Just Enough Knowledge to be Dangerous
One of the bigger problems with learning in the field of SEO is that there are a lot of people who have a nugget of information. And they spread it far and wide without the proper context needed to evaluate the potential risks and rewards of any given strategy. So new SEOs end up thinking topic x is the most important, then topic y, then topic z. And then someone debunks one of those. Many false facts are taken as truths when the people with a nugget of information (that they found from some source) spread it as fact.
Accurate Answers Need Context
As the structure of the web changes and search engine relevancy algorithms change then so must the field of SEO. This means that the right answer to questions can change frequently, and information from many years ago may not be correct. Does PageRank matter? When I first got in SEO it was crucially important, but over the years other pieces of the relevancy algorithms (like domain age, domain name, domain trust, domain extension, link anchor text, searcher location, search query chains, word relationships, search personalization, other user data, result re-ranking based on local inter-connectivity, input from 10,000+ remote quality raters, and even a wide array of penalties & filters) have been layered over the top of the core relevancy algorithm.
If that sounds like a lot, it is because it is!
Yes, PageRank is important to driving indexing, but for rankings it is nowhere near as important as it once was. SEO has become a much more refined art. In an October 2009 interview, Google’s Amit Singal stated:
No one should feel, if I dismantle the current search system, someone will get upset. That’s the wrong environment. When I came, I dismantled [Google cofounders] Larry and Sergey’s whole ranking system. That was the whole idea. I just said, That’s how I think it should be done, and Sergey said, Great!
Read More: SEOBOOK
Why is Google so Valuable?
If you think about what Google is, it is essentially an editorial filter for the web. They organize information & return relevant results, and as a result of that they make a boatload of cash selling ads on commercial keywords.
Using more information can create far better relevancy than better algorithms alone can. But humans have limits that computers do not. Drowning in too much information is inefficient - even deadly. Which is precisely why we rely on tools like Google to find reputable resources.
Online you have access to just about anybody & just about anybody has access to you. I once wrote an email to Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the WWW, and he replied back!
That accessible from a distance aspect not only offers you great opportunities, but also opens you up to some types of anti-social behavior you would never (or at least rarely) experience in the real world:
How much longer is the media going to milk this beyond tired story?” “These guys are frauds.” “Your idiocy is disturbing.” “We’re just trying to make the world a better place one brainwashed, ignorant idiot at a time.” These are the trollish comments, all from anonymous sources, that you could have found after reading a CNN article on the rescue of the Chilean miners.
Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.
Most keyboard warriors are only warriors from afar, though I did one time have someone challenge me to a dual in the street! I had no intent on challenging them on it though, as with my (lack of) gunsmith skills I would have bet on the other guy.
Read More ; SEOBOOK
Anything that is Successful Eventually Gets Coppied
Here are 3 different site designs*
* Well, to be technically correct, we could call that 3 different sites all using roughly the same design. I paid for the design & the others used it without permission.
In January of 2012 we updated our site design to a new one, but the same thing will happen again. Human nature doesn’t change quickly!
After we changed over our site design I decided to give the above one away as a free WordPress theme. I figure if dishonest folks are already benefiting from it then I may as well let everyone else benefit too!
Read More: SEOBOOK
Some SEO Software is Crap
There is a lot of money in selling software, which means there are a lot of ad dollars flowing into spreading the idea that you need some secret tool to compete in search.
Further, the people who are most easily swayed by advertising are those who seek a magic bullet of some sort, which is why there are so many online ads for stuff like “ignorant illiterate man accidentally unearths silver bullet blueprint for automatically extracting millions in your sleep.” (Just look at the types of bizop products sold on infomercials).
Here is a vintage view of a tacky infomercial from the 80′s
Read More : SEOBOOK
The Business Failure Curve
The failure curve for small business has been rather predictible. In fact, in a NYT article Scott Shane compared the survival curves from 1977-1988 & 1989-2000. They roughly mirrored each other! Less than 1/2 of small businesses live to see the age of 5.
But the cost of failure has dropped as technology & communications costs have dropped to almost nothing. Starting a web business is virtually free!
- Registering a new domains only costs $8.
- Starter hosting can be had for a few Dollars a month.
- WordPress is free to install on your server.
- 99designs allows you to pick a logo for as little as $99.
- ThemeForest lets you pick premium themes for as little as $20, and there are thousands of free themes to chose from as well.
All these deflationary pressures that lower risk & the need for start up capital should make it easier to be successful, right?
Not in my opinion.
Because it is easier to start it is also easier to fail. There is more competition today than ever. And tomorrow will be more competitive than today is.
If an updated curve appears from, say, 2005-2016 my guess would be that the failure rate is even higher.
Online we are moving away from the economics of scarcity to the economics of abundance.
It means it is easier to start a business at lower cost.
Which lowers the perceived risk.
But distractions are plentyful.
And one thing is scarce online.
Growing scarcer daily.
Read More : SEOBOOK
Do You Learn Visually?
A lot of people who sell stuff in the search space tend to over-simply SEO. To boil it down to a single number.
But search is *amazingly* complex.
Each keyword and each market has its own unique characteristics.
If you learn visually and want to get a look under the hood, check out this infographic on how Google works. You may want to save a copy of it to your hard drive. As you learn more about search it will help you fill in the pieces a bit quicker.
Read More: SEOBOOK
Here are some tips on creating webpages that other website will want to link to—to save you from having to do loads of legwork requesting links.
Buying Links is Getting Expensive
The Google AdSense program (which pays publishers for placing contextual links on their websites) and automated spammy “can I buy a link on your site” emails have made virtually every important online publisher aware of the value of links.
In mid 2007 Google began editing toolbar PageRank scores and rankings for many sites that were selling links. It is getting harder and more expensive to buy your way to the top through link rentals.
At the same time, more and more people are writing online. Setting up a blog only takes a few minutes. There are hundreds or thousands of people talking about every topic imaginable, so if you create something remarkable and capture the attention of a few thought leaders who like it, you are going to get links. But how do you create content that people will like?
Read More : SEOBOOK
Link Building is a Pain in the Butt
Prior to creating the SEO Book training program I conducted a survey of SEO Book members. One of the questions was, “What is the biggest thing stopping you from improving your website rankings and traffic?”
The most common answer to that question was “link building”. If links are so important how do you build them? Here are some great techniques for providing content that people will actually WANT to link to:
Quality Links You Can Build Today
One of the easiest ways to start building links is to submit your site to leading general web directories and directories in your niche.
Don’t just think of directories as being places that accept websites. Some of the best directories represent business partnerships and exist on sites like manufacturers you sell for, local government sites, or your local chamber of commerce. For example, Google lists some of the most popular Google Checkout business partners
- Would some of your business partners be willing to link to your site?
- Are there any trade organizations or local business organizations you can join?
- If there are no relevant organizations, could/should you create one?
Read More: SEOBOOK
Automated Content Creation Scares Google
Yesterday we covered on page optimization, and mentioned how some people are too aggressive with keyword density. Of course copy that is dense with keywords likely sounds dense, and will not convert site visitors into buyers. But some automated content generation programs create content that is better than some page copy that people write.
Some major corporations, like Thomson Financial, publicly admit that they generate news reports using robots to write the content.
Thomson Financial has been using automatic computer programs to generate news stories for almost six months. The machines can spit out wire-ready copy based on financial reports a mere 0.3 seconds after receiving the data. Thomson management likes its reporter robots so much that it has decided to expand the fleet.
Read More; SEO BOOK
A Ranking Dropkick From Google, From #1 to #1,000
In November of 2003 Google did a major update to their search relevancy algorithms, which was known in the SEO community as the Florida update. That update marked the day that SEO became hard. Prior to that point in time, on page optimization tips from many SEOs would have sounded something like this “use your keywords heavily everywhere.” But that update changed how on-page-optimization works.
“Over Optimized” = Spammy
Keyword density is an ineffective measure of relevancy, so excessive repetition is not an effective SEO strategy. Many (formerly top ranked) pages and sites that use keywords too aggressively end up getting completely filtered out of the search results.
Google’s Matt Cutts described the type of pages that disappeared in this video
Read More: SEOBOOK (Source)