Eiffle Tower at NightA big focus of my new role in OpenShift is SEO.  Naturally this article and the drama around it caught my attention.

I like how Bill Slawski defines the SEO practioner’s goal,

Your objective should be to make it easier for people who are interested in what you have to offer to find you, and see the great content that you offer.

This is what I love most about web marketing and my work with SEO.  It’s not about trying to fool someone into visiting your site to buy something they don’t need.  It’s about providing value.  Well, you can try to trick people and Google, but it comes back to haunt you faster and bigger than it did in the un-E-econnomy (I made up that term).

There are people on the internet trying to game the system, but that’s becoming increasingly harder.  Suckering people or trying to “hard close” someone on the internet doesn’t work very well because the customer doesn’t have to put up with it–you can’t trap them.  Once they realize they are in an uncomfortable situation or have been “gamed,” all they have to do is close their web browser and the experience is over.  On top of that, people gaming the system are increasingly being penalized in the search rankings.

If you can’t trap or sucker people into buying something without repercussions then the best alternative is provide something of value that helps people.  That’s why I like working on OpenShift.  I believe it is a platform and a service that provides immediate value.  You don’t have to take my word for it, try it out and host up to three applications (indefinitely) without spending a dollar.

Not sure where to start with OpenShift?  Two of my favorite web based applications are Etherpad and WordPress.  Each of those links will take you to the quickstart instructions for installing and running them.  Another application I haven’t tried out, but looks very promising is OwnCloud (your own hosted DropBox like storage application).