A Return To Sanity… Please!

By Mark / March 30, 2012
Time for sanity

Time for sanityI’ve just finished putting together the March edition Of I.M. Manifesto which will be released over the weekend. One thing I noticed and was made clear to me when I was reading the articles that this months contributors had submitted was, Most people I know through this blog and WPG are sensible and don’t get caught up in the hyperbole and sabre rattling that seems to emanate from many blogs and public forums.

Since google changed the algo last week (zzzz Booooring) there have been numerous posts about the death of SEO (Yes I know I wrote one myself!) and people stating half truths and complete rubbish as fact. Look, Google make changes all the time, I’ve lived through many minor changes and 4 or 5 major changes and my sites are still online and still making money.

They may take a hit for a while (or maybe they don’t get affected at all) but a few tweaks and they are back to where they were to start with. I learned long ago that you can game Google for a short while but they always catch up eventually so it’s better to stay as close to the rules as possible.

In a thread in the warrior forum this week I was called a Google fan boy because I made a similar point and said that I was actually pleased that google was trying to level the playing field. I had to laugh at that one, especially after I wrote 6 months ago that google hates us: http://mjthompson.net/1008/google-hates-you/  that post is worth another read especially in light of what has happened recently.

What I am trying to say is that wheter you like it or not when it comes to ranking in google it is nothing more that a  game , you can either try to play by the rules or you can try to bend them the choice is totally yours.  If you do bend them then expect to have to take some time in the sin bin, we’ve all been there!  If you  play by the rules you may still get sent there and penalized ,  as my father used to say ,”No one ever said life was fair!”  But by playing by the rules you stand a much better chance of staying on the playing field for longer.

My Final word on the recent google changes (until the next ones!) isn’t by me but by Ed Dale,  It is the most sensible thing I’ve read for a while (probbaly the most sensible thing Ed has said as well!! 🙂 )

 

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO SAY IT!

How many times does Google have to say it. Put great, relevant, content on your site and people will love it and spread it around, if they do, Google will reward the page with a decent ranking for phrases it deems relevant.

In the old days they would’ve said “link to the content” and this is Googles fundamental problem. No one “links” to anything any more, certainly not Joe and Jane Smith.

Joe and Jane Smith “like” stuff, they “tweet” stuff, they “Pin” stuff…

They don’t link stuff.”

Ok thats it, you can have the last word, let me know what you think and … all together now.. If you Like it Share it!!!

Watch out for the Magazine coming out over the weekend, it’s a cracker  (if you are subscribed I’ll send you a link to it if not check back here and you’ll see the post)

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Mark

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17 comments
Benson Croft

Great advice and I am a firm believer that if people stopped taking shortcuts and looking for the magic pill approach they would prosper. Concentrate on quality content and to quote Mr Liotta “Build it and they will come!”
Benson Croft recently posted..7 Easy Tips to Save you money – Online Tire Buying GuideMy Profile

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Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson

“Put great, relevant content on your site and people will love it and spread it around.” Personally, I’m still waiting for this. I still get more spam comments than real ones, although the real ones are usually good conversations.

But the sharing doesn’t seem to happen, or it isn’t effective.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t work hard enough to build up a list of “friends” or “followers” on the SM sites. Perhaps it’s because I don’t send out hundreds of automated tweets about my posts. Perhaps it’s because I don’t ask for a “like” or a “tweet” before I allow people to see the goods.

Google doesn’t reward natural linking or sharing — at least not yet. They still look at quantities. They’re getting good at rewarding natural-looking stuff (but just a few weeks ago the link networks seemed natural to them). I like that they’re leveling the playing field, but it isn’t level enough yet.

I don’t want to play games. I want to share my knowledge and help people. And I’d like to be able to survive on what it brings in. How do I do that?
Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson recently posted..Integrity Marketing – Is This The Internet You Want?My Profile

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Mark
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Bill, You need to add a call to action to your posts, remind people to tweet or to like it if they enjoyed the post. Most people are happy to share they just forget if the reminder isn’t there.

Since adding the G.A.S.P plugin where people need to tick a box to confirm they are not a spammer spam post have gone down..or straight to trash

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Ron Hudgins

I never used to put out the effort on on page Seo. The last few sites I have built I have payed very close attention to onsite Seo and exact match domain names and a couple of Social bookmarks and I am on page one no problem. I usually end up number 8 or 9 and stay there till I start linking to my site.
Ron Hudgins recently posted..Dollar Rent A Car Coupon CodesMy Profile

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Andrea

Hi Mark and thanks for your thoughts. What you have discussed in this post, it makes a lot of sense, but at the same time I tend to agree with Bill in a way. I feel that Google still doesn’t reward natural linking or sharing enough yet. When you blog about internet marketing or about similar topics, which means that your readers will spend a lot more time on the internet and they are more aware of the value of sharing, they will be more likely to share and like your content. At the same time when it comes to the majority of other niches, especially the health or physical products niches, I can’t see this happening even if you provide high quality content and you have returning readers who spend a lot of time on your sites.

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Mark
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Hi Andrea, you do have a point but you just need to give you readers enough chances to share , I believe that you will need far fewer shares to rank than link…actually that might be a good experiment to conduct

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Derek

Its all turning out to be about the social aspect.. tweet, like, g+, pin, bookmark.. I really wonder what’s next. And yes I think we have all been in that ‘sin bin’ like you said.. even if we have played by the rules, but what I have seen.. many who ‘blog’ great content survive any kinda shake down.. its always those who ‘build to make money’ who end up hurting the most. They create junk sites that never last.
Derek recently posted..Should You Get The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Now?My Profile

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paul nicholls

I too agree mark I think it’s going to make things much more
fair for those of us that bother to get good unique content created

it now just doesn’t mean that he who has the deepest pockets ranks
the highest

paul
paul nicholls recently posted..2012 Challenge – March Income ReportMy Profile

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Matt

Hey Mark, I know this doesn’t relate to this article, but I was hoping to find out what you thought about this and I couldn’t find an article that it did relate to!

I know you’re a big Semiologic fan (as am I), but it appears to me like they aren’t keeping up with the wordpress versions. I think they’ve lost interest, and there are things that are broken. Do you have another theme (or themes) that you like now?
Matt recently posted..Sensory Processing DisorderMy Profile

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Mark
Twitter:
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Hi Matt,

I stopped using semio a while back, I think they have been over taken by more professional designers and coders with big money behind them..

I use thesis or genesis now but I did find a nice free theme today called Themic which is available from within wordpress

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Matt

Why do you use thesis and genesis? I’m kind of bummed about semio, really liked the widget capabilities. Do those two themes work the same way?
Matt recently posted..Children and DivorceMy Profile

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Mark
Twitter:
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They are very flexible and have a lot of premade child themes..bit of a learning curve though… Some of the genesis themes have widgets for everything!

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Matt

Nice! Thanks for the help!
Matt recently posted..Sensory Processing DisorderMy Profile

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Matt

Mark, what is your opinion on paying for backlinks now? I’ve been doing it on a regular basis for a couple of my sites, and while I believe that google is leaning more and more toward the social signals, I still am concerned that backlinks are important, and I don’t really know whether to discontinue buying the backlinks. I’m talking about paying for blog comments, article posting, etc. not backlink exchanges.

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Mark
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I think that quality links are still worth getting, there is probably a better case for article marketing now than there was before the latest update.

I try to any link building myself rather than pay for it as I like to control the quality

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Matt
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I’ve just been thinking, boy I’m spending a lot on backlinks and they don’t seem to be doing much any more, maybe it’s time to stop it for a while and work on the social stuff. Do what you suggested in your other post, I’m just watching the videos now. Thanks!
Matt recently posted..Children and DivorceMy Profile

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Jeff

Mark – happy to have found your site. I (like Matt) have finally figured out (about 2-years too late by the way) that Semio is done…have several blogs I need to move likely to Genesis. Guess I know what I will have my team working on next week 🙂

I am fully with you on producing great content as the longer term traffic strategy re: Google, but wanted to stress that you must point Google in the right direction by using the keywords, content, structure and symantic context that fits your target market.

Rather than just blasting content without paying attention to the keywords your target market use to find answers to questions relevant to your content, it definitely makes a big difference to target those keywords. That way your traffic is more relevant, more engaged and will be more likely to participate (which I truly believe gets you better SE treatment).

I have blogs that get tons of comments and those posts stay high in SERPS for months on end…even without any concerted effort at backlinking.

Jeff
Jeff recently posted..Help – I Need To Pick A Niche Market!My Profile

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