SEO is just spam so I’ll never rank in Google. Will I have to spam potential customers to get anywhere?

Published on 13th February 2017

The straightforward answer to this is yes, spam tactics do work but only in the short term. Slapdash link networks and keyword stuffing are tactics that are still practiced and, in some cases, still work, but this is super sketch and will likely bring failure to your business in the long run.

Repeat after me—SEO is not spam. SEO, when used correctly, is the opposite of spam. SEO can be defined as the process and work involved in making pretty cool websites that give users brilliant online experiences. A long-term well-structured and well-intended SEO plan helps people find you in the mind-numbing hugeness of the Internet.

Think of it like this—if the Internet was a library, it would hold millions of books and your website would be one page in one chapter of one book. Good SEO is kind of vital for people to find you in the endless ocean of websites that are out there.

But I won’t lie—there has been spam associated with SEO in the past that has really damaged the reputation and use of SEO. For this reason (and because spamming in general is just wrong) I consider this to be bad SEO.

Very. Very. Bad. SEO.

In the techy world, bad SEO and good SEO are known as something totally different—Black Hat (the former) and White Hat (the latter) SEO.

Black Hat SEO (i.e. spam) =

Stuffing keywords

Hiding content

Spinning/scraping content

Buying links

Hacking sites

White Hat SEO=

Quality techniques

Relevant content, links and references
Clear keyword focus
Compliant websites
Adding value to the internet

Don’t tell anyone but the Internet is actually run by this guy.

There are a lot of people in the world who will create websites, set up domain names, put tons of content on them and force a bunch of different links to the sites to get them to rank using a plethora of spam techniques. When their sites stop ranking, they will move on and continue the process.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

That is spam. It will also not help you in the long run.

You may be asking yourself what the deal is with SEO in the first place; how it helps Google find you, etc. Well, I have an answer for that! Google sends out what they call ‘spiders’ to ‘crawl’ your site, collect information from it and rank it accordingly. Your web designer would (or should) have put files (like robot.txt) into the coding of your website for these ‘spiders’ to eat read.

Omnomnom.

By using robot.txt file, sitemaps, search-friendly URLs and so on, you’re allowing Google to rank your site better based on quality content and, really, Google simply wants good content to rank. Simple.

Helpful tip: ‘Spiders’ don’t like flash-heavy sites so make sure your flash site is ‘crawl friendly’!

SEO also helps optimise keywords, meta information, content and blogs to ensure that quality content is the best it can be so your ranking results are high. But this only happens with good SEO strategies.

Good SEO strategies involve creating quality content, quality links and a relevant linking system with your website that nurtures the growth of customers and helps to create buzz for your business. That is a hearty long-term SEO strategy. This type of strategy, in turn, allows your site to rank on Google without resorting to nasty tricks. Good SEO will generate genuine business and put genuine profits in your pocket.

A fine example of a site utilizing SEO to their benefit would be www.linkedin.com or en.wikipedia.org because they make their content accessible with quality link and inciting people who own websites to link to them. A bad example of a site not utilizing SEO to their benefit would be pages like payday loan websites that use heavy “spammy queries” for their content.

Yeah, bad SEO is definitely not cute.

As you know, you can’t really build a long-term business based on short-term strategies (such as spamified SEO, which is now becoming harder to pull off as Google becomes more sophisticated). If your competitor is out-ranking you using spam then you can report it to Google. The truth of SEO is that by maintaining focus on quality over quantity, creating good content that people will actually like, and by creating relevant link connections, you will grow that social network so crucial to success, which will pay off boatloads for your business in the long run.

You want to build a long-term business, right? Avoid short-term, “pump-and-dump” SEO tactics that will only breed spam. Focus instead on a long-term, structurally sound SEO plan that nurtures your customer base and encourages it to grow instead of alienating it and killing it off.

Remember, good SEO always focuses on quality. It is a pretty vital component in helping to generate buzz for your website and will, ultimately, allow real people to talk about (and support) your business. And who doesn’t like a little attention once in a while? I know we do. 😀

If you want to learn more, check out these articles that give great overviews and introductions to SEO:

Beginner’s Guide to SEO
The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors
The Evolution of SEO Trends Over 25 Years
58 Resources to Help You Learn and Master SEO

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