So this whole SEO scenario started about 10 years ago – I had found a book called ‘SEO for Dummies’ at my local library, in Melbourne (right in the CBD – I took it out and went to the local café to read it) and it blew my mind wide open. I had no realised that there was any ranking order to the internet – a friend from Canada had come to visit and he had determined that this was his cup of tea.
Sometimes you meet people and you can tell that they don’t really have any understanding of the underlying nature of reality. The way in which they view the world is simplistic and basic – but they were not the ones who was writing the story, they were merely characters in one of the chapters, telling the tale as it was unfolding. Search Engine Optimisation – seems easy enough right, well it is not.
That is the part that was being played by the person.
He had no understanding of reputation management, or that a reputation could be negatively affected online, or that anything could be affected without ‘gaming the system’.
This of course raises a very important question – ‘Is SEO gaming the system’ – and the answer to this is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’
Yes, in that we are paying attention to what works within the guidelines set out by the search engines, we are hacking the algorithms, we are attempting to understand what works and what doesn’t – for instance we know that getting high ‘Domain Authority’ (this means that the search engine is under the impression that the authority provided by this domain is valuable) backlinks are very beneficial, we also know that having ‘anchor text’ that has or mentions you ‘target keywords’ or backlinks that contain ‘synonyms’ of your keywords are also good. – does using this knowledge to create your content mean that you are ‘gaming the system’?
Or does it mean that you are using what you know in order to rank valuable content?
I think that doing anything ‘black hat’ means doing anything that would result in a penalty, or result in that ‘link’ losing its ranking ability should the ‘search’ engine ever figure out what is going on.
This does then raise the question – again, IS SEO GAMING THE SYSTEM, and the answer still remains, ‘yes and no’ it’s the Schrodinger’s cat of IT. The system is being written to please the system.
We understand that a search engines primary objective is to place content that is most relevant as a response to a query in front of the person searching for the thing they are searching for.
Why is this so important, well, because if it fails to do that, considering the size of our population, we will be filtering through heaps of crap that bears no relevance to what we are looking for.
And if the engine sees what you’re creating as valuable, it will rank it, and you will be seen as providing value to the system.
This is all there is too it. If the content that you are creating is valuable, then the content is what the search engine wants to present to the client searching for it.
I often get asked, where does targeting come into this, well there are a few different types of targeting in this game, I prefer the tag manager and pixel process, because it only starts once someone has come to your website.
Once they look around a pixel will fire on every page they view – and that pixel can be viewed as a key, or a pair of glasses that lets them see content purely because they have been to your site.
Say again…. demographic target marketing.
Ok so once they come to your site, they join the pixel club, purely because they came here, they will be able to see your ads, or follow up content. Why is this important you ask? Well it means that they have been introduced to your brand, your message and you can decide at which point in the pipeline you want them to see your message. After 1 day, 2 days, 3 days – whenever they reach a certain page, and don’t progress to another.
This is all interesting stuff, but does it work, well yes, it really does, the ranking and therefore rate of return for the main search engine is over 20 billion dollars every year.
That is a substantial bit of cash.
They have been helping small businesses to understand the basic process behind how ranking works, and also behind why it is important to use keywords in their ranking platform.
They are a strange bunch though, they provide reputation management services to celebrities or sports starts that have done something wrong, or had fake irrelevant news published, and they get that out of the way. They make those articles disappear.
This then becomes a battle of good and evil.
How do you un-rank content, well you cant, what you need to do is, rank other content and make that content grow.
We have found this to be harder than anticipated and then the story goes full circle and we are asked once more – is SEO gaming the system.
Only if for evil – if you are creating content that is valualble and relevant then ‘no’ you are not gaming the system
Are you creating thin content that is crappy and of no value? Then yes, the system is being gamed, and you deserve to be de indexed. So if your bad reputation is not real, give them a call.
We love this game, this is the jam of which our donuts are best served.
It turns out 1000 words is a lot, that was my goal for this article and it is taking much longer than anticipated.
I really didn’t think I would be this deep into it, and its still needing words./
The main engines that we are trying to understand are of course Google, Yahoo and Bing, but at times we throw YoutTube into the mix as well.
Please let us know if there are other things you would like to discuss.