Why SEO Will Soon Become A Waste Of Time And Money

Posted on March 8, 2008 
Filed Under SEO

Google has recently written a post Why Data Matters where they explain how their algorithm has changed over the years.

Here’s the first main point of that story:

On the academic side, the National Science Foundation started a “Digital Library Project” which made grants to several universities. Two Stanford grad students in computer science named Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked on this project. Their insight was to recognize that existing search algorithms could be dramatically improved by using the special linking structure of web documents. Thus PageRank was born.

Where we are now with SEO

a) ON-page SEO: Pagerank + keyword in title

From my own experiments and experience, I know that pagerank is still a very healthy factor in rankings.

Actually pagerank + keyword in title are the most effective things you can do on-page (of course if you have some pagerank regardless of the anchor text of the incoming links) to rank for a certain keyword.

Here’s an experiment I did on my tennis blog www.tennisthoughts.com:

It’s a pagerank 3 site with very few incoming links including the keyword tennis tips.

Feel free to run a test on Backlinkwatch and see what kind of anchor text is typically pointing to the domain…

I’ve included the keyword tennis tips in the title of the page and there are just a 2 tennis tips keywords typically on the homepage. One is linking to the tennis tips category and one to the tennis tips page on my main tennis website.

Rankings in Google for tennis tips (with 55 daily searches according to Wordtracker): #4!

Rankings for tennis tips

b) Off-page SEO – anchor text of the incoming link

The most popular example is of course “click here”.

Type that in Google and see where that takes you…

Adobe click here rankings

Yes, Adobe Reader. Why? Because there are thousands of links pointing to the domain with the anchor text Click here (to download Adobe Reader).

There is not a single word Click here on that page except “clicking”. Do some scouting to find it…

c) On-page + off-page combo

Yes, this is currently the most powerful combo to rank high on Google:

high pagerank + keyword in title + keyword (variations) in the anchor text of the links pointing to your page

Where SEO is going

From the same article Why Data Matters…

“Over the years, Google has continued to invest in making search better. Our information retrieval experts have added more than 200 additional signals to the algorithms that determine the relevance of websites to a user’s query.”

What else does Google track? Well, I am not an SEO expert but here are some things that come to mind:

What does this tell us?

Well, if you are want to keep it up with Google’s algorithm you are going to have to artificially work on hundreds of factors where most of them are out of your control.

You cannot control the behavior of visitors on your page although you can try to influence that.

What is a much more productive investment of your time is to just keep it real and write what you know.

Share your expertise and passion and you will naturally and automatically take care of hundreds of factors that Google incorporated in their algorithm.

So where are we going?

It seems like the SEO will come down to just a few minor things to take care of: include your main keyword in the title and a few times on the page and just write!

The rest will take care of itself and you’ll save a lot of money on hiring SEO experts… ;)

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3 Responses to “Why SEO Will Soon Become A Waste Of Time And Money”

  1. Bryan on March 8th, 2008 10:54 am

    I definitely agree that SEO is going to change quite a bit in the upcoming years but I don’t agree that it will be obsolete or a waste of time and money. Traditional SEO will have to continue to adapt.


  2. Les on March 28th, 2008 12:19 pm

    Still living the dream, Bryan. You’ve got a good shot. The masses will stay sheep, so you’ll be able to sell them SEO.


  3. Portland SEO on December 22nd, 2008 2:23 am

    SEO won’t die because there are a ton of companies out there who hire graphic designers to make nice looking websites that don’t have much content.

    There are also always going to be people who use generic phrases instead of targeted key-phrases when they write their websites.


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