NOTE – Our DIY SEO guide has been updated: Find out more at Google Search Engine Optimisation Basics – Idiots Guide :)
Blackhat SEO Quadzilla (who I look forward to meeting at SEO Class Scotland) has boldly published his views on the whole SMX / Black Hat SEO Conference thing going on in the states as reported by Search Engine Land and I think kicked off by Lisa Barone highlighting the ‘fact’ SMX featured questionable seo tactics, not advanced white hat seo strategies.
Quadzilla says ‘There’s no Such Thing as Advanced White Hat SEO’:
Want to sum up white hat SEO? It boils down to:
1) Site Architecture – Can be learned in 4 hours or less.
3) PPC – Even though we used to call that SEM . . .
4) Content – which is better handled by copywriters.
Alas! The Emperor has no clothes. There are no advanced white hat SEO techniques.
…. as ‘white hat seo’ (I suppose – gotta be as I help out clients) people might think I would argue but I’m inclined to sort of agree with this statement – at least I get the point that is being made although there is a bit of a kafuffle at Sphinn. It’s not that advanced seo I am using everyday to get results for people.
The fundamentals of successful seo while refined have not changed much over the years. You can be creative, especially in terms of optimizing a website structure, focusing keywords and getting links. Is this advanced seo?
Do the majority of small to medium businesses need ‘advanced seo strategies? I don’t think so – because their direct competition generally has not employed these tactics either.
I took a medium sized business to the top of Google recently for very competitive terms doing nothing but ensuring page titles where optimised, the home page text was re-written, one or two organic links from trusted sites. As an advanced SEO lol I looked over the job and thought…
Hello. This site is a couple of years old, a clean record in Google, and a couple of organic links already from trusted sites. This domain might just have the authority to rank for some decent terms if we make a few changes on site.
OK so there was a bit of duplicate content needing sorting out and a bit of canonicalization to iron out, but none of the measures I implemented I’d call advanced and they worked.
Some may say Page Rank Sculpting for instance is advanced (while some say it’s tosh). I don’t think it’s that advanced. The amount of time I have obsessed about Internal PR (scratch – see PR) probably hasn’t been worth it… yet anyway.
I’ve played about with PR sculpting with nofollow for over 6 months. Even at the moment the remnants of a test structure is in place on this site – you can see I nofollow my blog of all things on my home page. I even have blog categories, and I link to a category in the main navigation. I don’t have tags – shock horror! Should I consider the third level push or silo my content better?
Hang on. Hobo has nearly all it’s pages indexed, got plenty of Page Rank for a business our size, gets nearly 30,000 free visitors a month via Google etc and all I really did was write content, tell people about it and house the content in a structure mainly built for my visitors and one I assumed Google would reward me for. I’ve done something right, and some things crap I’d like to clean up still. (I’m about to remove the nofollow on my internal links to see what happens, too.) I’m not worried about cleaning up my urls at this time, or making sitewide changes for fractional benefits any more.
A lot of businesses can get more converting visitors from Google simply by using SEO 101 (unless you’re tired of useless Top 10 Lists for ranking in Google) :)
- always making sure that every page in the site links out to at least one other page in the site
- link to your important pages often
- link not only from your navigation, but from keyword rich text links in text content – keep this natural and for visitors
- try to keep each page element and content unique as possible
- build a site for visitors to get visitors and you just might convert some to actual sales too
- create keyword considered citable content on the site
- watch which sites you link to and from what pages, but do link out!
- go and find some places on relatively trusted sites to try and get some anchor text rich in bound links
- monitor trends, check stats
- bend a rule or two without taking the piss and remember the best links you make can often be your own
…. once this is complete it’s time to … add more, and better content to your site and tell more people about it, if you want more Google love. OK, so you might have to implement the odd 301.
This isn’t advanced in my opinion but I’ve seen this working for years – better off doing simple seo better and faster than worrying about advanced seo techniques I think – it’s more productive, cost effective for businesses and safer, for most. Businesses should always stay clear of blackhat seo, of course.