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Shimon Sandler asks, "Is it possible not to touch the code of a site and still optimize it?" The answer is yes and he explains why.
Comments31 Comments  

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from mpilatow 2224 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I don’t agree. Link building does not optimize the site. It optimizes off-site factors but if the site code is poorly optimized all those links will only go so far. Truly optimizing a site requires both on site and off site optimization and if one is missing the site will never perform as well as it could.

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from Jill 2224 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Of course it’s possible. But it’s a total uphill battle!

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from Gab 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’ve got enough links and quality links to my site to rank for seo on google.ca ... and i’m on/off the first page largely, i think, because my content changes as i add new posts. haven’t tested scientifically though, so i could be wrong.

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from Gab 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

point being that you can’t optimize just with links.besides that, you should speak to stephan spencer as to optimizing without touching the code. or look for it in coverage of his presentations.

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from JohnHGohde 2223 Days ago #
Votes: -2

The most positive comment that I can come up with is that link building is called SEM, rather than SEO.  And, for good reason I might add.

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from MikeDammann 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Gab, if that is the case, then why does http://mike23.com/ rank in the top 5 for "Mike".

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from rhcerff 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Okay, so link optimisation is an important part of SEO.  But isn’t optimising a website entirely on links kind of like Google Bombing?  And while your intentions may be good, if the content is lousy and onsite linking poor this could prove very, very.... very difficult.

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from semscholar 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Mike okay great but that’s ALL it ranks for, so unless you’re looking for Mike you aren’t gonna find it. Is that you by the way or are you mike22?

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from NickWilsdon 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Mike That also says a lot about the importance of the keywords in the domain. There’s some good comments here but essentially I think you’re all right. As Gab and Mark suggest, what Shimon is doing can not be described as optimising the site itself *but* it is a strategy/technique to get some ranking positions for it. This works but as Jill suggest, you’re making life a lot harder for yourself than you need to. As rhcerff states, you are effectively Googlebombing site pages into the listings. Not being able to change the site copy presents an issue if the keywords you are using for your GoogleBomb are not on the page itself. Google attempted to defuse GoogleBombs last year and as MattCutts wrote, "The litmus test for a Googlebomb is whether the site in question wants to show up at #1 or whether other people are pushing it up. If a site *wants* to show up, that’s SEO rather than a Googlebomb."The second issue would be maintaining a natural link profile and avoiding Google’s filters for ’over-optimisation’ on a term - not easy with this approach. It’s far easier to have access to the site and create content that will encourage natural, diverse linking anchor text, in combination with your targeted link building.

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from mattstoddart 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You can most definitely optimize a site’s rankings without doing anything but building the backlink profile...and you can do it for competitive keywords. Period. Obviously it’s not ideal and I’d consider it to be a rather incomplete SEO philosophy to practice regularly; but that doesn’t change the fact that it works.

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from hugoguzman 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The proof is in the pudding. It’s been done countless times (link-building without site-side). That said, not optimizing site-side elements is definitely an incomplete approach to SEO.The bottom line is that while implementing site-side elements is part of a comprehensive strategy, it’s link building (internal and external) that will almost always be the tipping point.

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from iBrian 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 6

F*ck me!!!The supposed cutting edge internet marketing news site for SEO’s is running the headline that links are important for SEO?!

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from NickWilsdon 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@iBrian Catch next week’s episode where we discuss whether SEOs should take the time to write title tags. ;)

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from incrediblehelp 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"You can most definitely optimize a site’s rankings without doing anything but building the backlink profile...and you can do it for competitive keywords. Period."Yeah artificially.  What about growing links naturally because people will want to link to the content?

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from Hobo 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

yes you can ’optimise’ (used loosely) a site with backlinks and no on page seo but it’s like playing with yourself with your left hand when you are right handed and you have your right hand free. Why do it?Also - whats better?A site that is no 1 becuase of:1. Backlinks2. Backlinks and contentI know what I would pick.Backlinks can disappear and devalue quickly, whereas content can be hard to shift, even out of date content.

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from FLSEO 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Good SEO Starts With The Code The Site’s Built On  ... Then, The Content ...Then The Links To The Content ... Content Is King ...

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from peterryan 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Wow! this was quite a provocative most eh?  It seems to me that everyone commenting here is essentially saying the same thing.  Of course it is preferable to optimize the code to search engine spec, but can it be done without?  Of course!  We had a client that just didn’t want us to touch their code nor did they want to have their dev team make seo changes, but did we turn them down?  We warned them it would be a bit more difficult, but in the end, we overcame the obstacle.  We all know on-page optimization is important, but a great SEO is adaptable! 

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from tripstar 2223 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Content is king. 

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from g1smd 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 2

***  We had a client that just didn’t want us to touch their code nor did they want to have their dev team make seo changes...   ***<div></div><div></div><div>Wouldn’t touch a job like that, even with a 10-foot long shitty stick.</div><div></div><div></div><div>There is so much that can be done on-site with most every site on the web.</div><div></div><div></div><div></div><div></div><div>*** A good SEO Consultant knows that the search engines read “backlinks”. *** </div><div></div><div> ... and a really good one realises that gaming the system for backinks is often a futile endeavour, and that there is usually much more mileage in getting the code, content, navigation, IA, UA, and accessibility sorted out on the site itself. </div><div></div>

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from avi 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

sometimes a consultant encounters a situation where the client spent 7 figures on a 100% flash site, or on some shitty cms they are stuck with, that wont allow them to change even a title tag (been there). in those cases, what choice does the consultant have but to a) tell them to scrap or rebuild the site / cms or b) do what he/she can with links to establish rankings and drive traffic? I think that’s what shimon is getting at here - a scenario where the first choice may not be an option.

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from shimsand 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi all, great comments!  I just want to clarify something.  I don’t advocate optimizing a site solely using Link Building.  Obviously, a comprehensive site optimization will include on-site optimization. Those of you who subscribe to my blog know I’ve written about the on-site stuff extensively.  This was just a quick post to emphasize the importance of Link Building.  Any SEO worth his salt knows links work, and are a critical component to any successful SEO initiative.

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from Gab 2223 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Loving iBrian and Nick Wilsdon’s comments. Also, I’m still waiting for Stephan Spencer to come in here and share his knowledge on how to really optimize a site without touching the code.

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from daveforeman 2223 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Of course it can be done.  I always tell my clients,  give me a large enough budget and I can make you rank for anything.   Its all about the money, the time and the effort.  

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from yojpotter2 2223 Days ago #
Votes: -1

It is possible but it would be better if there is balance between both.

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from anthonyverre 2222 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I’m not going to desphinn, but I’m not going to sphinn either. If you’ve been around, then you know that link building is a key component to optimization, and the anchor text in the link back to you. Could you do this? Yeah. Would you really want to? NO.Open up the code and get working.  Links will only take you so far, unless you are trying to get SERP position for a NON-competitive category like "blue fuzzy dice", which strangely enough, there are over 100,000 sites for.  Anyway, external link strategy might work something like that, but even that is doubtful.  Stick to the Code.

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from JohnHGohde 2222 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Whether or not something works is totally besides the point. True SEO adds value that benefits searchers. Whereas, the result of the link building side of SEM only benefits site owners. And, usually frustrates searchers who do NOT like wasting their time on erroneous listings in Google.Didn’t the ancient Greek Archimedes say give me a big enough budget and I could Google Bomb any webpage for the number one position?I do not recall Archimedes talking about adding value.  :(

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from seoz87 2221 Days ago #
Votes: 0

it indeed is possible to RANk a site actually(not optimize) on top position only by doing aggressive linkb uilding, as Links are still thge major factor in Google Algorithm. But this only applies when you want to show other people that things like that are possible. This depends on the competition between websites and the terms you are targetting.  :) If you think you can rank a site on keywords like SEO by just building links, than wake up dude. Matt cutts is still alive :P

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from rhcerff 2221 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@daveforeman while I agree that a well worked link campaign can get you great results.  I would love to see you prove "make you rank for anything" without touching the code.  Rank a website like Twitter.com for a keyword like "porn" and then I’ll be impressed.  While Google bombs may work for short term results we all know that they don’t last.

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from marymad 2221 Days ago #
Votes: 0

lucky me, i can get all up in my site code.

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from Gab 1874 Days ago #
Votes: 0

1) You’re not optimizing the site. 2) This post is noisy and just advocates building links.

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from qeorge 1874 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is not useful at all, and has no place on Sphinn (IMHO).

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