If there is any question of the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the traffic to a website, the case of Scribd and the drastic drop off of visitors to its site should put those questions to rest.

Last week TechCrunch noted that Scribd – which describes itself as the "largest social publishing company in the world" – saw almost half of its traffic disappear since June. When asked about what happened by TechCrunch, Scribd CEO Trip Adler said a less aggressive approach to SEO was part of the issue.

"We made some changes that will have a short-term impact on traffic. Primarily: 1) improving our copyright filter, which keeps unauthorized content off the site and 2) reducing the aggressiveness of our SEO, which reduces total traffic in the near term but increases the relevancy of Scribd links in search engine results," Adler told TechCrunch.

Scribd told the Los Angeles Times that it was unveiling a new interface on the site today which Tammy Nam, vice president of content, said will get people to stay on the site longer in the hope of making it the "world’s largest book club."