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Nobody talks about getting #1 now?

has the focus changed?

6:46 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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2 years back all the SEO forums were full of how to top the charts by playing fair SEO tricks and also by dirtly tricks. Looking at the hot topics being discussed in past few months its quite clear that focus has been changed to
1) How to defend site from being kicked outta Google
2) Other problems with sites like supplemental page, hijacking, dupelicate content etc etc.
3) Genearal disussion about quality of results

Have we lost the game to Google? Are we assuming that it has been almost impossible to be certan that YES I can take my site to top?

or the veterans know the secret but nobody shares?

6:23 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The orignal post by wanna learn asked have we lost the game to Google? or the veterans know the secret but nobody shares?

Lost the game to Google? I just spent the last hour on the phone with a Google account rep. Yes, we spend a lot of money with them. And it is quite clear G is in business to make money. They even are going to otimize one of our adgroups for us that is not doing as well as some others. G makes money, but my clients do too. The fact is, one of my clients rank in the top ten for hundreds of competitive terms. But we still work hard on optimizing the ONE BOX results (local listings and product listings before the organic results).

Veterans not sharing? In a public forum, anonymity creates sharing, albeit on a surface level only. If I'm going to share, and I do, I share on a surface level. The details are shared over a beer face to face.

The Secret. There is no one secret to SEO. On page factors, plenty of inbound links from trusted, same industry sites, and plenty content has worked and will continue to work.

Have we lost the game to Google?One of the latest SEO frontiers are the one box results; are you optimizing your feeds to Google base for your products, are you uploading them frequently? Are your local listings optimized over your competition? Google wants relevancy, and also wants paying customers, and with one box results, allow those willing to be at the top of organic results without paying.

So, get in the one box, have top organic results, and have a ppc bid. Advertising is all about impressions and quite frankly, I don't see my clients loosing to Google.

7:31 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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forget SEO --- think SEM

Many of us are still doing quite well in the field, but we had to adapt.

Those who can't change with the times are done.

Those who think there are easy silver bullets might as well hang it up.

P.S. The more who hang it up the better off the rest of us are -- hourly rates for truly qualified SEMs, SMM, etc. are escalating very well thank you...

8:11 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes the focus has changed.. its because site operators are learning that SEO is not rocket science. And word travels fast on the web.. especially among webmasters who have been burned by seo promises.

Here at our business where we manage traffic building campaigns, we see site operators tired of being burned by seos who charge thousands for site updates that webmasters can do themselves. Webmasters have found their dollar stretches farther when they spend it on the basics: content development and traditional link development.

Webmasters are tired of being promised unrealistic guarantees and then not getting results for the $ being spent.

We tell our own clients that everything they need to know is published in Google and Yahoo's webmaster guidelines. No need to follow misguided seo promises.

You will continue to see this trend as long as seos continue to overcharge for services that webmasters can do themselves.

8:34 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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CNVI has it right.

There are now two schols of thought in SEO. One is to complicate EVERYTHING. Links, link analysis, content development, page structure, on and on.

The other is to realize that a whole slew of sites ignore all of that and just build their sites and brand awareness consistently, yet with an eye toward some very simple SEO concepts that have been around for a long time.

Smart site owners are starting to realize that plan B costs a lot less, requires a lot less head banging, and is possibly even more effective, due to it's more natural profile.

9:21 pm on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is one of the dumbest post I've ever seen here... Folks, it's called hard work and patience. Stop expecting something for nothing as it will NEVER happen.

justablink said it best,

"The Secret. There is no one secret to SEO. On page factors, plenty of inbound links from trusted, same industry sites, and plenty content has worked and will continue to work."

That is 100% correct. If you are starting a new site and want to compete against competitive keywords, expect to wait 2 to 3 years, if you site is already aged then it's not so much a problem.

Good content, many inbound links from quality sites on the same topic as yours, and waiting as Google gives value to those links... that's how you rank. Plain and simple. It's not rocket science, it does require brains however and lots of hard work.

12:16 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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buckworks said:

Note that I recommend developing the kind of site "that the algos OUGHT TO BE trying to favor."

Personally I would temper this somewhat and say that you ought to be developing the kind of sites that the algos ought to be trying to favour, bearing in mind the capabilities of the algorithms and their probable short and medium term development.

For instance if you have a site that is a promotional site for a new movie you may think that the algo should be favouring a site that starts off with a video clip trailer for the movie, before giving the visitor information about the actors and the cinemas the movie will be playing in.

Given that such a site has a time to market of 6 months to a year, can you envisage the algos favouring a video clip intro in that timescale?

Or if you were looking for 'flash designer <city>' would you:
a - expect the top site to be a site in flash showcasing the designer.
b - expect the algo to rank such a flash showcase site at the top of the listings.

There are many cases where what you would hope to see and what you do see are considerably different things - all of these can be put down to algorithm limitations of one form or another.

The key is still in understanding the algorithm, but now the focus has shifted from trying to match the algorithm - to trying to work towards the best site possible while working within the boundaries of what the algorithm is capable of.

12:28 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"SEO in decline" as the title suggests is incorrect.

There are way more efforts in SEO today than any other time.

As "SEO as a one-shot solution" has proven ineffective over time (as too many eaters fight over too few cakes) it has matured to a routine measure that needs to be enriched and accompanied by many additional measures to secure sustainability.

Not surprisingly so many business metrics boil down to just a handful of golden rules such as the egg and basket rule, same applies to SEO in the mix of measures to sustain growth.

12:55 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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- a training company cannot write about the same course twice
- an antique restorer cannot write about every single type of (for example) chair they restore because the process is the same.
- an insurance broker / debt advisor only advises on a set number of policies / problems and solutions
- an isp only has a certain number of packages
- a hosting company only offers a finite amount of server builds and management options
- a catering company only has a set number of items on the menu. How many meals a day are there? How many reasons are there for wanting a caterer?

I had trouble getting my head around this in the begining. Noe that I've figured it out, I chase business away with a club! Your examples tell me that you have what I like to call "about us" syndrome.

All of those examples could easily have case studies or success stories. Most could have articles on the benefits of different services (you sort of mentioned this), pros and cons of your sevice/product over a competitors, answers to stupid questions (of course you wouldn't call them stupid - or maybe you would), product/service reviews, how-tos, etc...

All with links to outside information. Oops! I let the cat (one of them anyway) out of the bag!


Get involved in online communities. There's a "secret" I don't hear about much.

Yes, it REALLY is as simple as thinking outside the box! Yes, I've done it with a small business website. Not only do I rank and get traffic, I get folks from all over the world to pick up the phone because I'm obviously some sort of expert.

1:14 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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SEO in Decline 2007

My god, who wrote that headline?

I don't think SEO evolving is the same as decline, but it's nice linkbait. Reminds me of some PPC guy's recent 'rocket science' comments that triggered a major reputation management fiasco, but I digress.

Getting #1 is still good and I take them when I get them, but I'll also settle for just being in the top 10, tens of thousands of top tens. It's a no-brainer where your time is best spent and chasing a single holy grail keyword isn't it.

FWIW, I didn't even chase one of my major top 10 keywords, which I held for years, wore it like a badge, when it slipped out of the top 10 a few months back and cost me almost 3K visitors a month.

Sounds crazy huh?

Why I wasn't concerned is at the same time that keyword slid I was focusing on top 10 LOCAL results which brought in 150K visitors a month that convert better than the big keyword ever did. The additional presence in local results boosted my site traffic over 600K visitors a month.

Which would you prefer, 3K/month of lookers and a keyword position for bragging rights or 150K/month of conversions?

The answer was obvious to me but YMMV.

2:49 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Bad SEO - trying to trick google or other SE's to rank #1 of course the SE's get smarter by the day, that makes some complain SEO is impossible

Good SEO - follow the basic rules and have patience

and why even care so much to be #1 just in the top 10 would be enough in my opinion , people dont just go to the #1 site they look through the SE's outcome for their search and see which sites description and title they like best

[edited by: Animated at 2:50 am (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]

3:32 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Animated, from our research we have a good % of people use the I'm feeling lucky button as well as many studies show people tend to only look above the fold (top 4,5, or 6 depending on monitor and screen resolution) further the top spot gets many more clicks.

That being said, once you are in the top ten a good title is very important!

3:39 am on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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P1R couldn't be more correct :)
5:13 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The funny thing about trophy word traffic - when you get some, you may discover that it's not all that good for sales.

To me this means: it's not the SEs that changed a lot - it's the searchers how found out that "widgets" will not find them what they want. So in order to keep away from the usual suspects users refine their searches.


6:03 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the alternative the trophy key word was never used by searchers to start out with.

They already knew there were fifty million different types of "thingies" so _all along_ ( as in since forever) they never used just "thingies" when searching.

7:07 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd second everything that has been said about the long tail, conversion, money and our primary current focus of attention.


>Have we lost the game to Google?
Yes...that is the simple answer!

> The key is still in understanding the algorithm

Exactly, and this is what we don't do anymore. It is not as simple as stuffing some meta-tags with keywords or getting (the right) backlinks any more. It would require intensive research on current state of information retrieval science, and hardly anyone is willing to do so.

The key question still concerns pagerank, pagerank and once again pagerank. The best source of information we have at present is the published google patents [appft1.uspto.gov]:

[0008] Another problem with conventional information retrieval systems is that they can only index a relatively small portion of the documents available on the Internet. It is currently estimated that there are over 200 billion pages on the Internet today.

Recall the days when google on the front-page proudly claimed to have 4.1 billion pages indexed? For mathematical and performance reasons, pagerank cannot be calculated the way it used to. Basta. I'd be really, really happy if someone disproved me, because the consequence of this is:

Google lost the game as well. I make a relatively comfortable living by converting the long tail meanwhile. I don't want that earthquake to come. Thx for bringing this up wanna_learn.

10:45 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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P.S.: I was really surprised a fish was the central picture for the long-tail metaphor. Could anyone point me to the source, where this has first been brought up? I was thinking of cats, maybe rats or even chameleons, but a fish? Nevertheless a german saying gets it to the point:

A rotten fish begins to stink by its head.

Thx again for bringing this up wanna_learn.

[edited by: Oliver_Henniges at 10:46 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2007]

12:58 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Oliver, that may be my personal way of thinking -- because I tend to compare getting search traffic with fishing. But of course the metaphor is a bit lacking, since fish tails do not tend to be very long (except for a few exotic tropical species.)
5:12 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My website is bringing in so much business I'm turning away several jobs per week. I have NEVER paid for advertising or PPC. All my traffic comes via generic results. How did I get there? Several reasons:

First off I love writing and I'm a teacher at heart and enjoy teaching others how to take care of their own websites by writing tutorials, FAQs, doing site evaluations and letting people know what is holding their site back--sometimes I enjoy that so much I do it for free,

Most of my traffic comes via my graphic pages, although I'm not a professional graphics artist--and that is because I know how to get pages ranking well.

All my links were gathered one by one seeking quality sites to submit to. My links constantly grow because of my tutorials and information helping others in the same business and thus people link to my pages without my asking.

I only add a new page about twice a month (too busy working for others).

And last but most important I try to run an honest business so I get a lot of referrals (which currently I'm too busy to take on), and as one of my clients said "you treat my site like it was your own". I do that because unless my client's sites do well I can't take the credit for it.

I suspect that the reason too many struggle in this business is because they think because they can afford a WYSIWYG program means they now are a web designer. And then they buy some content, buy links and then sit back and wait for the traffic to magically appear.

Running a successful business takes a lot of sweat equity. Todays generation wants everything in sound bites. There are no valid short cuts that will bring lasting results in any business.

9:13 pm on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The reason why webmasters are answering "how not to get banned" type of questions is because:

1) You cannot be number 1 if you are banned.
2) Like in real life, you must know the law to abide by it and use it to your advantage.
3) Innovations are coming out so quickly that the laws (TOS) are changing continuously.

Hope I answered your question.

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