Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2007
By Jill Whalendel.icio.us
As much as Google *pretends* to like SEOs by inviting us to parties at the Googleplex and posting on SEO forums, the bottom line is that they don’t like us — or rather, they don’t like what we do. Google wants to find the best, most relevant sites for the search query at hand all by themselves. Perhaps someday they will actually be able to do that, but for now, they still need our help, whether they like it or not.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous SEOs have given Google good reasons not to like us. Because of search engine spammers, Google is constantly changing their ranking criteria and is always on the lookout for the telltale signs of SEO on any given site. It’s not a huge stretch to say that they may even downgrade the sites that they believe have been SEO’d.
If you think that having your keyword phrases “in all the right places for
Stuff that worked like a charm for many people in the early years of SEO may actually hurt rather than help now. As to what might trigger an SEO “red flag,” my guess is that it’s a combination of things. Like, if you have a certain number of traditional SEO factors on any given page, those may set off some Google warning bells (otherwise known as a spam filter).
Some of the traditional SEO formulaic elements that you may have been taught to use include putting the keyword phrase:
If you put the same keyword phrase in many of those spots, you might very well trigger a spam filter. Since it’s difficult to determine how many and which combinations of those things might trigger the filter, the best advice I can give you is to do your SEO without any particular formula in mind.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to describe this type of SEO to others, as
The most important aspect to being a good SEO is creativity. You shouldn’t
Most importantly for Google (and for your users), when it comes to your page copy and how you use your visible keyword phrases, less is definitely more. Please don’t read my Nitty-gritty report and then put the same keyword phrase in every single available spot on your page that you can find. My report is supposed to help you think about a few places you may have missed because you weren’t thinking about being descriptive when you originally wrote the copy. You can definitely have too much of a good thing.
A first paragraph on a page that has, say, 4 sentences, should not have 10
When you do SEO, you don’t follow a guidebook. Think like a search engineer and consider all the possible things they might have to combat both now and in the future. Always optimize for 3 or 4 or even up to 5 phrases, and spread them out throughout the entire page. Never, ever, ever think that it’s the first paragraph that matters and stuff ‘em all in there. There should be an equal distribution throughout the entire page, and you should never use the phrases so much that you hear them constantly when you read it.
If you’ve done it right, an everyday user should not have any idea that a page has been SEO’d. A trained SEO should be able to spot what your
keyword phrases are, but it shouldn’t be glaringly obvious. Last, but
not least, hire a professional copywriter to work on the important
pages of your site. This is the best investment you can make for your
site and your business. Even if you don’t want to hire an SEO, you
absolutely MUST hire a
Hope this helps to give you some ideas on how you might get out of formula-SEO mode and start doing more creative SEO. More than ever, SEO is much more of an art than a science. The science is only a small portion of it.
Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Services Agency.
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