Is SEO good or bad for users?

Caterina in a recent Bizwerk post agrees with Seth Godin that SEO is bad for the internet community.

While i agree that SEO as it is done by the masses does little good to search users in general, i think there are at least two sides of this argument. Yes, tricking google into thinking should be #1 for thisandthat keyword is bad for users. Spamming is bad no matter how you call it.

However, if you look at the more quality SEO sites, that educate users on good search engine friendly web design – which is what SEO should really be about – you see another side of it.

If you strip it down to the basics, SEO is about usability for the search bots. It’s about labeling content the right way, about emphasizing things that are important elements of the page (the importance of H1, H2, etc tags and title tags), it’s about structuring content in an organized way on a page. In the end that benefits the users both because they will be able to find the content with the search engines (again, i am speaking of non-spamming SEO), and also, this structured design thinking makes the websites more usable to visitors who eventually get to the page.

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