This blog is about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)'s and my opinion on where editors, writers, books might end up if we depend too much on using key words to get our message across.
First we had access to 15 minutes of fame; then the populist attention switched to pulling stunts like those of the Salahis or parents of the hot air balloon child to get on reality TV; now we have another tool for individuals to attract attention--plant the right words and your rank goes up a notch on Google.
This takes those of us involved with the written word to the obvious place. Creative artists will be forced to spend time embedding the word that gets them ranking rather then the one that is graceful or connotes exactly what they mean. Soon articles will be collections of SEO's strung together and the gift of writing will be given over to those people who now respond to jobs listed for "applicants familiar with SEO."
As I am writing this out there someone is putting together a collection of key words in a book similar to collections of names for babies.
The editorial function is bound to be shifted from helping authors with writing craft to how successful the editor has been in lifting past clients' place on various search engines. Much like editors' reputations were improved by helping authors make best seller lists, we will be graded on success with raising ranking.
If I had the mental energy I might have taken the time to write this piece with more Google, archival material, but it seems like such a waste of time. Will this put me out of business?
What do you think out there?