Sébastien Billard: “Publish [du texte] without counting as long as it is useful! »

Sébastien Billard, author of the blog SEO, Design et Co., was SEO expert for the Relevant traffic agency for a long time before demonstrating his SEO skills at the major e-retailers in the Lille region. Ever since we met at the legendary Web Content Days, I’ve always appreciated his critical spirit and was curious to see what he would think of the cocktail of editorial sobriety and SEO visibility. Here are his answers to my questions.

Sébastien, do you think it would be possible to reconcile editorial sobriety and SEO visibility? And if so, how?

The SEO visibility of a page or website depends on three main factors: structure, popularity and content. The content for the engines are the lyrics. However, compared to videos and images, texts do not weigh as heavily in terms of storage space and bandwidth. For example, when I look at gutenberg.org, Zola’s book Germinal weighs only 1.1 MB in HTML format. In paperback format, this equates to around 600 pages. The same amount of information in the form of images or videos would weigh several gigabytes. All this to say that, in my view, the question of editorial sobriety in relation to the single text does not really arise. Publish without counting while it’s useful! It differs from the sobriety of the website code. There’s a real problem there. According to HTTP Archive, the average size of a web page at the end of 2010 was around 470 KB. Currently it is about 1830kB! (Source: https://httparchive.org/reports/page-weight#bytesTotal). However, I don’t have the impression that the pages are richer in information than they were 9 years ago.

The SEO Alexandre Leblanc doesn’t think we can reconcile editorial sobriety and SEO visibility because of the scoring mechanisms Google uses to judge a site’s relevance relative to a search intent. He also mentions semantic cocoon techniques, which he believes are very energy intensive. What do you think ?

I don’t really agree with Alexandre’s position: surely a long text consumes more resources than a short text. But it’s still text, which is very easy to compress and ultimately uses very little bandwidth compared to images, audio, and video. Even the thickest cocoon doesn’t weigh much. The text version without images of Wikipedia in Zim format weighs “only” 9 GB, but contains a considerable amount of information. However, some SEO practices, often blackhat, consume resources with no benefit to users, such as automated and massive publishing of zero or very low quality content.

How do you see the future of digital in relation to ecological issues? Do you have the impression that the digital industry is aware of these problems?

I am not an energy expert so my words will only be my feelings. I find us a little schizophrenic: on the one hand there are legitimate concerns about ecology, on the other hand we express these concerns by using the internet in a way that is not very energy efficient: like many HD videos are broadcast on social networks? Are there networks that denounce this or that environmental scandal? If we really wanted to lower the internet electricity bill, maybe we should go back to the internet of 10 or 15 years ago, but will people be okay with not streaming everything, watching lower resolution videos, not doing that anymore be? hyperconnected?

Web players like Google say they want to expand the use of renewable energy, but the problem is that these energy sources are only available sporadically. This means that in countries where electricity generation is very carbon-intensive, such as Germany or the USA, the expansion of renewable energy can, paradoxically, lead to an increase in CO2 emissions, since electricity generation is required even without wind or sun. The situation is different for countries that have a strong hydroelectric or nuclear power fleet and produce very little CO2, such as Sweden or France. One could also ask oneself with e-commerce: Aren’t all those individual packages that are sent (and often returned) consume more energy and raw materials than traditional commerce?

Sub-question: What do you yourself do every day to reduce your ecological footprint (or not)?

I don’t consider myself a particularly good student, especially considering the waste I endure and the fact that I drive most of the time. Nevertheless, I attach particular importance to promoting biodiversity in the garden and do not use chemicals. I’m a vegetarian (though for ethical rather than environmental reasons). I don’t have a smartphone, I have a feature phone that’s maybe 9 years old and can charge for at least 5 days. With the exception of Youtube, I do not use any streaming services. I download my videos in 360p because it’s good enough on a tablet. My websites are spartan.

Thank you Sebastian!

For anyone interested in the topic of energy, I recommend Jean-Marc Jancovici’s opening lesson at Sciences-po on August 29, 2019 – for download

Editorial sobriety and SEO visibility by Thomas Cubel: “I try my best to meet low-tech criteria. »
Alexandre Leblanc: “I don’t think editorial sobriety and SEO visibility go hand in hand. »
Editorial sobriety, 6 key principles by Ferréole Lespinasse on the Miss SEO Girl blog

(c) Photo by A Markus Spiske

The article by Sébastien Billard: “publish [du texte] without counting as long as it is useful! appeared first on PlumeInteractive.

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