Friday, April 29, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky


Search Engine Optimization, it's the fundamental skill of ranking high on google.com search results. It's the silver bullet that every web content writer needs to know about. Keyword research and placement, back linking, crawler friendly site design, the list of essentials is long and confusing.

Luckily, there is no shortage of SEO resources on the internet. If there is any justice in the world, a quick search for SEO on Google should lead you right to the best resources on the subject. Chances are though that if you do any sort of writing on the web you already know a few things about SEO, or at least think you know a few things. The SEO information out there is usually the same information rehashed and repackaged over and over. In the end, no one knows what Google will be up to.

With so much SEO information and so few hard facts about the subject, confusion is inevitable. This confusion is leveraged by many who create SEO services and products to cash in on. I will throw my chips into the pot with my own SEO advice: Don't do it.

When I say to forget about SEO it doesn't mean giving up on getting found in search engines, it means stop wasting time on trying to game Google and get your article, or blog post or whatever it is to rank high. I acknowledge that doing keyword research can be a helpful tool for finding out if anyone is interested in your topics, but that is where it ends.

The usual due diligence of SEO includes finding your key words or phrases, determining the density of said key words, formating your text with proper headlines and subheadings, working your keyword into the page title and so on. Once you have done all this work, the real labor of SEO begins when it's time to hit the pavement and create links all over the web to your new piece. Forum postings, blogging about your blog, link shares, blog rolls and what have you. I am sure some people find this SEO exercise fascinating and fun, but to most it is a huge chore.

I don't get into huge chores, I am not able to do great work when the tasks at hand are incredibly boring and the return minuscule. So I don't do SEO and here are the reasons why you shouldn't either:

Google is fickle

No one really knows what Google does to rank websites. A lot of people spend a lot of time reverse engineering Google's algorithms to find the golden ratio of content length, keywords, incoming links and everything else. What they come up with is probably a better guess than what I could do, but it is still just an educated guess. And even if you were able to pin down a set of rules to follow to always do reasonably well in internet searches, you never know when Google will throw it all away and redo their search criteria. If you do serious writing on one or more of the so called content farms out there you will know exactly what I am talking about.

You're talking to a robot

When you try to make content Google friendly you are basically trying to please a robot. Formating and wording your creative output to sit well with an automated web crawler means you are stepping away from what should be your focus: Providing great content that real people would be interested in seeing. If you want the entire world too see your work, you have to make great stuff that is worth sharing with others. Speak to the humans in the world, if they like what you have to say they will make sure that others know about you as well

Google is really smart

If you know about a really hot and clever SEO trick, Google already knows about it too. Google's entire business is built up around providing people quality sources of the material they are looking for. They will constantly move towards filtering out content that is written for their crawlers and promote high quality sources of information. Computers can now easily beat humans at Jeopardy, how long do you think it will be before Google is extremely good at determining not only exactly what a person is searching for, but also the exact value of the content they are indexing? The world wants great content, Google wants great content. That is your cue: Create great content!

SEO is easy, great content is hard

Anyone can search for keywords and link to their blog from 200 related forums. Not everyone are willing to spend that time on producing the very best content they can. The way I look at it, every minute you spend on keyword tools, back linking, blog rolling and the likes is time you could have spent on creating something brilliant.

As the quote from 'Field of Dreams' goes: “If you build it, they will come”. The one surefire way of getting your work to reach the most people possible and do great in search engine ranking is to make it the best work out there in your field. If your content is of the very highest quality, people will take care of all the SEO you need. They will share it, link to it, comment on it, derive their own work from it and so propel it to internet fame. That should be your goal, not finding the perfect number of times to type a certain set of words.

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