Entrepreneurial

Dave McClure: SEO still relevant

April 27, 2011

A T-Mobile G1 Google is shown photographed in Encinitas, California January 20, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Dave McClure, venture capitalist and founding partner of the Silicon Valley tech incubator 500 Startups, remains a staunch advocate of search engine optimization and its benefits. He shares some of his thoughts about SEO with Reuters.

Q: Do you think it’s harder for startups to gain traction with SEO now that Google and other browsers seem to be more quality focused?
A: People can build a history in three to nine months. It’s not forever. There’s quite a bit of traffic being driven by search and quite a bit of monetization.

Q: Besides technology startups, is SEO important to other small businesses, including those without a deep understanding of tech?
A: Absolutely. There’s still a huge amount of traffic that comes from people typing into a search box. The point is, even though social (media) is rising in ascendancy, it’s going to take a long time for (SEO) to become irrelevant. To suggest that SEO is somehow over is basically predicating a future that’s 10 to 20 years out.

Q: What should small companies be doing to help assure success with SEO?
A: You should build a great product, no question. There’s plenty of best practices that use anchor texts for links relevant to your site and content. Reach out and link to other people that are relevant sites and ask them to link to you.

Q: What’s changing now in SEO?
A: I think there is rising prominence for social signals. I don’t know if they’re more valuable than search; they’re probably equally valuable at least in terms of driving traffic.

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