A lot of webmasters (or SEO companies vying for your business) may disagree with my take on modern-day SEO and that’s fine. The more people who just don’t get it, the less competition for me and my clients.
I am sure you can find people that will say this is all rubbish and that they can get your page ranked for your terms (depending on the severity of competition of course) by heavily backlinking the page using keyword rich anchor text.
The process they’ll describe is something like this:
1. Keyword research to find high demand, low competition phrases.
2. Create a page that is optimized for that keyword phrase.
3. Get lots of backlinks using that keyword phrase as anchor text.
4. Watch your page rise up the results pages.
If you don’t care about your business, let them try. You might get short term gains, but you’ll run the risk of losing all your rankings further down the line when Google catch up with you (and catch up, they will… eventually).
To lose all of your rankings does not necessarily take a human review, though that can get your site penalized as well. No, getting your site penalized is far easier and the process Google has created is far more “automated” since the introduction of Panda and Penguin. Go over the threshold levels of what is acceptable, and the penalty is algorithmically determined and applied.
The good news is that algorithmic penalties can just as easily be lifted by removing the offending SEO and cleaning up your site. However, if that offending SEO includes low quality backlinks to your site (especially to the homepage), things are a little trickier.
Remember that SEO you hired that threw tens of thousands of backlinks at your site using his secret software? How can you get those backlinks removed? In many cases you can’t and moving the site to a new domain may be your only option.
In the rest of this book, I want to focus on what you need to do to help your pages rank better. I’ll be focusing on purely white-hat strategies because black hat is just not a long-term strategy. Remember that with a flick of a switch Google can change the goal posts again, leaving you out in the cold. Is it worth risking your business for short-term gains?
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