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Is it possible to skip certain SEO fundamentals?

February 1, 2012

After you have been in the SEO industry awhile you learn how to do certain things better and more quickly.  To some this means shortcuts and to others it just means better research methods and fact-finding.  But what if all of our research and experiences lead us to believe that some SEO techniques are unnecessary and can be avoided?  Unfortunately I think that this is the approach of too many so-called SEO firms, a sort of lackadaisical misrepresentation of clients and the ultimate suffering of their client’s rankings.  SEO has become extremely popular and there seems to be webmasters turned SEO’s popping up everywhere.  People should know that they are not the same.  SEO is not solely web programming or social media or on-page optimization. It is a lot of things working together in a soup of what are rankings. You can’t have chicken noodle soup without the chicken.

To take it a step further let’s look at some of the fundamental SEO practices and how they should and shouldn’t be viewed- by SEO and persons seeking an SEO as well.

On-Page Optimization– You could argue that this is the first and most fundamental step in SEO. Optimizing things like title tags, meta descriptions, image descriptions, internal linking, site maps, the speed in which your site works and its inherent navigability are all things that provide for a good foundation.  Just because you have done these things right does not mean you have done a great job of representing your client as so many people I have seen believe.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard “appropriate title tags and you will rank” has been thrown out there I’d be a rich man.  These types of SEO’s take people’s money, lock them into long-term relationships and provide no results and then scratch their head when Panda algorithms bust down their two-day SEO campaign.

Can you skip this step? Hell no. You wouldn’t stand a chance of ranking if you didn’t do this step right but it doesn’t mean you are done.

Off-Page Optimization– These are the processes that occur outside of your website that direct traffic to it or generates a buzz about the business.  It’s true, many SEO companies have a weaker grasp on this facet of optimization than techie at a sorority party.  Forum posting, directory submission, press releases, videos, social media, link-building, RSS feed submission are all things that exist on a real ranking level.  With the push of Google to personalize search even more it would make sense to put some effort into the niche markets where your client exists.  The best thing about this facet is that all these things are generally free.  When is the last time your SEO company wrote a press release for you?

Can you skip this step?  Hell no.  Spread the word, off-page optimization is a great way to direct traffic from sources other than the search engines.  It’s not all about Google, but Google is paying attention to these sources.

Link-Building– Are you kidding me you don’t do link building?! You can’t figure out why you are not ranking?  SEO’s who don’t do link building piss me off more than anything else in the industry.  I’ll be the first to admit it, link building is a huge pain in the rear but it is absolutely necessary.  To simplify, links are third party votes for your site that show that people feel your content is worthy of recognition.  Having links that contain your most powerful keywords in the anchor text are a mandatory part of SEO and one of its most fundamental techniques.  Link building has changed for the better- Google wants good links from relevant websites that occur naturally and don’t look stuffed or artificial.  Doing this is tricky and time-consuming but only requires certain dedication and research to find other industry professionals who are glad to represent you.

Can you skip this step? Hell no. SEO’s who do I should thank you. You will be losing all your clients soon enough and the true professionals will shine.

Social Media– Although everyone now knows the power of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, not all clients necessarily understand how it can benefit them.  “How is Facebook and Twitter going to get me more clients at my law firm? Social media is for my kids.” Valid point my white collar friends but look at it this way if no other way: the search engines are paying attention to social media sites and that alone should be enough for you to understand its importance.  Besides that, used correctly, and I stress used correctly, social media is like instant public relations on steroids.  Take the example of a major airline carrier’s CEO logging into Twitter only to find that passengers were unpleased with their service.  Instead of letting the fire turn into a PR nightmare, the CEO reached to the Twitter audience and instantly remedied the situation.  Social media can be your barometer of how the public views your products or services.

Can you skip this step? Hell no. Make sure to do it right and produce relevant and beneficial content. Nobody cares what you ate for breakfast Ashton Kutcher.


If this blog post seems a little bit on the heated side, it is.  It is difficult to be in an industry where there are so many “professionals” misrepresenting their clients, other SEOs, and the search industry in general.  I feel compelled to be the whistle blower and let the public know what they are getting into before they get themselves into what can be a very expensive situation.  How do you think baseball players feel when their competitors get busted for steroids? Probably angry that fans may feel like these few bad seeds represent the entire league which is entirely untrue.  Ethical SEOs feel the same way.  We don’t like the other teams selling out seats when they never win games, capiche?  If this blog post saved one person from hiring a firm who they now see doesn’t have a firm grasp on SEO than I have done my job.

Please share your thoughts on the matters or let us know about your horror stories and the lessons you learned from the so-called SEO experts.


From → SEO

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