SEO Excuse #143; The other guy is doing it, so it must work
So my friends… here we sit. After many a Google update it seems people are starting to get it. But it shouldn’t be that way. There are some folks out here that, deemed Google-fan boy or not, kept talking about higher quality approaches. Avoiding the low road. That quality and strategy would ultimately trump cheap and easy. Of course nobody (in the SEO world) listens. Why?
Because cheap and easy is working. Just look what the other guy is doing. He ranks.
Uh huh. Entirely believable since most SEOs you meet are certainly smarter than a Stanford trained search engineer. Right? Uh huh. The sadder truth is that most in the industry that pay attention even a little, always felt that many of the tactics wouldn’t last. The older ones, knew it wouldn’t, because history is a great teacher.
But the attitude prevailed.
But look at this!
“Have you seen this SERP!!!”, seems to be making the rounds a lot these days. Uhm, not sure I get the point. Yup, Google ain’t perfect. But it’s the same damned thing as the “they’re doing it and it’s working”
This thing of ours is not about what others are doing. You won’t last long that way. It is about what you are doing and the service value you provide. It is about understanding what search engines want and how the technology is evolving.
Google certainly has plenty of crap hat pages/sites ranking. But do you really believe it will stay that way? Are you willing to take that chance? As time passes the algorithms and manual review systems are likely to improve. More shall take the fall. History once again, our great professor.
Unbelievably people are still talking about, (mostly in private of course) other sites in the search results and the borderline tactics they use, that it might still be possible to take the same direction. It’s like some deluded lunatic that keeps sticking their hand into the fan expecting not to eventually have a finger liberated..
Know this; the more you depend on Google, the cleaner you must become.
Take it to a higher level
And so I say again to anyone that’s willing to listen. Get ahead of the game. If it’s Panda, Penguin or some other adorable update, the writing has long been on the wall. But attitudes also need to change.
Consider this exchange;
Dear SEO guy…. thanks, you make my heart warm. First off you don’t even know what content costs to create? Really? I don’t care if it’s legit content or stuff to be spun, you’re doing it all wrong. Content creating is about knowing the channels, the demographics and (client’s) industry in order to produce something that will bring visibility, build brand, deliver traffic and hey, if ya’ do it right, it might just get a few links too.
Secondly, you’re selling an SEO related product to webmasters and SEOs. Really? And you can’t put your own thoughts together for content? That’s equally troubling.
Now onto the nice lady provider. She’s the enabler in this poor soul’s SEO addiction. Just because the customer is ignorant, is no reason for you to be. A $7 article? Uh huh. Maybe copywriters should become more skilled in content programs…. can’t hurt. Not only so we all know that that price means crap that can be spun, but it also sets the bar low for other copywriters. Not good. Exacting standards? For $7? Whatever.
You might want to charge a little more then truly assess a customers needs and convince them of a better direction. Surely they aren’t going to be taking over the SEO blogosphere. So we can assume in the end it’s just filler… the ‘feed Google content’ concept. Regardless though, stop feeding the addiction and work to increase your own value.
This was merely an exchange I came across while writing this. By no means is it an isolated incident. The SEO world is just full of crap that people are selling far and wide. But it certain highlights the attitudes and the need for change.
Those were the days my friends
Things change. Search evolves. That’s the odd part at times. Why so many can see the writing on the wall, but fail to adapt. Until it’s too late.
It’s one thing to be polluting the web with spam for your own gain, it’s quite another to be taking client money and delivering what you know in your heart is sub-par and likely to be devalued some day. Why? Yup, again; because it’s working, “just look at so-and-so”.
I know of more instances at this time of people that believed in and trusted an SEO, than I do of ones where everyone understood the risks. All the whining about Google not giving us the playbook and changing THEIR rules, doesn’t make up for the money lost, and damage to the client’s and the industry’s image.
What are we supposed to do now?
And there’s the other side of it. From emails, to instant messenger to my own little community, there’s a lot of this kind of anguish going around as well. A lot of folks are scared to do anything, others muse about the ‘end of SEO‘. Funny thing that. I was under the impression that SEO was about a lot more than just building tons of crappy links.
But yet again this concept has been lost. Over the years when I’d preach about on-site SEO and the massive value it contains, “naw, just throw some links at it” would come from the other side of the argument. And since it was seemingly cheaper and easier, it fell by and large on deaf ears. And I mean clients too, not just other SEOs.
If you are freaked out to the point where you don’t know what to do next, my suggestion is to look at the entire strategy that you’ve employed over the years. Probably wouldn’t hurt to learn more about how search engines work and keep up on history too, but that’s just me (again).