As we all know, the majority of the online world tends to optimize their sites for Google. And why not? Everyone wishes to be found inside the 900 pound gorilla of global search engines. It usually means a cash machine opening up for your business.
So how do you get to the position were this cash machine is active? Usually this take place via Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on a web page/web site. Long gone are the days where "If you build it, they will come". The truth is now and has been for years "If you build it, you must make them come". This is in fact the whole point of SEO.
With this in mind, what's really being said here is that it's next to impossible to create a web page and just naturally have it brought back in search results based on your simply adding content to it. Back in 2002 - 2003, this may have still been the case, but definitely not the case since then. Needless to say, this is the fact that makes SEO so very critical for those wishing to take advantage of all the traffic and potential monetary benefits of showing up high on a page for a popular search.
What this also means is that SEO is properly seen by the search engines as an "artificial manipulation" of their search results. If there were no SEO, web sites would have to "naturally bubble up" and search engines would have more control over this process. Given this, do search engines (read Google) actually "Like" SEO? For these very reasons, I don't personally think so.
My impression is that search engines "Tolerate" SEO and it's practitioners, nothing more. Their appetite for tolerance is based on the fact that SEOs cut down the time and errors that surely would be the case if people were blindly putting up websites with no strategic direction. Other than that, the artificial manipulation of results that SEO invariably engenders the search engines would most likely prefer to do without.
What's your impression of the search engine's take on SEO? Let us know.