SEO’s Cameo on American Television

There is a perception that all SEO, not just blackhat, is just a euphemism away from spam, that is utilises underhanded and dishonest “tricks’ in order to further some agenda. Furthering an agenda   is true: every site wants to be more visible, that is the agenda, and search engine optimisation certainly helps advance that goal. But a legitimate SEO campaign is constructed and executed in conjunction with rigorous ethical standards. That doesn’t necessarily stop the image from persisting, especially if it makes a good story. Which the producers of America’s The Good Wife thought it did.

The Good Wife, a legal procedural, featured a man on trial, accused of killing her father. She is afraid the jury will be biased against her; not because of the crime itself but because of her profession. That’s correct, she’s an SEO. Her legal team is trying to get the judge to rule that her profession isn’t relevant to her case. She worries because, “people hate what I do.” And what she does is referred to erroneously as “spam.”

The show itself is not about SEO, but it does highlight the perception of SEO among those who do not understand the practices and techniques – and those who do not realise that SEO is integrated into all major websites, even the CBS website, which is the US network that airs The Good Wife. As Danny Sullivan from SearchEngineLand points out, “You have to appreciate the irony…in that the official page for The Good Wife has been spammed – or – SEOed.”

The meta data is optimised, the title tag is optimised for different search possibilities, including “the good wife,” “the good wife full episodes,” “watch the good wife,” and other search terms, and the page has meta keyword tags throughout. The creators of this page, or their SEO team, knows how important these techniques are to viewers looking for information on this show.

Perhaps next time, SEO can be the hero of the show, arriving at the last minute to save the day. We’re not holding our breath.

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