How To Spot an SEO Expert
When I was in high school, I remember feeling puzzled by some of my friends’ observations about women.
“Did you know that if you look at a girl in the eye and talk really confident she’ll like you better?”
“My older brother said that if you completely ignore a girl, it gets her interested!”
“Girls love it when you say their name at least three times in conversation. It shows you’re paying attention.”
It was like relationships were Nintendo games: put in the right code and out comes love. Never was there a thought that these are thinking, breathing humans and they should be treated the way most people want to be treated: with sincerity, respect, warmth, and perhaps a bit of humor.
For some reason, I hear these sorts of juvenile conversations echoing in my head when I’m at a conference listening to a speech on “How to Make $1 Million In Your First Year With SEO” or reading an article by a self-described SEO expert who claims to be about to blow my mind with his “5 Hidden Secrets to Link Building.”
Offering quick solutions to SEO is easy. Most of them have been around a while: guest posts, press releases, link networks, triangle trades… the list goes on. Search engine optimizers who promote these techniques are really only showing us that they don’t understand how sophisticated Google is. If Google were still rewarding things like keyword density in 2015, they wouldn’t be nearly as successful a company as they are because their search results would be filled with SEO spam.
The reality is that Google’s legions of Stanford-trained engineers have evolved the algorithm steadily since 2003 and today, it’s pretty close to the pure state that Larry and Sergey imagined when they created it back in grad school. In short, webmasters have to create a genuinely helpful, relevant experience for their visitors in order to rank. The best ranked sites have thoughtful, original content; links from news sites and prominent blogs; and clean, mostly error-free code.
So if you want to know how to spot an SEO expert, it’s not the one with his mouth moving at the fastest speed; it’s the one who understands how to conduct a long term relationship with Google, which requires talent, dedication, creativity, and passion.