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Is There Such A Thing As SEO Anymore?


Here’s a question we get pretty regularly, in various forms, at DM:

I want to improve my rank on Google, but I’m afraid to do any SEO because I’m worried that I’ll get penalized. What should I do?

It’s a tricky question to answer, actually… Because Google, just like Facebook, is a fairly secretive company that needs to strike a pretty delicate balance to be successful.

On the one hand, Google needs to deliver the highest-quality search results possible to satisfy users. On the other, Google has a lot of advertisers and businesses to deal with, all of whom want to gain an advantage…

Google has been pretty consistent about one thing: It will slap anyone who produces what it dubs to be “webspam.”

Google is trying to make the web a helpful place for users. When a user searches for a pair of cowboy boots, Google wants them to find the most relevant and reputed retailer — not the one who hired the best SEO company.

I’ve written about “over-optimization” before (see our Penguin coverage), but that doesn’t mean optimization is dead… It means that you must now optimize for humans, not search engines.

Translated, that means:

  • Content Marketing – Create awesome content that keeps users on your site and inspires organic backlinks.
  • Social Sharing – Place sharing buttons on your page and encourage feedback, comments, etc. Also, be responsive.
  • Be relevant – Being overly general with your content means you have more competition. Think of your niche and focus your content to connect with those users specifically.

If you’re looking for ways to do this, Marketing Profs has a great article with 10 tips for Human Optimization… HO? We’ll come up with a more appropriate name for it sometime in the future.


About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
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