I’ll Admit SEO’s, Like Me, Have Ruined the Web

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on September 27th, 2010 7 Comments

It’s time to own up, I might not have done it, you might not have either, but someone has gone out and wrecked the internet; and they’ve done it in our name. It’s about time we took some responsibility.

Comment Spam – They do it for SEO

Annoying Every Single Person with a Website for a Link Request – They do it for SEO

Hacked Websites with injected links to Viagra Sites – They do it for SEO

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Just a few of the hundreds of crimes committed in the name of SEO, each and every day. You might be whiter than white, you may never have ventured into that grey area between what’s right and wrong, but lots of people have, each time they do it they’ve slighted your reputation and we need to do something about it.

Never Send Another Link Request

The fact is link requests very rarely work, they never really did. Don’t get in touch out of the blue and ask someone for a link. Spend some time on a site you’d like a link from, let them know you read their site, open up a conversation and give them something useful that the might want to link to.

It requires a level of subtlety and sophistication you’ll struggle to pull off if you’re used to treating link building like data entry, this approach will get you more of links that actually influence search rankings rather than prop up a link count.

There’s that phrase, if put enough monkeys in front of a typewriters and one of them will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare, are you taking a similar approach to your link building efforts?

If the Site Is Rubbish and Only Exists for SEO Don’t Help It Out With Money

Why do so many useless directories still exist? because clueless, or worse, lazy SEOs keep them in business by handing over their Paypal details in return for a listing.

Most culprits might realise they might be wasting their money, but I don’t think they’ve fully understood that they are sending a message. A message, which says it’s okay to bung rubbish up on the net as long as you might be able to make a few quid.

If you can make something great you deserve to make some money from it, don’t look at it the other way and make something that only exists due to a Faustian pact where you give money but add nothing to the quality of the internet.

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye To Your Partners Or Team Perpetuating the Problem

I know for a fact several big agencies ship out most, if not all, of their link building efforts to offshore link building firms. Just because they are overseas and outsourced doesn’t mean they don’t deliver good work; but that extra step of removal means search marketers are less likely to be keep the close eye on the work they are carrying out.

You might have a similar situation within your own team, what tactics are you encouraging? how are you measuring campaign success? does that process make it more or less likely you’ll achieve good links and not make the web a more spammy place?

Even if you aren’t personally adding to the cesspool of the back-end of the internet by allowing it to happen you are endorsing spam by association.

Make things Better

So we’ve had a part to play in a spread of trash online, it stops now, everything you do online should be adding value. Every guest post you write for a client should be the best you can possibly make it and genuinely add positively to the net.

Every tactic you use to build links shouldn’t just think about you and your aim to go up the rankings, think about the person you’re approaching. Do they want to hear from you? Are you helping them as much as your helping yourself?

If we all take a bit more personal responsibility search marketers can make the net a better place rather than a worse one.

pixel I’ll Admit SEO’s, Like Me, Have Ruined the Web