SEO is the new snake oil scam

Old SEO – The new Snake Oil

Last week I got a call from a business owner asking if SOLID could help him with a little “SEO”. He had been hounded by a starving sales guy pushing a big dose of SEO Snake Oil, “Page 1, Top 10, and Money Back Guarantee!” Fortunately he listened to the pitch, asked good questions, and then contacted SOLID.

We discussed that since starting SOLID, my thinking about internet marketing and search engine positioning is changing. Our Mantra at SOLID came from a great blogpost by Sean Jackson, “SEO is DEAD!” Like Jackson, I really hate the term “SEO”, the confusion it creates, and especially the greasy reputation Snake Oil Salesmen have given it.  Fortunately, Google’s latest releases have made SEO Snake Oil especially toxic for websites.

So what happened? Hummingbird, Panda & Penguin.
The introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm was the biggest Google overhaul in over 10 years. Hummingbird empowers Google to effectively deal with long, conversational searches, instead of focusing on keywords. In short, Google is really trying to understand you when you ask, “what can we feed our vegan friends?”

Panda and Penguin are algorithm updates that drop the ranking of websites breaking Google’s content guidelines; thus improving the quality of the results. Penguin targets low-quality links. Panda sniffs-out funky sites with low-quality or stolen content.

So when a phone solicitor guarantees you can buy your way to the top of the rankings, you should smell the snake oil. The practice of “going Indian” is now out the window, and THANK GOD. Overseas SEO sweatshops in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and the Philippines exploit workers, paying 75 cents an hour to plop-out horribly written articles published on bogus sites in an effort to fool Google. Is that who you really want to be (literally) linked to?

Rather than buying poison, give some real thought to how the content in your website is marketing your business.  Remember OC/DC “Optimize your Content for Discovery and Conversion!”  There are hundreds of techniques you can use to promote your website, and only an experience expert can properly create a content strategy based on the goals you’d like to achieve.  You know where your business can go, our job is to help you get there.

In the meantime, here are a few SOLID points you should keep in mind when making changes or updates to your web content:

  1. You will NEVER outsmart Google. If you try they will catch you.
  2. Think of your website content as an extension of you.  Ask yourself, “Do I really speak this way when I describe the company?”
  3. Connect with real business directories and Social Media channels regularly (Yelp, The Chamber, LinkedIn, etc )
  4. Make relevant and useful comments on blogs or groups relating to your industry.
  5. Articles should be written at your direction, by a professional and fit into an overall content strategy.

If you’d like discuss how we can work together to create a SOLID content strategy for your business, CONTACT US today!  But whatever you do, don’t be tempted by Snake Oil; It’s more toxic now than ever.

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