In my last post in the DIY (Do It Yourself) series, we mentioned why using free wordpress business templates as part of a website DIY plan was not always such a great idea. The same is true for search engine optimization (seo); it is possible to undertake your own seo work but it is not always advisable.
Once upon a time, seo was really quite straightforward. Sure, it was boring, repetitive and time-consuming but it was nowhere near as contrived as it is now. Back then nothing would send quite such a thrill (or chill) through the webmaster/seo community as news that Google was dancing again as this heralded a major update which may have caused great leaps or drops in their search engine positions.
Nowadays Google doesn’t so much dance as twitch. Small but fairly constant tweaks to the Google algorithm keep the seo community guessing and then send it into a spasm altogether when larger updates like Panda and Penguin are rolled out. Directly after a major update there is always intense speculation and debate on who was affected, why they were affected and what can be done by the affected to redeem their position in the serps. While to those of a particular mindset this stuff is endlessly fascinating to the rest of the human race it is deadly boring; the online equivalent to watching a snail race.
SEO: a Minefield of Advice on the Internet
Of course it is tempting to launch into your own seo marketing. How hard can it be, right? After all there are a ton of seo tutorials available for free on the internet. However, while it is true that there is no end of advice on search engine optimization and marketing on the internet … how much of it is valid and up to date?
Following bad seo diy advice is worse than doing no seo at all — you would do better to forget about seo altogether and focus instead on providing good content. At least if you do that there is a good chance that others will reward you for your efforts by linking back to your articles and recommending your web site. With this approach your company website may not reach its full potential and it might take a while to build a following, but hey, it is safe. You would be free from the worry of accidentally bumping into one of Google’s moving goalposts and incurring a penalty that could nix your site’s traffic overnight.
However, if you are in charge of the internet marketing of a new website, I doubt whether ‘safe’ is going to impress the boss or the shareholders. You are under pressure to get that site to the top of the serps and the sooner the better.
With this in mind you can go online and drum up all sorts of interesting and out-of-date tutorials. You can learn all about writing an article and spinning it to death, then plastering it across the internet in a multitude of article directories – the more the better, right? You might be advised to create profiles in Hubpages, eHow and Associated Content and then post articles to them with links back to your site. Sounds good. And it was – a year ago. Right up until Google’s Panda update pretty much wiped the floor with the content farm sites .
Following bad seo diy advice is worse than doing no seo at all — you would do better to forget about seo altogether and focus instead on providing good content.
For sure these larger content sites themselves thought they had their seo down to a fine art until the Panda update kicked them into touch.
And if that is not enough of a warning for you regarding following bad seo advice look what happened to google.co.jp. It was dropped from a PR9 to a PR5 because they were caught with their fingers in the paid links jar.
More recently, Google handed out a 60 day penalty to their own Chrome browser for indulging in a sponsored post campaign. Ooops! While it is amusing to imagine the scene at the Googleplex as this situation played out, it would not be amusing at all if your company website were to fall foul of Google’s latest update because you were following bad advice – or because your seo consultant was using tactics that crossed Google’s guidelines.
Google has rules. They don’t stay the same and they don’t always make immediate sense to the rest of but unless you are prepared to have one of your staff on this all the time then you would be better to outsource your seo to a company like Webdirexion which is committed to staying abreast of the latest developments in seo, social, inbound and content marketing.