How’s your SEO going?

I’ve written about Search Engine Optimization before. It’s one of the things we do here at Answer Guy Central, and (self-serving statement aside) it’s the single most important thing you can do for your business’ long-tail marketing efforts.

SEO isn’t hard, exactly, but it requires a basic understanding of quite a few things, the ability to write well, some content expertise, and a lot of time.

Nobody understands long-tail marketing and SEO better than Google, and in particular a Google employee named Matt Cutts. Matt does a regular video series for webmasters, and it’s fun to watch because even though you know he’s telling you what Google wants you to hear he does so in a way that’s just plain . . . believable.

Now remember: Search Engine Optimization is as much art as it is science, and even Google admits they don’t quite “get it”. But as you undertake your SEO efforts (or have someone like us do it for you), you have to have some set of rules to go by. And I’ve been tracking one variable that’s so contentious it’s worth talking about:

Will Google Penalize Your SEO Efforts for Creating Duplicate Content?

The “official” answer, direct from Matt Cutts, is no; there’s no duplicate content penalty from Google for putting the same content up in multiple places. But that answer glosses over ignores the real issue: If you put the same thing up over and over again you may draw traffic away from competitors, or you may instead cannibalize your own efforts via dilution.

It’s a fine line to walk, and because (assuming you have the time) so many of the technical and artistic elements of successful Search Engine Optimization are better undertaken by you and your staff than outsiders it’s one of the places where SEO consultants have something to sell.

Yes, I’d like you to use Answer Guy SEO Services. Want proof that we know what we’re doing? Search Google for either 7,669,123 or 7,739,139 and see who’s at the top of the rankings for those patent numbers from Facebook and Amazon. But whether you hire The Answer Guy to do your Search Engine Optimization, hire somebody else, or do it yourself, you must take SEO seriously.

SEO is a business change that will effect your long-tail marketing efforts for years to come. And remember: there is no duplicate content penalty. Unless there is.
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