If you really want to learn SEO, skip search and social.

If you google “how to build backlinks” or “how to start SEO”, etc. – the results, although accurate in Google’s opinion, are far from being “accurate” in the context of the intent of the searcher. See, most people who would type in such keywords come from basic to no-knowledge in link-building. We will start seeing why Google may actually not be in the best interest of those who think they can learn link building by just Googling.

“How to build backlinks” results:

google results on how to build backlinks

The first result from Convince and Convert tells you how to build backlinks. There is no content in there that could make new people understand:

  • how links work,
  • what are good links,
  • what are bad links,
  • why to even start linking in the first place,
  • what are anchor texts, etc.

Basic information is thrown out the window and the author gets into giving advice. The truth is, there are too many random suggestions or advice thrown in there even though the blog is legit. But, your company and website may not have to do anything with having a Digg profile or a StumbleUpon profile. These are random advice accepted by people blindly, and almost everyday.

The second result is a general write up that is really meant to promote their Backlink Builder Tool. The next two results talk about getting links from PRWeb, doing an outreach program and so as this search goes on. It is very natural for the searcher to get overwhelmed and finally give up on actually learning “How to build backlinks” at this point already.

So the results here are missing basic link building information, i.e., why links are important, how they take part in search engine algorithms, and what kind of links to make and which ones to stay away from.

The other reason why Googling for such information is not the right way to go for beginners is because different authors have different experience, backgrounds and motives. They may not be able to guide their readers well. If you are trying to do SEO for a small business, doing an outreach program or PRweb or Digg can be entirely useless.

I won’t even bother to go into social to find answers for such questions. Messages and feeds from social are often 100 times more irrelevant. In social, links are literally thrown-in like multiple baits. More baits on a fishing line, the better it seems on social for marketers. You will be marketed to more than you can actually learn or market your business. It can be utterly frustrating.

In my 10 years of doing SEO, I have personally found two things that are highly counterproductive in SEO.

A.) Random Acts of SEO

Many people will wake up one day and start to build links coming from sites like DIGG because they read blogs similar to what we mentioned earlier. They make the account and let it wither and dry after that day – this is a random act. It wasn’t thought about clearly. The questions the best back linking practices should demand are:

  • Why are we working on this website?
  • What value can we bring by working here?
  • How much referral traffic can we get?
  • Is it worth the work involved?

 

B.) What you do not know will hurt you more!

I am a big follower of the principle that little knowledge is more dangerous than no-knowledge.

What you did not see, audit, or those little things you took for granted – these are the things that can negatively affect your SEO.

I have seen this in my entire career. Some of the best SEO companies have not been able to come up with results simply because they focused on what they were obsessed with, while disregarding the basics and other fundamental things that are relevant to the overall SEO strategy. In my earlier years, I learnt a lot from this.

You simply cannot do your own SEO if you just understand a portion of it like link building or you understand how to use Search Console better. Little knowledge is dangerous, so what I recommend is to take time off and learn the art of SEO through the right channels.

In my opinion, this is where you want to go first.Get to the Source!

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6023933?hl=en&ref_topic=6001171&rd=1

A step by step learning platform by Google that quizzes the learner after each module.

 

Videos that show the relevance of Google and other sites that can help generate much wanted traffic, connections, and organic links.

 

But for me, the best way is to try something a little more premium. It is definitely worth it.

https://www.lynda.com/SEO-training-tutorials/1469-0.html

 

And get this book:

The Art of SEO

http://www.amazon.com/Art-SEO-Theory-Practice/dp/1449304214

However, I recommend the book after you look into the first three resources above.

And lastly:

Pick an SEO blog that makes sense to you and go directly in there for the information. A good blog I recommend that is structured well for learning purposes is this one:

http://www.bruceclay.com/seo/search-engine-optimization.htm

Read all steps 1 through 18.

And if you are like me who like to run a few times per week, listening to podcasts while running can be very helpful. You can try this link for a few good podcasts about SEO

SEO takes time, guys. The only way to really understand links, on-page, off-page, social, mentions, local citations and how they all relate to each other and search engine algorithms is through disciplined learning. This is the only way to avoid making random SEO decisions.

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