Fool Me Once

Posted April 1, 2015, under Gee Whillickers!

“Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) is a constantly changing part of Internet services. There was a time when the best possible SEO seemed to amount to screaming key words as frequently as possible throughout one’s website.

That’s not really the case anymore, if it ever really was — but even if it were, why would anyone want to read such a site? How many times is the average person going to sit through another sentence that was obviously written for a search engine robot, not a human being? That’s bad SEO, and the major search engines are now punishing sites for such blatant algorithm-gaming.

Blackhat Tactics

Here are some examples of scammy SEO offerings and tactics.

1) Guaranteed rankings — either promising a high ranking, or promising results in a short time

No SEO company controls when or how Google — or any other search engine — does its thing. They can’t really guarantee speed or ranking, so they shouldn’t expect to be paid a premium for it.

2) Submission to “Thousands” of Search Engines

Google is by far the top dog in the web search world; according to one source, they’ve got 89% of the market share. If you think your target might land in that remaining 11%, then target that group specifically!

But realize that AOL, the #4 biggest search engine, only accounts for 0.6% of the market.

3) Backlinks

It’s good to have links that lead back to your site floating out there on the Internet. It’s bad when those links are obvious spammy crap that no one in their right minds will click. Search engine robots can and do recognize these and your site will be penalized in the rankings, if not outright blacklisted.

4) “We know someone at Google.”

No, they don’t. Even if they did, companies like Google and Yahoo! require their employees to sign confidentiality agreements. No one’s going to risk going to jail for the sake of SEO, when there are perfectly legal and legitimate ways to get good rankings.

The Right Stuff

The best way to get favorable ranking of your site is to have good content that people will want to read and share. That’s the whole point of the Internet, and it’s something that the search engine robots look for and reward with good rankings. Also, as mentioned last month, your rankings will be further improved by having mobile-friendly websites.

The point is, they want sites built for people, not for machines or software. Yes, there are things that need to happen so the totally-not-Terminator robots can find you in the first place — but after that, it’s all about the quality of your content.


Rigney Graphics is a Pasadena graphic arts company that can help you create an impact with design and marketing solutions for print and web.