Amazon’s shady marketing practices: et tu, SEO?

Seems that micro-font search engine friendly links are alive and well in the Amazon.com footer. Normally, I use Amazon to shop, not browse their SEO skillz (and they have tons). However today while browsing around for some reason, I scrolled all the way down…lo and behold, it’s a whole row of micro font links, with two tone colors and search engine friendly keyword phrases. Color me surprised, I didn’t think they had it in them.

Hopefully search friendly footer links are a new signal of quality

Working at a search engine for a few years taught me a few things. The mantra of “do things for visitors, not search engines” is one that is often repeated and I firmly agree with. Doing something specifically for search engines is bad practice, as the website is there, first and foremost, to get people excited about your product or service. Amazon is a great site and I use them exclusively for my ebook purchases on my kindle. It’s a fantastic device, which I’ve written about before.

The links in the footer, though, I can’t imagine get any real clicks…so, if that is the case, I’d expect Google ignores these off topic, sitewide links on their website. If they do count for something though…that seems counter the spirit that search algorithms are struggling for, eg, rewarding sites and scoring things that real website users do, rather than stuff put there for robots only.