully disappointed about.

Many people have already stepped in in the comment section and explained what modern SEO is about.

I went another way though. I just looked over at Smashing Magazine itself to find out what else they do write about Search Engine Optimization and adjacent disciplines. I have found a few valuable resources.

Well, they know what SEO is all about, even from different angles. A recent great post by +Brad Shorr from Straight North has explained it for example: How Content Creators Benefit From The New SEO

Due to big changes in the SEO landscape, designers, photographers, videographers and writers have new opportunities to build their reputation, expand brand awareness and generate more leads.

Also there are other articles that explain many facets of SEO aptly:

Content Strategy: Optimizing Your Efforts For Success

To maximize your SEO, visibility and more, and to ensure the audience is engaged and entertained, you have to give ’em some meat. Make them admire your concision, but also give them enough to chew on.

Improving The Online Shopping Experience, Part 1: Getting Customers To Your Products

Increase visibility in search engine results using SEO techniques, including picking the right keywords and creating keyword-rich and search-friendly page URLs, titles, headings, tags and content. SEO is not a dirty acronym if done the right way.

Make Your Content Make a Difference

I don’t think all SEO is bad. There are legitimate SEO concerns, techniques and advisors. Just remember that SEO tricks are not magic pills for your content ills.

The latest anti-SEO rant was just an exception IMHO. Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Also do not blame others for not understanding us. We have to explain SEO better to non-SEO audiences. That’s the main issue here in my opinion. Most people in the SEO industry write for other SEO professionals. I’m guilty of that myself sometimes. I always tried to reach wider audiences though. I attempted to connect with the

  1. blogging
  2. social media
  3. web design
  4. content
  5. usability/UX
  6. conversion/CRO



Make these highly-skilled people understand what SEO is about and how it differs from adjacent disciplines and the rest will follow.

As long as even similar Web-savvy individuals struggle to grasp what we really do we will have to deal with myths and low quality SEO taking centre stage whenever someone encounters it.

So I urge you to write for the other 99,9%, not just the SEO industry. First address the 10% who can understand it when they get an explanation from us, the only ones who know about SEO. They can translate it to the broader public as well. Only we can represent SEO properly, not people from outside. They can only trust us and repeat what we say.