I have been working in the SEO industry for almost 5 years now. To some I am just a young pup, but I must say the results we get from our SEO campaigns speak for themselves.
When you work in this field of SEO you tend to network with other SEO professionals and stay tuned with the latest SEO waves or updates from Google. You also interact with other SEO experts in the forums and blogs.
I want to express my concern with the amount of complexity added to the subject of SEO. About 80% of information on SEO out there is too deep and complex, with an awful lot of opinions.
Like any technology or methodology, people are looking for usability. They want something which works, creates an effect or makes a difference. This same concept applies to SEO.
Using a technology requires sticking with the basics of that technology. If you sift through the thousands of available “sources” you can usually locate the real source, and this is the information and method one should use when working out how to go about it. This is the correct way to learn and apply anything.
I find it amazing how some SEO experts throw their opinions out on their high-powered blogs, only to confuse another thousand SEO experts.
It is so laughable to watch, and it goes like this:
- SEO Expert Joe, needs to get “green carrots” on page 1 of Google for a client.
- He is working on it for months, bookmarking, social networks, links etc.
- After 2-3 months he takes a step back and looks at his visitor and keyword stats. Not much change, he just isn’t getting the results and his client is starting to wonder.
- Suddenly he realizes that a cool video on YouTube may boost things up and get’s this produced an online.
- The following week “green carrots” is on page 1! It’s great, it worked and the client is all happy.
- After sitting back relaxed and looking at his results, he suddenly realizes that he never optimised the content of his page with enough keywords. Oops. He only mentioned “green carrots” once and still got a page 1 result. This strikes him as strange and it seems to violate everything he learned about page optimisation in SEO.
What happens next is interesting. The SEO expert decides this is valuable information and experience. He has just seen the following new search rule in play, which should be shared with anyone doing SEO:
“Google is no longer giving any value to keyword density. This plays no part in SEO.”
He writes a nice 1000 word article about it and due to his experience, is extremely certain of his findings. He even makes a jab at Google about no mentioning it to anyone. Now he has kudos for finding this out before anyone else.
This is extremely frustrating for anyone who wants to learn the subject of SEO or even old school SEO professionals.And is because of this short-sightedness that the web is filled with millions of pages about SEO which would be better located in the trash.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about the many very useful articles, digests and tutorials out there which can greatly assist an SEO expert to get his job done faster. I am talking about those people who create their own interpretations of what is an extremely precise and logical technology – SEO.
Adding confusion to the subject
I have a real example of this. Last week I read and article from a “leading SEO source”, Seomoz. In their article The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design and Development, they state loud and bold that:
“Keyword density is, without question, NOT a part of modern web search engine ranking algorithms for the simple reason that it provides far worse results than many other, more advanced methods of keyword analysis.”
Quite a statement! Who’s your source? They referenced Dr. Edel Garcia’s seminal work on the topic – The Keyword Density of Non-Sense. If you go through this source’s article, Dr. Edel Garcia tries to break down the mathematical equation of keyword density improving search results and in the ends supposedly proves it could not be true.
The final statement in Seomoz’s comment on keyword density is amusing.
“Dr. Garcia’s background in information retrieval and his mathematical proofs should debunk any notion that keyword density can be used to help “optimize” a page for better rankings. However, this same document illustrates the unfortunate truth about keyword optimization – without access to a global index of web pages (to calculate term weight) and a representative corpus of the Internet’s collected documents (to help build a semantic library), we have little chance to create formulas that would be helpful for true optimization.”
What does this all mean? In summary, Seomoz told its thousands of followers that “Keyword density has NO PART in SEO”. Then they say at the end that they do not have access to enough search results (Google’s database) to fully validate it. Huh? Why mention it then?
How to simplify SEO
On the opposite side of this story, there are many intelligent SEO experts who work from the source of SEO itself and never deviate. These are some of the finest SEO companies and SEO experts in the world.
So back to the point, the simple question lingering on us now is, “Who is the source?”.
Let’s take a look shall we?
Who decides what ranks well?
Who decides if your content is good?
Who decides if your keywords match what people are looking for?
Who determines if an external link has authority or value?
The answer is simple: Google.
The interesting thing which I found when talking to other SEO professionals is that they like to follow other experts because of their portfolios, attractive articles and other appeal factors.
But, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of it all, you best bet is to go back to source.
Matt Cutts from Google’s Search Team provides hundreds of videos, articles and updates to keep SEO experts like you from falling into the dark pit of failed websites.
Google wants quality, they want results and they want a great user experience. The only way they will accomplish this is getting SEO companies and their individual staff to understand what their vision is as well as how they work.
Just last week a young SEO company contacted us to take over two failing SEO campaigns they were running. They had gotten themselves into all sorts of odd-ball SEO practices and were, of course, failing.
Our Campaign Manager simply referred them to the applicable Google articles on SEO and website quality guidelines and they are now back on track.
When you come across “new and exciting SEO information”, take the time to verify it with the multiple resource websites available from Google. Don’t just jump in and trust everything another blogger wrote. It may or may not be true, but it is your reputation on the line as an SEO professional.
I hope this helps in getting your SEO campaigns more effective and by the book.