This blog has been pretty quiet the past six months, mostly because I’ve been writing for the Credera blog rather than my personal blog. Now that I’ve left Credera, it’s time to revive this labor of love.
For my last few months at Credera, I had two project which both had a heavy emphasis on SEO. I’m a developer, not an SEO geek, so it was pretty interesting seeing what SEO is all about.
I got to expand my vocabulary with new words like PPC and organic search. I also got to meet some interesting characters in the SEO world, including some of the folks behind the JC Penney black hat SEO scandal and someone I simply called a Sith Dark Lord of SEO.
Everyone was simply trying to stay one step ahead of the Google nerds in exploiting algorithm loopholes to push their content to the front page. It is a never-ending, and expensive, battle.
Sort of like the movie War Games, chasing SEO loopholes didn’t look like a game worth playing. Fortunately, there is a better way. I had a chat with Kyle, Credera’s SEO Expert and one of the few people I’ve met worthy of that title. He boiled things down pretty succinctly. There are really only a few things you need to win at SEO:
- Structure content correctly – use clean, semantic HTML with proper titles, heading elements, etc…
- Produce good content
It’s this last one that I think people are missing. You can spend a ton of money trying to trick Google into driving traffic your direction, or you can spend zero money by producing content people want to consume and get bumped to the top for free.
Around the same time of these projects, I got to see Jay Baer, the author of Youtility, speak at SMC Dallas. He really brought home all the points Kyle was making. Jay says your web content should provide so much value your visitors would be willing to pay for it.
Paying someone big money to fiddle with keywords and the gaming of algorithms is battle you can’t win. Say no to the Dark Side and start producing quality content people want to read. There are no shortcuts.