... and people, inexplicably, still think that "their" website can be pushed to "the front page of" Google's generally-useless laundry list, despite the fact that there are only about 10 entries there among (well, not
actually "millions" but ...) about 800 entries.
In any case, I think that SEO is built upon what is ... or at least, what is now ...
a flawed premise: that people, when they want to buy(!)
something, "Just Google It™" and then buy from the first name that comes up. Flipping to the business-pages in my local phone directory (I know, I know, you're all sayin', "what's that?")
I see the same logic being applied: AAAAAAA Bail Bonding.
(Dunno... if you're stuck in jail, it just might work.)
(Or, more creatively, A AAA ABA Addiction Help,
which is a "newer SEO technique" for the phone-book, designed specifically to bump the entry to the top of the list, which otherwise is alphabetized to treat groups of A's as a single letter.)
SEO is much like that phone-book: first, you're trying to game
the selection-criteria algorithm, then you're trying to game
the sort-order. But, in both cases, you are acting on the flawed
premise that this is exactly what the buyer
will actually choose to do when they want to spend money.
The premise is that the money
-spender wants to minimize the amount of time spent searching, when in fact they want to find the most appropriate product or service for their money.
In actual practice, they tend to use modern adaptations of very old, tried-and-true techniques: they ask their Facebook friends (not Facebook strangers, whom they presume to be "bots"). Or, to consult topical directory sites like http://www.dmoz.org
(from whence Yahoo draws its lists). Or, they go to a brand-name that they already have been conditioned to trust or have used before, e.g.
Amazon, which provides considerable amounts of feedback from past buyers. They are not nearly so "impulsive" as the marketers would lead you to believe.
Google's search-bots don't "know"
what it is they are looking through. In the end, it's just map/reduce, being applied to terabytes of textual data. SEO "experts" have devoted so much time to gaming those algorithms that they've essentially rendered them worthless to buyers.