Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Where John convincinly sets forth the argument that the answers to some relatively common SEO questions are situationally dependent and the best answer depends on objective reason and logic, and not a preconceived idea of what has to be done in that situation.
Comments11 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from johnandrews 2449 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Wow... I just publishd that and you sphunn it already(!) I wonder if you really liked it, or you’re just playing the odds that enough people will like it and your Sphinn post will make the front page lol.This will be a test - no one if allowed to Sphin this unless they actually like it.

Avatar
from Burgo 2449 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sigh. Sorry, somehow it let my other submit (http://sphinn.com/story/23329) through the dup filter... cross linking the two, seeing as this was first, sphinn here :)

Avatar
from qwerty 2449 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m afraid at least some of those who disregard the common good to gain some short-sighted goal aren’t ignorant. They simply don’t care about the common good, and that’s a perspective that’s hard to educate people out of.

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2449 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Too much of SEO is based on untested belief systems and over-reliance on authority opinion, in a space where no authority is able to see the complete picture. Even the age-old "does PageRank matter?" question yields answers that are rooted in faulty logic, blind faith, and a pool of "evidence" that are anything but. Many of us also casually refer to Matt Cutts’ words when resolving disputes. That’s all lazy SEO.If you work the SEO space long enough, you realize you not only need to know what Google wants like the back of your hand, but you also need to know the difference between reality and the illusion Googlers create for webmasters. Some rules can be bent, some can be broken.

Avatar
from emanuelh 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Halfdeck writes: Too much of SEO is based on untested belief systems and over-reliance on authority opinion, in a space where no authority is able to see the complete picture... If you work the SEO space long enough, you realize you not only need to know what Google wants like the back of your hand, but you also need to know the difference between reality and the illusion Googlers create for webmasters.I agree with your premises but not with your conclusions or, rather, recommendations. Because you are now invited to propose reliable procedures for:1. How to know what Google wants.2. How to distinguish between information and misinformation in what is spread by Google.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

On what the measure of a search marketer, adding what I commented over there:Top of the list: decent client references (or other suitable, verifiable signs of success). That’s really important, too — because just as there’s no correct or easy answer on the issues, those answers can vary from client to client, site to site. Some SEOs are individuals who work only for themselves, on one site. They make assumptions based on one site that might not apply if they’d seen more. Individual working on multiple sites but doing all the same industry. What works for that class of sites might not fly with others. Working with a large corporation? What you can do with them for SEO — some of the brand things you need to consider and so on — may require entirely opposite advice that a smaller site might need. I get asked a lot about hiring search marketers. My advice is references. Get them, find search marketers with good references that seem to be working with businesses akin to your site and nature.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I noticed in the comments that John also raised the issue of people at conferences sometimes putting out things as declared facts. That’s a problem at conferences, or blogs or whatever. What I posted there about that:John, missed your response to shor on the issue of people stating things too authoritatively. Yep. That happens on blog, on forums and in conferences. In terms of the conferences I’ve run, for years I’ve given speakers prep materials covering this very issue. Here’s what they currently say:Facts & Opinions: Search marketing problems and issues often have no one correct answer. There may be a variety of opinions about what works or how things work. Because of this, it is often important to qualify what you say with phrases such as "in my opinion" or "based on my experience."Do this especially if you are not 100 percent certain of something you state (you have a theory, for example), you know that what you are discussing might be disputed by others or if there might be several solutions someone might choose from.Qualifying statements like this is especially helpful to attendees, who might be new to search marketing and hearing conflicting opinions. It helps them understand that there ARE different opinions, so they can ultimately make their own decisions based on what they learn.

Avatar
from g1smd 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

*** Some rules ... can be broken. ***Maybe they can... for a while.  Eventually you’ll need to rework the site to work some other way. I prefer methods for the long term, not the short-term. Once enough people have broken them, you then see the method punished heavily ... Florida, Jagger, GoogleBomb, Directories Slapdown, Link-sellers Penalty, and the associated wailing of all those that assumed they were legitimite methods because "everyone else is doing it".

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"I prefer methods for the long term, not the short-term."I advise clients against short term SEO tricks g1smd, but for my own sites, I prefer to draw my own boundaries by experimenting and stretching the envelope instead of living on a set of generally-agreed-upon assumptions.

Avatar
from emanuelh 2448 Days ago #
Votes: -1

<font color="#186318">dannysullivan</font> you wrote What works for that class of sites might not fly with others and I understand that by class of sites you mean sites belonging to same industry. If the task is pure SEO (optimizing for top rankings in the organic results), do you still think that sites belonging to the same industry have so much in common that the experience gained from one site (besides the market research) will be very helpful for the next?

Avatar
from emanuelh 2448 Days ago #
Votes: -1

When I started doing SEO about nine years ago it seemed to be to me a purely technical matter, and to a very large degree it really was. There were some simple rules how to "fix" a site (keywords in metatags and text), to make it show higher in search results. But there were obviously no rules for how to make it show highest. That obviously depended on what the competitors are doing. So I had to guide our growing staff to think in terms of military field intelligence, something every Israeli has a pretty good idea what it means, too often in terms of a personally experienced intelligence failure.Naturally, what the competitors are doing is measured by the search engines and summed up in the consolidated relevance score of their pages. If it’s worth more than what I’m doing they’ll rank above me, and if its worth most they’ll be in the prized Top 10 who get all the cream and not me. But Google won’t show me the actual relevance scores, only their descending order. And the algorithm too became more and more complex as its fine details became obscure and frequently modified. The model of field intelligence was not helpful any more. Especially since the only data we could collect and process was not very helpful. For instance, in most SERPs pages with superior qualities were very often ranked below pages with inferior qualities, clear evidence that we are missing critical information. The working environment has begun to resemble what is best described by the theory of complex systems.It is quite amusing that some of the comments above and in toddmintz ’s blog resemble the pains of the transition from the quasi-technical stage to the quasi-intelligence stage we had experienced some five years ago.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: