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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Confusion in SEO?

Why auto-piloting SEO wont work

I have followed blogs, scoured my social feeds and I am today much more confirmed than ever, that there is simply too much confusion in Internet Marketing. Google is shifting towards simplicity and some folks are headed the other way because they simply believe they can auto-pilot their SEO. Those days are over – it’s time to be real, upfront and social. You just can’t auto-pilot that.

WHAT IS THE CONFUSION?

Basically the confusion is about

  • “What do we do?”
  • “How do we grow?”
  • “Where do we go?”

These questions revolve around internet marketers: from SEO professionals, copy writers, link builders, content marketers, social media marketers and so on.

where do we go – Axl Rose wonders

I strongly believe that this confusion erupted simply because Google changed their algorithms. Marketers before knew how to “hack” SEO and now they simply don’t – all one can do really is to test ideas and share what worked and what didn’t. If they are 100% sure, they probably work for Google.

However, one thing that I have observed so far is that those who do not rely on much technicality, but dig deep into creativity, simplicity and in making genuine relationships are the ones who are seeing desired outcomes.

Everyone knows this, right? But how many out there are really willing to be patient to be able to nurture what they have created and be persistent with their unique voice? Marketers are hired to increase the sales for a company within a span of time.  They are pinned down to make things happen fast.  This “get-things-done-quick” mentality often leads to failure in today’s internet marketing.

However, the new breed of marketers today are not just smooth talkers; they know that it won’t get them anywhere. They are also learners because the world is evolving faster than ever before. They are visionaries, not dogma-followers. They simply pave their own path!

See, the thing with SEO is that you can’t and shouldn’t rush it and force it to happen. It will never work that way.

One key lesson in life is that it takes time to master everything – the same goes for SEO. You have to keep learning and relearning because over time, what you’ve learned would have evolved into something completely different from what you are used to. And Google does that a lot. Just look at their algorithm updates.

In 2012 when the algorithms hit, many were trying to figure things out. At some point, I think some would agree with me that SEO and internet marketing have become much clearer now than how it was in 2012.

There is a fruitful future ahead for all those who believe in the basics and in simplicity. Here is a blog post of mine, published in Jan 2013, where I had put down my thoughts on what was going on after the Panda and Penguin Algorithm Updates.

Read Simplified SEO Creates More Confusion.

You cannot automate SEO and any of its components. There will be never be a secret formula. Be creative and genuine, if you don’t have the time to dig deeper in those areas, then hire someone who can.

 

Divide Delegate SEO

Dividing and Delegating SEO is Being Smart

Being Practical about SEO vs Doing SEO out of Convenience

It is not “set-in-stone”, that one person or one team performs the entire scope of any SEO. Well, the best case scenario would be to keep them at one place but sometimes, it is done more for the sake of convenience than being actually pragmatic. Remember, that the decisions you make, the way you communicate are bigger challenges and hurdles in SEO

Why I would divide and delegate my SEO is because of these reasons.

  • Skill

Some companies and seo individuals are amazing at performing one part of the SEO such as the on-page part of SEO perfectly, while they may not be good at social media and link building.  It makes sense to get the on-page done somewhere else so that people can use their resources to making sure that the on-page is 100%. I think it is practical to divide your on-page and off-page teams properly. This way, they will also be challenged to do their best for you

  • Focus

If the focus of each team is on their own area of the SEO, the less they have to work with, makes them more efficient due to their undivided focus on each part.

What would I divide and delegate to my SEO teams?

Website Optimization – Optimizes the website to make sure that it is up to par with Googles standards.

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization – Reads website conversion pathways and applies changes to the website to continually look for better conversion.

  • Company Social Media and Reputation Management – Ensures a good and healthy number of citations and mentions of your company in social media websites. These guys would also look around for any negative comments about your company online.

    Link Building– Link building still works for a lot of non-competitive keywords and especially in NAP (Name, Address and Phone) optimization for Local SEO

    Personal Branding – I would recommend every company owner and top executives to get behind their brand in social media. Take the authority you have online to see maximum SEO benefits. You can get someone to assist you in doing just this.

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