I am passionate about UX. User Experience was my calling when it comes to making website. Each website is a study in behavioral economics, and I loved optimizing our website to be useful and delightful whenever possible. For a long time, SEO was a bit of a thorn on my side.
At the risk of aging myself, as a young web producer, I have been told to do some pretty shady things (e.g. tiny white text in 7pt font in the header, footer, hidden in the white space) to stuff keywords into the webpages because the SEO consultant put it in the report.
For a long time, SEO was about making the web for bots, whereas UX was about designing a human user-centric experience. User Experience for the websites I worked on, starts the moment they land on a page within the domain. When I worked on Oracle’s global homepage, page load speed was CRITICAL, and web accessibility (ADA) was a constant consideration given Oracle’s work with government entities around the world.
Today, Google will penalize websites for engaging in spammy old school SEO tricks, Google will consider a variety of factors in their scoring of your site, and page speed is still very high on the list. Nowadays, not being ADA-compliant can get your website in a lawsuit, just ask Beyonce.com.
Today, people expect more from a website, and so does Google. It is nice to see a greater concurrence between SEO best practice and UX best practice. There is less fighting involved.