Smart SEO: Understanding Google’s Algorithms

Smart SEO: Understanding Google’s Algorithms

I'm Getting Tired of Hearing about the “Penguin.” If it's not one excuse it's another. Thing is, I'm completely fed up with hearing about all these excuses not to do SEO or how SEO is so tough now. Well, it takes work and it should have always taken work in the first place. Most "SEOs" know the basics of the algorithm but few and far between are true masters of the art.

If I have to read one more rehashed garbage post about Panda or Penguin and how SEO is so unfair I think I’m going to explode. Not to mention, these posts are typically filled with more misinformation which is just as frustrating.

Related Post:
Google Penguin Shows No Mercy For Black Hat SEO 

My words of advice for those that want to get into the SEO field. If you’re not smart enough to become a doctor or even a lawyer then don’t try to become an SEO. Yep you heard me right, just because you don’t need a license to be an SEO professional doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Think about it, you’re trying to figure out what a team of engineers are doing to make their product better on a consistent basis. Shouldn’t you be at their level or above?

Not to mention, the level of misinformation in this industry is staggering and if you can’t find your way through the weeds then you’re doomed. It takes research, testing and constant analysis to really understand what the search engines are looking for. The level of intelligence required and time put in to truly get a grip on SEO is staggering. Problem is a new guy (or gal) opens up shop every day and thinks they can provide SEO services to the masses under the guise of Search Engine Professional although they have only basic search marketing knowledge.

Secrets to SEO Success

  1. Build links to your website
  2. Make sure these links are from content that would be considered relevant to your user base
  3. Make sure your links are on pages that are valuable to users
  4. Sprinkle in some anchor text
  5. Rinse and Repeat

Okay, it’s not that simple but it’s close. There’s more to it like creating relationships with website owners, bloggers, webmasters, etc. but at its root, SEO is a simple concept. The problem is that even though it’s simple, it’s not. You have to “Do Work.” Just because the search engines use links to garner the value of a page or a website doesn’t mean that a “Bunch-O-Links” will fix your SEO woes. Actually, linking schemes have a higher propensity to dampen your SEO efforts rather than help them.

What??? You mean I have to put in actual hours to make SEO work? Yep, and this is why most marketing budgets are still spent predominantly on PPC ads. You can quickly measure results with PPC; unlike SEO, where it’s much tougher until you get to those top spots.

Reverse, you know what? Let’s keep those Penguin and Panda posts rolling hard. Heck I’ll even put some out there myself. Maybe it will clean up the industry even more. Which, by the way, I think Google has ultimately done a great job of with these updates.

The great thing is that all these posts validate my craft. They validate me as a professional. They validate my services and those of other top professionals in the industry.

SEO is about putting in the work, finding the places that your potential clients will be and creating value for them... or piggybacking off of previously created value or by nurturing relationships with webmasters in your craft. It’s work and it doesn’t come through ten thousand directory links or the “Linkinator 3000 Beta 1.2” or whatever new automation tool there is out this week or the next.

The lesson here is really that there are no shortcuts anymore. Well, that’s another topic altogether but honestly if you’re wanting to provide high quality services to clients or get yourself highly valuable rankings that will last, there are no shortcuts.

SEO is for people that are willing to take the time to analyze what works best. If you don’t have the experience, then get it. Analyze, build, test, re-test, rinse and repeat. SEO knowledge doesn’t come without experience and it surely doesn’t come without work. As everyone knows and as I’m sure most of your family members have told you from the time you were a child, “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”


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  • avatar

    I sorry, but this is yet another post I have seen far to often. Any real SEO already knows it is hard to be a good SEO. Any real SEO knows the type of links you should be “building” post Penguin. Now a really good blog post on the subject would clearly layout exactly how to “build” those links.

    • avatar
      Vanessa Copeland 


      How to build those links is by earning them. As stated in this post: Secrets to SEO Success
      -Build links to your website
      -Make sure these links are from content that would be considered relevant to your user base
      -Make sure your links are on pages that are valuable to users
      -Sprinkle in some anchor text
      -Rinse and Repeat
      Check out this video by SEOmoz: The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning for more insight.

  • avatar

    “it’s really not all that hard or complicated to do SEO properly” – Basic SEO skills are just that, basic.
    @cmarten I think your comments would be very different if you had ever worked to rank anything that was competitive.

  • avatar

    I started using more natural content for my sites, now. Before I would copy and paste and then rewrite content, which isn’t something I would recommend. Google definitely wants better content written from people like you and me. They get tired of seeing the same old results that people just put together in a minute, and expect to see their site ranked in the top 10 or 5 pages.

  • avatar

    I agree with “there are no shortcuts anymore,” and I agree that it is going to clean up the web somewhat. I also agree that you need to be intelligent and, especially, dedicated to the work that it takes to properly SEO any site or blog you create or work on. That is what I get from your comparison to doctor or lawyer capabilities, which may be off-putting to some people reading your blog.
    The thing is, it’s really not all that hard or complicated to do SEO properly. You just have to do it real. Forget tricks and gimics and make a site that is actually worth something instead of all fluff and bluster. Get involved with the community of quality sites in your niche and interact like normal people would.
    I’m glad Google is continuously tweaking things to support actual interaction and quality rather than a list of tricks the “gurus” come up with.

  • avatar

    It’s true that the change of algorithm shook things up a bit, especially for people who basically lived off black hat techniques, but other than that, the key is to adapt and survive and nothing else.

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