December 12, 2012 by Colin Kelly
You should know by now there aren’t any.
2 things matter: You need a well built, accessible site from a reputable web design company, with proper processes and the latest standards. That makes a massive difference and it’s why I got rid of my previous free, template, out the box sites and noticed much better results when I started dealing with professional web designers.
Then, it’s about quality, relevant, regularly updated content. Sure, there’s a job to do making sure the world’s biggest search engine knows your page is up and looks at it, and you can shout to your friends and contacts and ask them to link to it. Having a social media presence is also a massive help (but takes a bit of work) and if you can get the mainstream media linking to your site then wow, you really are into a winner. Much of the above is part and parcel of the service provided by the professional web designers – especially if they put some PR out telling the media about your new site.
What makes me laugh is the marketing emails that come round from some of the unscrupulous SEO operatives every time Google’s search man Matt Cutts gives an update about a change in their algorithm. I’m not talking about legitimate SEO experts here. These men and women are highly skilled and get results. No, I’m talking about the dodgy guys. With their extravagant promises of a ‘quick fix’. You know the ones. They tend to shout the loudest and from what I’ve seen, any success they achieve tends to be short lived.
Google is notoriously private about how it decides to organise its search results. It prides itself on providing useful results for its millions of users and works very hard behind the scenes to bury the sites that try to ‘play the system’.
Every now and again, Google breaks cover and up pops its ‘Head of Webspam’ Matt Cutts with some helpful hints and maybe even a video explaining the latest changes to its algorithm, all of which have fun names like ‘Panda’ or ‘Penguin’.
So Matt says his little bit and gives some ‘insight’ into their process and talks about the kind of site they’re going to push a little higher and who they’ll be knocking down. And then the self appointed SEO ‘gurus’ go into overdrive, firing out their email tips and advice telling you ‘what you need to know about Google’s new changes’.
Think about this from Google’s point of view. They’ve made it clear they want to reward people who don’t care about SEO. People who just get on with their well built, accessible website and add good, relevant content to it.
The people who’re interested in ‘playing the system’ are the ones it wants to catch.
So all Google needs to do is send Matt out to do his bit and sit back and wait to see who logs on immediately to change their site. Ever think that might set off a red flag somewhere in the Googleplex? By reacting to his ‘tips’ you’ve just told Google you’re obsessed with SEO. Maybe not such a smart move.
My advice? Don’t be hasty when you get an unsolicited email, or see a news article on Linkedin from a self appointed SEO expert telling you ‘what you need to know about Google’s latest update’. Have a cup of tea first, and call your reputable, professional web designer and ask for their take on it.