Bad SEO Advice: Be Careful Who You Listen To About SEO


Brendan Hufford recently tweeted this article from Y Combinator.

Y Combinator is a business or startup “incubator”.  Basically they act as a resource for new companies to get advice on how to grow there business.

Brendan points out in his tweet here a thread on Y Combinator’s forum.  And oh my goodness, this is horrible advice about search engine optimization.

Y Combinator might be great at helping people launch new businesses, but if this is an example of what they know about search, then just stay away or completely ignore.

The only thing this person go right was Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is a great and powerful tool.  It can tell you a lot.  But remember, it is a tool.  Everyone who uses a tool does not have the same skill level.  If I have a paint brush, I can paint a circle.  That’s cool I guess.  If Van Gogh has a paint brush, he can paint Starry Night and change the world.  Big difference in skill level.

I don’t even know what Xrumer/GSA are.  I know what a blog comments is.  Blog comments are perfectly fine, if used by a sane reasonable person.  But please, please, don’t spam a bunch of blog comments trying to rank your site.  Holy smokes what the heck.

This is why search engine optimization is very hard and very easy.  I know, I’m contradicting myself, let me explain.

SEO is Very Hard

SEO is very hard because there’s a ton of info online about it and it’s almost all terrible.  Even if you were to find a good article, how would you know it’s a good article?

Especially when the good article is sandwiched between a ton of crap.

The best way to learn, get good at SEO is to build your own website that you can push and test and see what works.  If it doesn’t break, then it works.  Just do this on a website that you treat for testing purposes.

This learning process can take a long time.  Years even.

Or you can hire an SEO expert to do the job for you.  Again, this is hard, because most SEO Experts are not SEO experts.

SEO is Easy

Once you understand what a search engine is looking for and how to build a website with a strong foundation, you’ll realize SEO is easy.  Then, you go out and you see the competition.  Most people have no idea what they’re doing, so that’s the competition, and they are easy to beat.

Whatever you do, don’t do any of the stuff in that Y Combinator post.

Build your own website and figure out how to rank it.


SEO Myth Busting: Common mistake with search engine optimization

Here is an Unpopular Opinion: Your website doesn’t need to have a security certificate, HTTP(s), to rank well in Google.

HTTPS is a conversion issue. If you don’t have the S, web browsers like Google’s Chrome, will say “Not Secure” right next to your domain name, which is not good.

Customers want to see that trust symbol.

Now there is a common misconception in the SEO community, that if you don’t have SSL, your site will get demoted.  This idea is bolstered from popular articles on the topic like this one from Wired Magazine.

And if non-SSL sites get demoted, the having the SSL might give you a boost in Google rankings.

But the SSL certificate doesn’t help with ranking at the top of Google searches. There are plenty of sites with just HTTP ranking for competitive searches.

Sorry to burst your bubble.  It’s not that easy to rank at the top of Google.

Focus on what matters.

This being said, I do recommend getting the SSL certificate for you website.

Your website is simply the online version of your business. Your business needs to look good and customers need to feel safe.

This website has the HTTP(S), just look at the search bar.

But SSL little to nothing to do with ranking.


12 Ways SEO Can Help Your Business Succeed

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the most effective marketing tools available for any business, no matter how big or small. Without SEO, your business is at a disadvantage and employing just some of the top techniques can help your business succeed in many different ways:

1. Search Engine Results Page

When looking for products, services, information or a business online, most people do not scroll down a search engine results page, never mind going to the next page. If your website does not appear among the top rankings, you are less likely to attract more visitors. The more traffic you can generate, the more likely your business is to succeed. The primary goal of SEO is to improve a search engine ranking.

2. Compete With Big Business

Small businesses can gain the same benefits from SEO as big corporations meaning that it evens out the playing field allowing small business to compete and often beat big business in the search engine ranking game. By using an integrated digital marketing strategy and employing all the SEO tools in their arsenal correctly, it is entirely possible for a small business to be ranked higher and therefore attract more traffic and business than their largest competitor.

3. Direct Competition

Often it is not big business that is in direct competition with your business, and it is other local businesses offering the same products or services that provide the most significant threat. Focusing an SEO strategy on taking into account your location and direct competition, will help you compete better on a local level. You can be sure that your greatest regional competition is using SEO to attract more business their way.

4. Build Your Brand

The goal of any great marketing strategy is to build an maintain a strong brand. SEO focuses on providing messaging and other techniques that will help make your brand. Also, SEO can assist in maintaining a strong brand presence once it has been established.

5. First Impressions

First impressions count, and a high search engine ranking plus a quality SEO website can provide a positive first impression. People automatically assume that a top-ranked website provides reliable information and is reputable. This impression is essential to internet users not only visiting your site, but their potential for buying your products or using your services is increased.

6. The Bottom Line

Any marketing strategy must result in increased website visitors and customers for a business. SEO can show real results in increased traffic to a website and how this traffic is directly translated into increased profits. It should go without saying that any strategy that increases profits is of value to the bottom line of every business.

7. The Cost

SEO is considered to provide the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing strategy. This means that the value it provides far outweighs the cost of employing the different types of SEO techniques. It is the cheapest strategy available – making it even more accessible to small businesses to compete with big business. In fact, some SEO techniques can be employed by you, meaning that the cost to the company is zero while the value continues to increase.

8. Long-Term Results

SEO is not about quick results and gaining profitability for a short period. Instead, it is about building an online reputation that is solid from the foundation up and ensuring that the benefits are sustainable over the long term. While this does mean that SEO can take time to show results, it also means that a strong online presence can be maintained once it has been established. SEO is, therefore, an ongoing digital marketing solution rather than a quickie strategy.

9. The Mobile Market

The latest research shows that more internet users are now using mobile devices to access the internet than conventional laptops or PCs. SEO provides a focused approach to optimizing websites for this mobile market. From the more traditional techniques like a content generation to ensure that a site is mobile friendly, SEO is the top tool in your kit to provide that mobile device users do not overlook your business.

10. Enhanced Online Visibility

Establishing a strong online presence is at the heart of online business success. SEO uses a variety of different strategies to improve online visibility including social media management, link building as well as search engine ranking.

11. Tailor-made

Every business is different and therefore has different marketing and SEO needs. An expert SEO consultant or agency considers this and can design a tailor-made package to suit the unique needs of your business while ensuring a comprehensive digital marketing solution.

When researching who to turn to for help with Google, it’s best to find a company, that can actually deliver on the results they are offering.  Ask for referrals from friends and family members to see if they have worked with any agencies that can deliver results.

12. Evolve And Adapt

A few years ago, a rumor was doing the rounds that SEO was on its way out and will no longer provide benefit to business success due to the ever-changing search engine algorithms making the industry much more challenging. However, SEO has evolved and adapted its techniques as required to ensure that their clients keep receiving the advantages of SEO.

Today, SEO is stronger than ever, and the benefits that it can provide to help your business succeed are more significant than before. In fact, it seems as though search is here to stay for the long term to continue providing the same advantages to small, medium and big business.