When Content is Mightier Than Placement
I've always been a big fan of Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County, the comic strip that introduced Opus the Penguin and taught us that 12-year-olds could find humor in subtle political satire. One of my favorite quotes from the strip, uttered by Opus himself, was "You can lead a yak to water, but you can't teach an old dog how to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke."
To me, that is a perfectly, intentionally incomprehensible way of restating the discussion about message vs. medium. Other people have probably said it better than poor Opus, but either way, it bears a discussion every now and then.
Being number one isn't everything
It's always great to see your organization's name come up first in your search engine of choice. But, as we've mentioned before, the best thing that can be said about search engine optimization is that it's an effective way of driving traffic. Once they're through the door, however, it's up to you to close the sale.
That being said, the greatest product in the world isn't going to move off the shelves unless people know about it. The trick, then, is to apply firm SEO principles in developing and building your site, then knock the users dead with dynamite content. It's a one-two punch.