You are either paying an SEO company to “do things” (magical things!) to increase your website’s page rank on the search engines, trying to do it yourself — or you are simply doing nothing to increase your page rank. That’s the head-in-the-sand philosophy: If I can’t see a problem, it isn’t there.
And if you aren’t near the top of the search for your key words, then “Houston, we have a problem.”
Found or Invisible?
The fact is that if you aren’t on the first, second or third page of Google, you are invisible. Only the people searching for your company by name could possibly find your site. You are not getting any “natural” or “organic” traffic. Which is what you want. Believe me, this is what you want. And if you are paying a company to perform SEO services for you, this is what you are paying for.
Getting found in the search engines can make (or break) your year. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an influx of clients calling you after finding you on the internet? Could you handle a few more customers this week? What would that do for you? For some it could mean the ability to make payroll without sweating bullets. For others, it might mean a much needed vacation. What would it mean for you?
Black Hat Methods
You may have heard that Google (the 600 pound gorilla) is cracking down on tactics that some SEO professionals use that are considered unethical. Google wants to get rid of schemes to “rig” the system. Rigging the system means that SEO practitioners are engaging in activities that artificially propel one site over others to the front of the search engine line.
Things like artificial website linking systems, buying links to your site, artificially stuffing your site with the keywords you want to rank for, and artificially “spinning” articles to create gazillions of internet properties linking back to your site. There are plenty of “black hat” SEO artists who have been gaming the system for years. And Google is making efforts to crack down on them for the benefit of us all.
Playing Nice with the 600 Pound Gorilla
The key factor seems to be volume. It’s okay to engage in optimization tactics. It is not okay to massively game the system. Certainly, it is okay to spin an article into new versions that you can then repurpose elsewhere. And it is okay to dot your keywords all over your site. That is what your site is all about after all. And linking websites together to point to your site is okay too. Google expects you to optimize your site. Going overboard and trying to game the system is what Google objects to and will penalize your site for.
You may have heard about the Penguin Update. This is Google’s latest crack down on spammer type techniques. Google has been punishing offending websites by dropping their site’s page rank. Unless you have been engaging in Black Hat methods, which I am sure you are not, your site was probably not affected. But you do need to be aware of what Google is now penalizing sites for and rewarding others for.
Google’s New Rules
Targets of Google’s recent Penguin Update include:
- Keyword Domains – Using a keyword as your domain for the sole purpose of ranking for it
- Keyword Stuffing – Adding a multitude of targeted keywords on the page
- Link Schemes – Unethical link building practices
- Over Optimization of Content – Too many repeats of the keyword to increase page density
- Spun Articles – Using mass article distribution services that “spin” or reorganize the content to appear as unique articles
So what can you do to increase your Google rank?
The danger here for you is thinking that you will be penalized if you use any of these tactics. There is no need to walk around on tiptoe. Just know where the landmines are and side-step them.
Internet marketers and savvy website owners are still using each and every one of these techniques to good effect. Google expects you to optimize your site. Just don’t go overboard. Keep it natural. Keep it real.
You can spin an article if you then go back in and manually edit the article to sound as professional and unique as the original article.
You can use your main key word in your URL.
You can link websites to your site to increase your rank.
The secret is to be real. Be natural. And don’t get freaked out by Google. It is a 600 pound gorilla, but it’s a gorilla that wants to place nice with you. ( Just play by it’s rules and nobody gets hurt.)
For a different perspective, look for a live presentation I video’d of Joel Goldstein sharing his expertise about search engine optimization at a recent National Association of Entrepreneurs CEO Mastermind Workshop.