Hugh Jackman, Search Engine Optimization Mad Scientist

I’m interested in Search Engine Optimization for several reasons. One, it’s through SEO that we attract people to this web site, and that makes for business. Two, our business happens to be Search Engine Optimization, so I can both attract more of that business and do SEO on our clients’ behalf just by … talking about SEO and doing it.

Third—or maybe I should have listed this as first—playing with Search Engine Optimization and adjusting SEO techniques gives the unfulfilled mad scientist in me something to tinker with. BWAH HA HA HA! IT’S ALIVE!

I’d like to tell you there’s a single formula to Google’s Secret Sauce that will magically crack the SEO code. There’s not. Sometime, great SEO is just about tweaking until you find what works. But this doesn’t mean a good Search Engine Optimization formula is beyond your grasp; on the contrary, just as great bakers know there’s more than one way to crank out a good cookie there are different ways to create good SEO.

I’m constantly looking for better and better ways to do Search Engine Optimization for our clients. So I read what other SEO consultants have to say. Last week, I came across an article at Search Engine Roundtable that underscores why, even though you could do your SEO yourself if you had the time, you’re usually better off leaving Search Engine Optimization to the experts.

Search Engine Roundtable itself is an odd beast. It’s an incredible source of raw information, and I applaud Barry Schwartz for his efforts in curating great content for SEO practitioners. But Barry doesn’t write very well, which is kind of ironic given that good writing matters to Search Engine Optimization. Barry also does weekly video reports that are … well, let’s just says that as an old TV and Radio guy, I’m not impressed.

But as a thought and conversation kick-starter, Barry Schwartz’ Search Engine Roundtable is a great resource. And the piece I linked to a couple of paragraphs back was a commentary on the complaints one Search Engine Optimization practitioner has about Google’s business process for reconsidering sites it’s penalized for black-hat SEO practices.

The complaint had to do with how difficult it is to get a reconsideration of decisions Google makes to penalize your web site. And it’s true; when you request reconsideration of a Google penalty you don’t know where your request is going, or how it will be handled. Assuming the details that this complainer presented are accurate, re-evaluation is a cursory affair, at best.

I wonder why that came as a surprise?

If you aren’t a big e-commerce entity and your site has “400,000 pages”,  you’re either running a Content Farm (hello AOL) or a forum, or you’ve discovered how to make your site LOOK “big” by cross-linking. Which of those actually “deserve” high ranking? None of them “make good content”, and Google understands that.

But they do add up.

The truth is, Google doesn’t want us to know what’s important in Search Engine Optimization. And no amount or manner of complaining is likely to change that. So if you’re going to do Search Engine Optimization (and by now I sure hope you’ve figured out that you absolutely need to get your SEO in order), the best thing you can do is find a consultant with an SEO Philosophy that makes sense to you.

THAT’S how SEO Works.

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