Ask yourself this question – does your SEO suck? According to Shoemoney – it does. Todays article is based in part on his post Where my Hatred of SEO comes from. The man in that picture (Shoemoney) hates SEO. If you read his post it stems from the fact that he has never really had to do SEO in order to achieve success. SEO was usually an afterthought. He has some really, really good things to say – and in my opinion there are a few small elements he forgot to talk about.
His points are:
1. SEO should be an afterthought – build content people want to naturally link to
2. Getting traffic is useless if you can convert it to customers or sales
3. Become so big Google cannot ignore you
4. Do not fear making changes to your site because of potential negative effects to your rankings
I find it funny that his first point is the (now) age old saying ´content is king´. His second point is valid – if you concentrate only on rankings and forget about conversions you are missing out on sales. The third and fourth points I can only agree with for certain businesses.
I love Shoemoney – and I have been reading his posts for as long as I can remember. I do find though, that a lot of the time a lot of what he writes about relates to the world of Internet Marketing, and not as much for main street businesses. I mean, for example – if I am a dentist in Pittsburgh the thought of becoming so big google cannot ignore me is probably not an option. A dentist promotes products and services and his online web presence is merely an extension of his marketing and advertisement strategy to get new customers – not to build a brand. I mean, a dentist most certainly could turn his web site into a help site, forum, community – and let that brand complement his business to get even better rankings. But more times then not all they want to do is come up on the first page of google for mycity dentist.
The last point, about not making changes to pages for fear your rankings will change, I think you have to ponder what that means and how it will affect you. For instance, if you are as big as Shoemoney you do not care about SEO because you are already pagerank 6, and everything you do already oozes authority online. I think something more important to remember is that you shouldn’t be relying solely on google for traffic. Make sure you are getting traffic from Yahoo, bing, social media, and wherever else you can get it. Make sure that changes to your page layout and design complement your listings and SEO – and that they don’t obfuscate it.
Is Google too Powerful?
I think that one of Shoemoney´s underlying themes is to not let google completely dominate your business model. Letś look at one of the links he gave as a reference Graywolfś Why everyone should turn off blog comments. Michael Gray (Graywolf) says heś turned off his comments because the added content that keywords add change the SEO and rankings of the page – in addition to the fact that he doesn´t have the time to moderate or deal with them anymore.
Read that entire post from Graywolf – you might also be surprised that heś removed all the dates from his posts because google often ranks content based on the fact that the newer it is, the fresher or more important it is. Guess what – the comments were adding dates to his post. You probably noticed on this site I don´t have any dates on my posts either. I removed them 3 years ago for that very reason. My comments still have dates, however.
So we have here the two extremes, Shoemoney who thinks you should never do specific things like this to get or stay in googleś good graces, and Michael Gray who has done specific things for better rankings. Who is right, and who is wrong?
How much do you know?
In my opinion, whether your SEO sucks or not depends on what you know, combined with what you need. I have been watching the comments roll in from that Shoemoney post, and I could not resist mentioning this one that just came through:
Author: James Is (Not Working)
I COMPLETELY AGREE with this post, and I’ve got the experience to prove it. You know, I was making some fat cash off a site last year. I was slapped by Google, and have not been able to recover. My site was SEO’d to the T. I watched my traffic plummet from 3,000 visitors a day / $18,000 / month to about 50 visitors a day. I am submitting resumes, bar tending, and trying to launch new sites while I figure it out. I have reworked the old site and am offering more value driven content, but I have a feeling it is going to take at least a year. It took me a year to get to where I was. I certainly hope I can recover. Building a business on SEO is like building a castle on the sand. Never again will I fall for that trap.
So this guy agrees with Shoemoney because he had a site making 18 grand a month and google suddenly gave him a penalty that reduced his income to zero and now heś out work work claiming building sites on SEO is like building castles in the sand.
First of all – he doesn´t say what his site was about, how much original content and authority he had, and how long he was making that kind of money. More than likely he did something against google Webmaster quality guidelines and got a penalty for being a thin affiliate site. Secondly, if he was making that much money and didn reinvest part of it in other forms of marketing to strengthen his business model – shame on him.
SEO is not just keywords and where to put them. SEO is doing all the things you need to do for optimum search engine place. Itś not necessarily how to game google, it´s how to get natural search rankings because you deserve them.
- keyword research
- site setup
- internal and external links
- integrating marketing with content
Shoemoney thinks that people shouldn’t have to learn to use SEO, and by creating content people want to link to they will naturally get good rankings. That is an admirable statement and one that could apply to lots of people. In my daily routine with clients that have regular businesses, and even people that want to create sites to make money online so they can quit the daily grind – creating good content alone just is not going to cut it.
For instance, a lot of my new clients already have 100 blog posts of pretty high quality content, but they still don’t get any traffic. Once I teach them how to use a little SEO, they start getting more traffic – and the targeted traffic they wanted in the first place. Most business owners aren’t very good at writing marketing copy. If that is you – you will also be bad at writing blog post titles. You may also have a hard time figuring out where and how to use the right keywords too. With a little tiny bit of SEO training – these same people start to get traffic FOR THE FIRST TIME!
I do agree with Shoemoney – don´t put all your apples in Google. But then again, you at least need to know how you can leverage it´s benefits for your advantage – because not all of us have a year or more to wait to build up a big brand like Shoemoney did. Most business would like to start getting more traffic now.
If your SEO sucks – find out what you don know and have someone (like me) help you. It does´t have to cost thousands of dollars to learn how to do better online.