I decided to start a new series called Bad SEO to highlight what to look for and funny anecdotes about encounters with some ..er.. uh.. not-so-professional Search Engine Optimization providers out there. I am certainly NOT going to start outing people (naming offenders) simply posting chronicles as a warning to the consumer; and a good laugh for the professional (hard working) SEO craftsperson. Tis borne from unfortunate tales and wary consumers all in need of reassurance.
So I say to all you SEO Hacks out there the Reality Train is a comin Get off the tracks or get run over.
12 Step Program - Things you DONT want to see on a SEO providers website;
<< Much of this rant is based on a REAL SEO site/provider, tho a few are JUST ME ranting let the debate begin! >>
Here we go...
1. Submitting to SEs; Any good SEO knows one doesnt need to submit to the major Search Engines (SEs). A proper campaign will naturally encourage indexation I do not want to see a Manual Search Engine Site Submissions program if you please.
2. ToolBar PageRank; <IMO> Love me hate me but gaining TBPR is not a viable focus of ones SEO endeavors nor budgets. It is a natural by-product of a quality program. Nothing to see here.
3. Keyword Density; <IMO> It is the age of relevance. Think semantics and phrase based optimization. ( shout out to PaIR Brother Bill )
4. Alexa; Ha ha ha ha ha ha Ok come on!
5. Compliant code - code/text ratio; <IMO>These are largely concerns of accessibility and usability more than ranking considerations. Leave it alone would ya?
6. SandBox; <IMO>sure its just me but the common definition(s) are a moving target. I would rather hear about link maturity or domain aging factors
at least it is a tangible concept.
7. Questionable methods; obviously doorway pages (not target pages), cloaking, sketchy link building and their ilk is cause for concern.
8. Guaranteed rankings; Until the Search Engines Start publishing the algo data and letting us know ahead of time when the next major update will be nothing is guaranteed. Sure, there are performance based contracts, but that is a different beast than the Guaranteed Google #1!
9. Non competitive KW testimonials/case studies; proudly standing behind client rankings for terms that in truth, are not all that competitive shows a lack of understanding of the value of a given target.
10. Talk about ANY engine other than the Big 3.5; Really, outside of Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live Ask dont mention it .. There isnt much more I can say about that
11. A Blog full of OTHER PEOPLES Articles; That really somehow defeats the purpose of a Blog now dont it?
12. Stuffing your Meta-Keywords; its bad enough MKW are barely viable in 21st Century SEO, but a SEO company shouldnt be STUFFING them on their site...thats for certain.
the sites Meta Data should NEVER look like this;
<meta NAME="robots" CONTENT="index"> -- Yes I believe that why they came to the site. You cannot tame the beast as such ( u need to train). It is NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW that we care about ever using
<meta NAME="robots" CONTENT="follow"> same as above. We only care about the NOFOLLOW/NOINDEX
<meta NAME="coverage" content="Worldwide"> ha ha ha ha ha
<meta NAME="revisit-after" content="3 days"> this is NOT how crawl rates are established. REALLY. No SEO company should have this tag, it is simply sad.
<meta NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="URL REMOVED"> Important stuff
<meta NAME="COPYRIGHT" CONTENT=" URL REMOVED "> Why thank you
<meta NAME="CLASSIFICATION" CONTENT="URL REMOVED "> Nice URL. Whaaaaatttt?
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> YAAAYY Look Billy got one right auntie May!! Get him a cookie.
Incorrect stats - data claims; we all love to state fancy numbers and why not? Many of us are numbers freaks. But when there is nonsensical cirle talk, or quoted data that is known to be false, is in poor taste IMO.
Stay Current; if you are going to offer SEO news and Articles.. dont use large amounts of other people's work and have something more current than 2005 shuddderrrrr
So there we have it. The first (last?) installment of Bad SEO. I may do another Part II and more .. .. shoddy providers do irk me. ..and I can't help myself ( what did he just say?)
Until next rant.. play safe