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Google SEO longterm?
layer8




msg:57671
 8:57 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


I had a site, SEO was done, was in top rankings for about 2 months then overnight for no reason site was positioned way down the rankings. All practices were ethical and it seemed no point or logic to this what happend to me.

If you speak to all the best Internet Marketing Pros they tell you SEO is a waste of time longterm, everyone in the industry has lost their position at somepoint from what I gather - or am I wrong?

I want to hear from anyone who has had long term success with SEO say for 6 months or longer....

 

ciml




msg:57672
 2:02 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

When some people lose positions, others benefit. A lot of people do badly at SEO, just as a lot of people do badly at other things.

If we're talking return on investment, I'd argue that a lot of people do badly at PPC too. Others however, use it to make very good money.

mrguy




msg:57673
 2:10 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

--If you speak to all the best Internet Marketing Pros they tell you SEO is a waste of time longterm--

I would have to say that in my opinion if they are telling you that, then they are not really the Best and your speaking to the wrong ones.

I've found, that a skilled Web Designer who is good at SEO and builds it into the design of the site instead of hiring a SEO company to do it after the site is built who does not specialize in site design, seems to be able to create sites that can withstand Google over the longer haul.

This of course is my own opinion and experience. Mileage will vary:)

killroy




msg:57674
 2:18 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know what "Pro's" you refer to, but It doesn't seem very professional to work on a site then abandon it and expect it to rank well for ever.

I really SEOer will realize that it's ongoing work. Because if everybody moves forward and you do not, you effectively move backwards.

Even if algorithms wouldn't change, assuming SEO lasts would also asume that your SEO is perfect and nobody can do better. If that is not so, somebody else will continue working and out-SEO you eventually... unless you seeit as a continuous effort.

SN

kevinpate




msg:57675
 2:22 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

> SEO is a waste of time longterm

Sounds rather like advice was given to you from someone who would prefer a thinner herd in which to compete for those prime ten blades of grass, aka page 1.

lasko




msg:57676
 2:31 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

SEO is SEO whether its long term or not.

The idea of SEO is not SPAM EVERY OPTIMIAZATION but good decent SEO folk are more like advises for site structure and layout etc.

I don't see any difference in long term SEO and short term SEO.
(only spammers will try to make use of a little google bugs)

You build a site for a particular reason to provide and present information. Sometimes part of a business module or just for informative purposes. How you present the information depends on the audience you want to capture.

Big companies like Coca cola can do flash as their brand image is more important then being ranked 1st for Coke. However smaller companies and guides need to structure their sites in a way that all the information can be searched by any user.

Your computer files and folders are the same, structure your site like your folders and files and it can be searched more efficently.

So if your site is a big brand name don't worry, but if your a small business or guide then structure the site like your PC make it easy to search. Put A.document in A.folder and B.document in B.folder.

This is good SEO advice those who say long term SEO is waste of time does not understand the idea of SEO. You could say we are more like SEARCH ENGINE ORGANIZES.

Build you site for usability, I have studied programing to help maintain my customer base and the usability of the sites. Search Engines is just one part of the whole module.

:)

powerstar




msg:57677
 2:51 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>>Build you site for usability, I have studied programing to help maintain my customer base and the usability of the sites. Search Engines is just one part of the whole module.

And SEO it until you blue in your face otherwise you will never be found.

Chndru




msg:57678
 3:10 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ahh! G's secret mission accomplished :-)
Who would have thought a day would come, when such a Q will be asked in WebmasterWorld

supposed to be a satire, incase you didn't get it.

satanclaus




msg:57679
 3:14 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd say that anyone who knows isn't going to tell you. Who have you qualified as being the pros? ;)

layer8




msg:57680
 3:16 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes this is what I had thought, incedently the guys promoting the 'SEO does not work long-term' a) are affiliated with a link generating firm so its probably in their own interest to scare monger, b) are lining their own pockets in the process and c) may of had problems in the past...

I was a firm believer in SEO working and ongoing SEO work was like general health checks etc....My site was up for about 2 months (position 2) and then suddenly it was nuked, i.e. no where to be seen on most of the keyword phrases.

It's strange that I had not done anything to cause this, and still have page ranking so maybe it was a bug or some other problems occured when Google was updating?

Everyone says be careful of this advice or that advice, is it possible to control the position or do sites suddenly fall out of the SERPS for no reason and then find themselves back there in a few months time?. . . also what is the longest a site has stayed in the top positions for as a result of ongoing optimisation support? (based on your experiences).....

claus




msg:57681
 3:58 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> 6 months

I guess i'm in that box with around six years of successful SEO and a few years of web work before that as well. Only, i did not know that i (also) did SEO until early this year - i thought i just made good web content for my user base. This statement is very true:

Search Engines is just one part of the whole module.

>> long term

Exactly how long is "long" one might ask. I started before Google did; if Google ever stops, i'll want my content to remain attractive to my users. If another SE beats Google at the SE game, it will probably be better - i see no reason to focus exclusively on Google. I make content for live human users, not for machines (i don't even have a rss or xml feed anywhere).

To your question:

>> Is Google SEO a waste of time longterm?

...there is only one answer, and that is the one you got, although it was surprising: YES

To see that it is the right answer you need to think about it more than once. Google SEO (as SEO for any other search engine) comes automagically if you do the right things. Google SEO is not what you want to be doing - you want to be making good content for your user base. When that is done you want to add more, and then refine what you already have, making it better. And then you will want to repeat the process. If you have any spare time, you will want to use it for attracting new users, and then repeat the cycle for them as well. Google will follow, as will the rest of the SE's.

SE's have only one purpose and that is to return the best results to their customers. If you build the best result then they will return your pages, otherwise they will lose customers "long term". They have no loyalty to you - the moment you slow down, somebody else will take over "your" positions.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. You can't optimize long-term for any SE without optimizing for human users. As human users pay the bills, optimize for them in stead - include your knowledge of search engines in the mix, don't let it be the mix.

/claus


Added:
I have no idea about who "those guys" are, and i'm sure i'm not affiliated in any way. Their motive for making such provocative statements are more of a marketing ploy for their own dubious scemes i think.

[edited by: claus at 4:08 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2003]

trillianjedi




msg:57682
 4:02 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jeez you put that well Claus.

TJ

Chndru




msg:57683
 4:10 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Jeez you put that well Claus.

Yeppers. Top-notch.

ronin




msg:57684
 9:01 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I always thought that webmasters who attempt to define what the search engines are looking for and then try to follow that have got the whole thing upside down.

Let's say the fifty most useful sites in the world suddenly all did something that was altogether different from what the search engines of the day were looking for.

Would the search engines change? Of course they would! The objective of search engines is to return the most relevant and useful sites - if they can't do that, their credibility is damaged.

Far better to write a high quality, useful site and let the search engines catch up with you, than try to endlessly analyse search engine algorithms and set about catching up with them.

DerekH




msg:57685
 11:22 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

ronin wrote
Far better to write a high quality, useful site and let the search engines catch up with you, than try to endlessly analyse search engine algorithms and set about catching up with them.

Nicely put, ronin!

The codicil is that a high quality site attracts visitors (and links) independent of search engines. Thereby solving three problems at once instead of optimising for just one of them!
DerekH

panic




msg:57686
 11:28 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think if you focus more on good content rather than technical issues (keyword density, text to HTML ratio, etc), you should be just fine.

With good content (content that TRULY is good), link popularity will come with time.

-panic

Goober




msg:57687
 11:46 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

My 2c's....

I'm relatively new at all this and I really an amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge in this forum. After reading posts for so long, it becomes apparent that there are several classes of masters here. There are those who know the system "inside and out" and know how to manipulate it. There are the "solid base" builders who make sites with great content and don't worry about PR. Then there are the technical edgies, and the newbies.

I put my site up with enough knowledge to make it solid "content wise" and enough to make it SE friendly. I keep adding content and pages, and I keep getting rewarded with visitors. I'm not afraid to change it. I learn.

Google likes it. Inktomi, Ia, Zeal, and others. I keep feeding my visitors, the SE's feed me.

Luke_SR




msg:57688
 12:13 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of the very best threads I read here so far.
Let me give you a little info and you make up your own mind.
A friend of mine is doing SEO for four years now. After 4 years he makes about US$8,000 on a good month and 3k on a bad month. During the year it goes up and down (seasonal traffic).
overall, he ends with 60k a year and that is after 4 years of work. In the first 2-3 years he was making less then 20k/year.
for the last year I put about 100k into SEO just to get back 200$/month where my current expenses are at about 3k/month. Is it worth it? You make your own mind, but I'm not giving up. I believe it is and I believe a long term strategy has to be in place if you're going to concentrate on SEO's.
Now if you build a site that gets traffic from other sources, then as others said, SEO is just one module of many others.

pleeker




msg:57689
 12:26 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Amen, Claus!

There's way too much focus on pleasing search engines and way too little on pleasing customers. And so many have missed the point that if you focus on the latter, you'll be pleasing the former.

panic




msg:57690
 1:08 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Goober,

I put my site up with enough knowledge to make it solid "content wise" and enough to make it SE friendly. I keep adding content and pages, and I keep getting rewarded with visitors. I'm not afraid to change it. I learn.

I think I left my initial response a little too open ended when I said that you should focus on having good content. I think content should be the #1 priority, but that doesn't mean that you should have tons of junk HTML code, etc.

I think the ideal page has a clean (but light) layout, a limited number of images (with no Flash/JavaScript), easy to read text, and overall good content. I think W3 conformant HTML helps too :D

-panic

layer8




msg:57691
 1:59 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank goodness, I have been optimising for clients, search engines, content, robots, humans, clients, potential clients, competitors <-- well in a strategic way, read all the content followed all the content then pow - site nuked, whilst listening to a feed on better Internet marketing the guy was saying 'seo waste of time' you do loads of work and then something changes and then you loose all that work.

I did not believe this and then I wake up to find my site gone - somewhere in the 500 mark.

Turns out that my ISP have had problems last month that have effected me this month so that is why I posted the question. - Now all I need to do is find an ISP that optimises for 5 9's of reliability.

The paradox was this: UPS failure - I mean what a laugh - UPS - did they mean IPS? Interupted Power Supply? - That lead to 100 servers going down, that lead my server being last in the queue, that lead to check disks on Linux that lead to a currupt hard drive that lead to a shafted back up server that lead to a new IP address that lead to DNS convergence time.

Wow and I thought I was one lucky dude when I got my site into number 2 position - how wrong could I have been. Thank God Google responded to me and told me I was ok and the problem was here until the next update, I can once again fly the SEO flag high and proud. I am optimising for users, my next step - look for a reliable ISP. . . . .The guys in this forum are true professionals, together we can change and build a better Internet for our next generation of wiz kids - keep up the good work guys :-)

If it all goes pear shape, im offering PPC management...

GoogleGuy




msg:57692
 6:07 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Google SEO (as SEO for any other search engine) comes automagically if you do the right things. Google SEO is not what you want to be doing - you want to be making good content for your user base."

Hallelujah, claus. Nice post. :)

quotations




msg:57693
 6:24 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>. . also what is the longest a site has stayed in the top
>positions for as a result of ongoing optimisation support?

I have one site which has been at number 3, 4, or 5 (mostly #4) on google since the beginning for the one word name of the technology which that page is about. How long has google been around, about five years?

Dominic knocked some of the other related pages out of the top 20 for that search term but four of them are back in the top 20 now.

yankee




msg:57694
 6:28 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google RSO - Redirect Spam Optimization.
Thats the new mantra.
Redirects to affiliates are flooding google with listings that have no content, and Google can't detect it! IP Cloaking is out of control, and will be the downfall of Google.

shasan




msg:57695
 6:40 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good thread guys.

SEO in the general sense is a waste of time. But you do have to know what NOT to do, and that can be considered SEO by some.

Other than that, many people have already said: focus on your customer and what they want to see *gasp*, and the rest will come.

um.. but make sure you do submit your site to SE's though... lol

caustic




msg:57696
 8:14 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

with due respect, how do I know what my customers are searching for? I check with search engines like google. Although the term should technically be "web site optimization" we are only trying to match our content to our customers. A waste of time?

troels nybo nielsen




msg:57697
 8:59 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

> but make sure you do submit your site to SE's though

Can't remember last time I did such a thing. A link from a frequently spidered page ought to be enough.

I do very little SEO. I try to create good content and make it easily accessible for human visitors. And then I may do some small SEO tweaks.

Google are constantly trying to make googlebot and the algo behave more and more like a human visitor. So longterm the best Google SEO is to optimise your website for humans.

rfgdxm1




msg:57698
 9:18 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I do very little SEO. I try to create good content and make it easily accessible for human visitors. And then I may do some small SEO tweaks.

But without decent SERPs, there are few visitors. (Assuming here the site traffic isn't largely from links for other sites.) Thus, you need to design for both humans and bots. Designing for just the latter is foolish. Then the visitor just hits the browser back button.

Namaste




msg:57699
 10:48 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

SEO is not a waste of time.
The problem is that you have misdefined SEO.
SEO is not about putting your site on search engine steroids (you run the risk of getting caught in the dope test). It's about breaking down the barriers between a search engine and your site.

I wasn't on steriods for update florida, and my results are more or less where they were.

James_Dale




msg:57700
 11:26 am on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let's not kid ourselves, though.. I'm not really interested in making great content. What interests me is making money, so I can pay the bills and have good quality of life. Great content does not always top the SERPs, in fact more often than not, top listed sites are much the same as loads of low-listed sites, only with more inbound links, anchor text, and so on.

Therefore, if I want to to make money via search engines, by far the quickest way seems to be copying these sorts of techniques. Especially if I wasn't interested enough in, say, inkjet cartridges to be able to make a truly great resource about them!

However, in the current climate it is very unpredictable. It is now very hard to say if Google won't change things around in a few months (meaning all your hard work could go to waste)... best to diversify online income streams. Build a few sites, not just one - and don't rely on 'free' results to build a business.

[edited by: James_Dale at 11:32 am (utc) on Nov. 20, 2003]

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