The Key to Highly Successful SEO

Mount Rushmore Minus 1

If your site was deleted from the Google index would anyone other than you notice and care?

That was a quote from Aaron in “How Does the Algorithm View Your Website?“, and nothing has ever rang more true to me.

See, I had a site in the same mold as so many others that I had had success with. It was a very easy model for making great money: find a site that fit a certain pattern, do a simple set of very easy things, and then watch traffic shoot up dramatically — all legit and all totally what Google was looking for.

Except for one thing.

A few months ago, the site had its rankings dropped dramatically. Traffic dropped by 50% literally overnight. The model no longer worked. What happened?

Well I still don’t know the answer to that, but here’s what I do know: it forced me to take a long honest look at my site and admit that — although I had known how to get Google to rank it highly — it didn’t actually deserve to be there. It certainly wasn’t the best site for all those queries, so I had no grounds for complaining or for going to Google and asking what had happened. The run was over.

Funny thing was, I was always the one that preached quality and preached not building a business on Google traffic. I totally believed that (and still do), but I was saying one thing and doing something different. It’s the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.

Yes, you can have success with tricks — with something other than creating and marketing something truly valuable, something truly worthwhile. Know that you’re always on thin ice if you choose to do that, though. It’s very much a day-to-day strategy — not one that you can rely on for any sort of long-term security.

Maybe you’re okay with that. Maybe you’re fine knowing that you could wake up and find it all gone tomorrow.

I’m not. That’s why you hear me preach against shortcuts and tricks and “gurus.” But no one’s immune from the draw of an easy buck — least of all me. Just wanted you to know that I have to work at it, too.

The Key: Quality Over Quantity

In the long run, quality beats quantity every time. That’s the key to highly successful SEO. Yes, you still have to take care of SEO basics, and it’s not an absolute rule, but it’s immeasurably easier to rank a site that deserves to be ranked than it is to trick Google into ranking one that doesn’t.

Forget the shortcuts. Forget the tricks. Build something of value and then work on your SEO. Then you’ll be one of those guys who thinks SEO is really easy 🙂

Original photo by mamamusings.


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  • Jeremy L. Knauff

    July 15, 2009
    at 8:42 am

    Great post, yet again! Far too many people think that they can just throw a site online get it ranked and the money will start rolling in.

    99% of the time, the people with that mindset will never put in the work to accomplish much with their sites anyway, and then people who really understand business end up buying them as a fixer-upper and making real money with them.


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