One of the most frustrating things in the life of a web designer is trying to navigate the minefield that is SEO (search engine optimisation). There is more utter rubbish written about this topic than probably any other topic on the web in my opinion.

But why is there so much rubbish written about? Because of course there’s money in it. If you make the claim that you can get people on page one of Google, people flock to you and pay you some very good money. Even if, as it turns out, that claim is worthless. Often the people making the claims are American. Never get between an American and a big pile of money made from fraudulent claims.

So why the frustration today? Well because in my quest to be the best I study guide after guide on SEO. One of the people churning out this rubbish is a self proclaimed “kind of a big deal” (you have to admire the front of the guy). On his site he has the “Advanced guide to SEO”. He claims to have worked with major companies to give them huge amounts of traffic. He has an “SEO university” area in  which he supposedly gives his advanced stuff. If it’s anywhere near as good as his free guides – ignore it.

So what’s the beef with the stuff this guy puts out? Well he’s writing as if he’s an authority, but the tips are from the state of the art of SEO in 2012. Now let me explain something about SEO. Google doesn’t like attempts to game their search engine. As a result they spend inordinate amounts of time and energy on updating their algorithms to ensure that people can’t do dodgy techniques that lift their rankings unrealistically. On average Google makes 500 changes a year to their algorithm. So anyone still churning out SEO advice from 2012 is 2000 algorithm changes behind the curve. And if they make the claim that this is current and relevant, let’s call them for what they are; a shyster.

So why are these people churning out this rubbish, piles of steaming crap, and calling it gold dust? Because there are two things that really do work when it comes to rising in the rankings with Google, and this simply will not change. Content and traffic. The guy writes a guide with 30 tips. Number one tip is content. The next 29 tips are of varying relevance and reliability, but it doesn’t really matter. The big one is content.

Thing is, people like me are constantly seeking an edge for themselves and their clients. So of course the guy who writes this content know it’s self perpetuating for him. He claims to have content that will give you the edge. As a result he gets lots of traffic. And as a result of the traffic he ranks highly in Google.

It’s like those diet pill ads. You know the ones with the fine print where they say to be used in conjunction  with diet and exercise? Anyone with any sense will know that it’s the diet and exercise that’s doing the job, not the magic pill.

So to take away from this – content, content content.

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A computer specialist who has had a long and varied career in IT, starting with the days of Novell, progressing through Microsoft on the way to Cisco and network security. Now running Revolution Web Design, to provide customers with great Web Design, SEO and digital strategy advice.

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