I’m shocked that I still read questions every day on the forums, LinkedIn groups, FaceBook walls, blog comments, etc. asking about SEO practices that are obviously not in Google’s good graces. What’s worse is that I still see people trying to sell shady SEO practices and services all over the web.
You know the questions that I’m talking about:
– Is this link a good link?
– How can I build more backlinks?
– What’s the best way to get .gov or .edu links?
– How can I get my website to show up higher in Google?
– What’s the best Press Release site to use?
– How can I rank for “XYZ”?
– What Are Google Panda & Penguin Safe SEO Backlinks
The list goes on and on.
First off let me start by saying “Google hasn’t changed their mind on SEO.” They have always been against people manipulating their rankings through the practice of:
– building links
– using unnatural anchor text in your links
– asking for links, buying links
– building blog networks
– paying for guest posting
– cramming press releases with anchor text
What Google HAS started doing is enforcing all those rules that they told you about years ago. They always said “Don’t do this.” but it worked and they weren’t stopping anyone from doing it. Unless it was super black hat. So what did people do? They crossed the line and it worked. So they crossed it more and more and it worked better and better and there weren’t any ramifications.
The problem, however, is that they weren’t thinking about their business like a business. AND it was gone overnight. Google started enforcing the rules and a lot of people got caught with their hand(s) in the cookie jar. Google didn’t change the game. Google didn’t change SEO. Google just started enforcing what they told you all along.
So… Give up worrying about:
– building backlinks
– what the proper distribution of anchor text is
– if changing your title tag is going to help you
– what press release site is better for SEO
– what site is allowing guest posting
and start asking yourself: (are you ready for this?)
“How can I market my business?”
The keywords there are “market” and “business” Most people wouldn’t risk a “brick and mortar” business on some “fly by night” tactic they read on a forum. They use tried and true marketing methods to get their message out there and bring people in the front door.
Here’s how you can do that online:
– Create amazing content people actually want to read and share and tie it in to you, your community, your service, or your product. (Stop making every FB update, tweet, blog post, and press release about your product. People don’t care.)
– Build a community of people that have similar interests that revolve around your product or service or the pain that your product/service alleviates.
If you’re a plumber then your best clients are probably home owners. So it makes sense that home remodeling fits very nicely into your niche and could attract the attention of home owners that will eventually need your services.
– Use press releases to reach (wait for it) the PRESS. This will broaden your exposure naturally and get your the well deserved publicity that you are looking for. NOTE: I’ll be covering the right and wrong way to do PRs in the very near future.
– Remember that amazing content that I talked about a few bullet points up? Promote it through social channels using, what Marty Weintraub calls, “paid organic amplification.”
– Stop thinking/worrying about the link (in any way shape or form.) Ask yourself, “Would I be happy with this link if it was ‘no followed’ (because it probably should be) or if they just put my phone number instead?” If the answer is yes, then you’re golden.
Think about it… Who would be upset in the NY Times posted a ‘no follow’ link to your site, or put your contact info to order from you directly? (You know, how they used to do things before we had websites.)
So, stop thinking about how you can manipulate Google rankings (or Bing and Yahoo) AND START to shift your focus to “How can I get more traffic, more business, and make more people happy with my product or service?”
Read that again: “Make more people happy with my product or service”
What that means is that you need to let go of gaming a computer and learn to solve people’s problems.
2010 called, they want their SEO back. Let it die!
Welcome to 2017 and beyond.