The SEO Game is Getting Harder

Thread Title:
Doing SEO in a Vacuum
Thread Description:

Aaron Wall has an interesting article out detailing how his SEOBook and SEOGuy have been dumped in the recent Google update:

A couple of the sites that were hit in the Google update were ranking well in most major search engines for the term "SEO."

Recently SEO Guy ranked #1 in Google. My SEO Book blog also ranked in the top 10 - 20 sites since June of last year.

I just checked Yahoo! and MSN and SEO Guy was #1 for "SEO" on both sites. My site was #4 and #6. Teoma is a topical clustering based search engine and even their algorithm still ranks my site at #11.

After the recent Google update both SEO Guy and SEO Book no longer rank in Google for their official site names.

Many theories and surmizes follow, but they boil down to this: Over optimized sites have been hit again...

This also ties in nicely with a thread i read a bit of over at WMW recently: The Best SEO Tactic is to do Nothing at all? where member Tomthumb2000 says...

I've been reading masses of opinions over the past few weeks and it strikes me that with so many conflicting opinions and contracditory evidence, what conclusions can the average webmaster draw?
It seems to me that the best tactic may be to just develop a site with plenty of good content, relevant titles, get the odp and yahoo listing and leave it at that.
I've seen plenty of sites developed in notepad reach the top of their SERPS without ever requesting a link or giving more than a relevant handful out.
I can accept that there exist webmasters and companies with genius techies and a hard-wroking team of web promoters who can get results. But for the average webmaster is his time not best spent in developing a good site? Especially when no one can agree on what works anyway?
Maybe I'm just naive...

what i wonder now is this:

  • Are Google specifically targeting SEO efforts?
  • How does this change the game?

I think the first one is a bit of a no brainer :) but the second should provide some food for thought right? Personally, as i've said before, the harder this game becomes the better off the industry will be..

thanks Brad


Cat and Mouse Game

Google is protecting their business model and I am protecting my business model. I think the game is all about change, it actually just a cat and mouse game. Search engines have a ranking criteria and I am trying my best to match that criteria while maintaing a web presence that will deliver good conversions.

My seo business is not about metatag stuffing, h1 tags, link spamming, etc. It is about predicting and reacting to search engines faster than other websites in order to secure web traffic. If it takes metatags, h1 tags, link spamming or even great auto-generated content that will be approved by a manual check that is what I will do in order to get eyeballs from search engines to my webpages and make money. I agree with Nick. The harder SEO becomes the better it is for me. I just wish everyone read the thread at WmW and started to do no SEO work :) It would make my life a lot easier.

Who wins when SEO is unpredictable?

In a post at, Nick Wilson concludes that "the harder this game becomes, the better off the industry will be." By "the industry" I assume he means the SEO industry -- not the web marketing industry or web marketers in general.

The rati...


That's when trackback really works for me, damn good post that man!

post-update period applies to everyone

I think SEO is a knowledge game first, with strategy leading any skills/tactics competition. When it devolves to a skills or tactics competition, it gets crazy (and boring, if you ask me).

Are high SEO fees required to pay for secret methods and tactics, or to fund the R&D required to execute sound strategy at any given moment in a particular market? This seems to be debated in other formats ad nauseum.

Perhaps the reasons flip flop over time, but the fees stay high. Those who stay in the business are able to ebb and flow along with the changes. Of course during the post-update period, even the best should show a lag as they retool/redevise strategy.

I had a client ask for examples of my successes last week (1 week post-G-update). I had plenty to show, but there would also have been plenty to show if someone had asked what can happen in a wink when a search engine updates.

I would ask not "Who wins when SEO is unpredictable" but "Who wins when SEO is predictable?"

change is the game

If it stayed stagnant everyone would learn.


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