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And that's why it's not as easy as you'd think to get it right first time, because there's a whole lot of bullshit out there. As you've found yourself, you've got to try different things... see what is right, see what is wrong, and see what is going to come back to bite you in the arse.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 10:39, archived)
# Why does there not seem to
be good trusted reference material out there, or a strong set of standards, as there would be in any other technical skill eg accessibility?
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 10:43, archived)
#
Good question - I think it is, at least in part, because the "official" advice given by Google is largely contradictory to people's experiences of what actually works, especially when it comes to link building. So you've got a mixture of approaches, from the blackest of black hat hackers, through your cloakers and spammers through to your white night agencies that want to be best buddies with Google. I think this will probably only stop when Google or the search engine of the day manage to find an unspammable algorythm. I won't hold my breath.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 11:06, archived)
# Is personalised searching not going to be unspammable after
enough data has been harvested about a user?

"Google is largely contradictory to people's experiences of what actually works, especially when it comes to link building."

Does it not 'work' ultimately by cheating Google's aims. Google's advice is surely to tell you how to make sure that you rank for your chosen keywords.

They see it as their job to then rank in order of relevence, they aren't going to want to encourage people to try and cheat.

A side of SEO I do see as good is making sure that clients remember to do things like mention locations they work on the page, as they often forget, and so are missing out on lots of areas where they may be the most relevent.

Google's idea of SEO is surely this sort of thing?

SEO seems now to mean more to try and cheat the race, rather than just making sure that you start from the best vantage point.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 11:18, archived)
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Yeah but I care more about my client's aims than Google's aims. Google want you to rank where they want to rank you. My clients want to rank higher than that. Of course they aren't going to encourage people to do it.

Making sure you're targetting the locations you serve is just part of the initial keyword research and planning, that definitely should be a standard part of any SEO strategy!
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 11:23, archived)
# Is it not a sisyphian task?
Any methods to cheat are surely going to be found out if Google want to retain their reputation.

Would you not admit that 50% of doing well is down to this cheating side?
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 11:32, archived)
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"Any methods to cheat are surely going to be found out if Google want to retain their reputation."

You'd think...

"Would you not admit that 50% of doing well is down to this cheating side?"

I wouldn't like to guess at an exact percentage but you just have to look at the link profiles of the top ranking sites for competitive keywords to know that "cheating" Google, when done right, can help you rank much better than just letting the cards fall where they may. Of course, do it wrong and you'll get shafted.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 11:55, archived)
# So you would use the verb
cheating to describe much of SEO?
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:04, archived)
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Not really, hence the quotation marks.

I'd call it competitive advantage.

Anyway that's more than enough for me for one day, sure we both have actual jobs to be getting on with.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:24, archived)
# .
"competitive advantage" - I had to look up the term, but "Competitive advantage is a position of a company in a competitive landscape that allows the company earning return on investments higher than the cost of investments. Competitive advantage should be relevant, unique, and sustainable."

I don't quite see how this relates.

"Sustainable", when all un-earned links are built on sand and "Unique", when link building is available to anyone.

Why aren't black hat techniques "competitive advantage"?
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:32, archived)