My friend, I have little doubt this will be the most valuable message on SEO you ever read…
And if you act on the advice that follows, you can write your own ticket in this world and profit beyond your wildest dreams with as many websites as it takes to please your greedy little heart.
Fact: There are too many damn gurus in this business. Most of who do not practice what they preach. There’s little I can tell you on how to spot a real one. But…
The least I can do is set the record straight.
The next time you hear a guru tell you he’s got a secret that will show you how to deal with the Panda update, turn around and…
He doesn’t know what he’s talking about and I can prove it.
Google is not a human being.
Google is thousands of human beings with rooms full of supercomputers. You’re never going to beat them. Don’t try. And you know what else? You don’t need to.
Many people think Google updates its algorithm only once per year – this is absurd. The fact is Google updates many thousands of times per year and most go unannounced. Therefore, if you are trying to rank with some kind of formula, you are doing business the wrong way. If you are buying products that teach you how to rank in Google… or buy in to theories on how to do so… stop now and never do it again.
I hope this message changes the way you think, forever.
Everything I will tell you from this point forward comes straight from Mother Google — not from some moron who just wants to make some easy money.
So let’s hear it…
From Google With Love (emphasis added by me)
“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals. Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.”
There are three main lessons I want you pull from Google’s advice:
1) The person who says he can teach you to “game” Google… is an idiot.
2) The person who teaches that Panda was a big deal… is ignorant.
3) Focus on humans, not on robots.
Now, you may consider this bad news but…
The word on the street is…
If and when your site does make it to the top ten results for your keyword, sooner or later your site will come up for review… by a living, breathing human being. That’s correct. Google is going to pay someone to manually look at and give their opinion of your site — and if it isn’t good — off you go!
Google has explained that this is why you may be on page one… and then when you come back and check another day, you’re on page thirty-two.
Like I’ve said, you cannot game Google.
But here’s what you can do:
I’m going to give you 13 questions human reviewers will ask themselves about your site (taken from Google documents). I highly suggest you listen, learn, and implement. That is, if you ever want to see the light of day on Google’s first page.
Take these questions and use them as a lens through which to view your site. How well does your site hold up? Here are…
13 Revealing SEO Questions
(with tips from yours truly)
Q1: “Would you trust the information presented in the article/website?”
Buck’s Tip: Some say we live in the “Information Age” — the problem is, most of the information is useless. The litmus test of a good website (assuming you find the site interesting) is, “Can I believe this site?” Get a family member or friend to look at your site — but don’t tell them it’s your site. This way, you will get an honest review. Just send them a link and ask what they think.
Q2: “Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?”
Buck’s Tip: Here lies the danger of using PLR. Hopefully you know to re-write the PLR — but have you ever considered adding your own personal flair and opinion to the content? A lot of writing on the Internet is missing something. It’s missing a human touch… the pulse of a human heart that whispers, “This was written by a real person.” On top of that, a little research can go a long way. Remember, make your content VALUABLE.
Q3: “Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?”
Buck’s Tip: Have you been to a site where it was obvious the person either outsourced articles or quickly put together a bunch of crappy info? Or worse, they copied info from somewhere else? Usually you can FEEL they have no idea what they’re talking about. You say you have? Okay… then why would YOU turn around and make a site the same way? I’m always amazed how people can lose their common sense as soon as they get behind the pen. When planning out the content to go on your site, ask yourself, “What would I want to read about? What subjects in this niche would be intensely interesting to me?” You can’t go wrong doing that.
Q4: “Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?”
Buck’s Tip: What an excellent question! I think this one is my favorite. You would like to make some money, wouldn’t you? This is where your own human (family member) review would come in handy. Ask Uncle Bob if he would buy from your site (and remember, don’t tell him it’s your site). If he says no, then ask why and implement the changes he suggests.
Q5: “Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?”
Buck’s Tip: Nothing screams amateur like grammar mistakes. Either take your time and do it right or take the time to get a proofreader. Don’t be embarrassed to have mistakes, even Microsoft Word won’t catch them all.
Q6: “Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?”
Buck’s Tip: Ouch. Google is one smart cat. But this fits perfectly with what you’ve learned so far. Write to humans and you can’t go wrong… in fact, you’ll only go up, up, up. And don’t you dare stuff your keyword in that post as often as you can.
Q7: “Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?”
Buck’s Tip: Now notice this: “Original analysis” — analysis is a fancy word for opinion. Of course, you need to have some facts to back up your opinion… otherwise you’re just an animal willing to run his mouth… like me :>
Q8: “Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”
Buck’s Tip: Your page is going to be compared to the other pages you’re competing with (on page one for your keyword). So if that’s what the reviewer looks at, that’s what you should look at too. Scope out the competition. And make sure you’re better than them.
Q9: “Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”
Buck’s Tip: This is a big weakness for a lot of sites. What is your domain name and extension? In my opinion, the .com domain extension is the best you can get. Think: How often do you see a .net or a .info at the top of Google? Check around and try to find one. And the problem with the .org extension is this: Are you really an organization? Maybe you could try to fake your way, but even then it’s a lie. Do you want to be a liar? Do you want to give YOUR money to a liar? Again, this is just my opinion and recommendation — but I much prefer the .com to anything else. You can try to reason your way to a view opposing mine, but remember, the person who reviews your site doesn’t know you or anything about you. You are not smarter than that person, you are just another cog in the wheel to him.
Q10: “Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?”
Buck’s Tip: I like this tip. Go beyond obvious. It’s called news for a reason… it’s new. Will your readers already know what you’re writing about?
Q11: “Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?”
Buck’s Tip: This is another excellent benchmark. Look at all your bookmarks and saved sites. Notice their features, sections, posts. Why did you save them? Take notes. And then implement on your site.
Q12: “Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?”
Buck’s Tip: Your site should not look like a Las Vegas casino sign. Nothing should distract your reader from the content — you know that you are repulsed by these types of sites… so why build one yourself?
Q13: “Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?”
Buck’s Tip: They’re really trying to hammer out sites that don’t create value. So ask yourself: Is your post good enough to be an article in a magazine? It’s a good goal for each post.
Whew, that almost put me out of breath. Reminds me of an old girlfriend — anyways…
Now that we know what Google has to say…
Let’s hear from a rich expert:
Steve Pavlina is an uber-successful blogger in the personal development niche (which many would argue is and was saturated). But that didn’t stop him. In fact, he started in 2004 and Mr. Pavlina reported in 2006 that he was getting over 700,000 visitors PER MONTH… without spending money on marketing, tricks, or gimmicks. Plus he never focuses on SEO or trying to rank. Here are his ten ideas on why his site is so successful. Let’s see if they gel with what we’ve discussed so far:
1.) Create valuable content.
2) Create original content. (The secret to get readers to stick around.)
3.) Create timeless content. (People still quote Aristotle… but do you know any news reporters from that time?)
4.) Write for human beings first, computers second.
5.) Know why you want a high-traffic site. (Have a clear goal.)
6.) Let your audience see the real you. (Get out from behind the computer.)
7.) Write what is true for you, and live with the consequences. (Be honest, unless you want to run for a political office.)
8.) Treat your visitors like real human beings. (You’re writing to real, savvy people. Don’t talk down to them.)
9.) Keep money in its proper place.
10.) If you forget the first nine suggestions, just focus on genuinely helping people, and the rest will take care of itself.
If you take away anything, let it be this: Forget normal SEO. Replace what you call SEO with what I’ll call FOH –
Focus On Humans
I don’t want to take any more of your time, but I hope you enjoyed my post. If you don’t already know, this is my first blog post for you.
How did I do? Did you enjoy it? Let me know. And tell me what other SEO problems, challenges, or issues would you like to hear about.
The best comment gets a prize.
So I’ll see you in the comments section, right?…