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Is there an update of Brett Tabke's "Successful Site in 12 Months" guide?

9:53 am on Aug 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I remember many, many years ago registering on this forum and to my delight finding a recommendation for Brett Tabke's excellent guide to building a successful website.

Is there a similarly authoritative guide available for building a successful website now?
8:59 am on Aug 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Mod's note: Poster's submitted title and description...
Is there a new guide to building successful website available now?
Brett Tabke website guide was very helpful to me starting out


Jack, thanks for your post. I've changed your title and merged it and the description together to reflect the original title of Brett's classic post. The original guide was helpful to a lot of people, some of them still on this forum. Here's that thread...

Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone
26 steps to 15k a day
February 2, 2002
https://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htm [webmasterworld.com]

As I know you're aware, a huge amount has changed. I don't know that there's a simple update in the works, or that it's even possible to write one.

The original basic paradigm, of using solid content, well structured, regularly updated, as a foundation for a site that performs well in Google, was amazingly prescient, but the bar has been raised in many areas, particularly in link development, user experience, and the scale of competition.

My original advice to people was to make your content good enough to be bookmarked. That would help you attract good backlinks. As the web grew, I remember saying about Brett's guide, "yes, but there needs to be more emphasis now on promoting the site." That was before social media... before Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Medium, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. That was also before mobile, Google Maps, geo-search... before much of the blogosphere, and billions of competing pages. It was before a range of industries set up to sell shovels to the gold miners who'd come to the web.

As an update to this guide, you might say that many books have been written, Brett now runs PubCon, others run other conferences, and we've got years of posts in this forum which you can find with site search.

Here is the last thread I can easily find containing Brett's thoughts about his original post, but I know there have been others. Site search is a good way to find them, but it takes some looking....

How to Build A Successful Website in 1 Year
Oct-Dec, 2010
https://www.webmasterworld.com/new_web_development/4218565.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Perhaps this current thread can become part of the update. It's a good place for us to post observations and thoughts about what has changed since Brett's original 26 steps. Just as SEO is an ongoing process, I think Brett's guide will always be a work in progress.
3:08 pm on Sept 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Brett's guide is brilliant but outdated.

Unfortunately much of what's in it has become standardized as the way SEO should be done. Canonical, as in the Bible. It's rote. Rote means: "mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned."

So now we have many SEO's who do things like link out to .edu sites from pages because they think that Google's algorithm rewards outbound links. It doesn't. The practice has it's roots in an algorithm from the 1990's and it was an important feature of Brett's guide. That's but one example of Rote SEO practices that remain with us from Brett's Guide.

I've been chipping away at it over the years. Off the top of my head here are two posts/articles I've written on this topic.

How SEO Best Practices Became Irrelevant [webmasterworld.com]

Rethinking Outbound Linking [thesempost.com]