I was 7 years young when my cousin and I learnt how to cheat the system. The school yard was our version of Wall Street. A place to trade cheat codes for juice cartons. Did the kid who went to Japan on holiday, really have a special relationship with Nintendo?
Within a few weeks of holding L+R, paranoia started to set in. And I became increasingly concerned that a real-life Italian Plumber would burst into my room and expose me for the little fraud I was.
Pretty dramatic, I know. But the more I used cheat codes, the less I enjoyed to play the game. I missed the challenge that came with repeating the same level 10 times in a row. Only to rescue the princess once and for all on the 11th attempt.
So I got back to doing what I did best. Playing Super Mario when I should’ve been sleeping on a school night.
The SEO gaming culture
Sadly, my gaming days are well behind me. But it seems the cheat code culture of yesteryear has followed some people into adulthood. Only this time, it’s websites not 2d princesses that are at stake. The prize? A chance to rank at the top of Google’s organic search. The game in question? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The only problem is, there are no cheat codes for Google. In fact, the only way to gain a good ranking on the leader board is to have a website that solves your ideal client’s problems.
But shady SEO companies still continue to swarm like kids in the playground. Making promises they can’t keep. About secrets they don’t have.
Open discussions quickly transform into “Search Engine Over-complication” as self-proclaimed SEO experts step up to answer queries using the best, most up to date, tech lingo they can muster.
All the while, business owners with good intentions are left feeling confused and disempowered about SEO.
On the front end or the back. That’s right. No amount of computing black magic can make a website miraculously levitate up the rankings.
Here’s 3 SEO myths it’s time to defeat in 2017
There’s no quick way to jump up the Google rankings
Instead it takes practice to develop the right skills and strategy to create a great experience for your ideal clients. Google wants to give their users a high quality service, just like you.
And like any competitive landscape, it takes time to build a digital footprint and a reputation for your brand. So don’t be disheartened if you’re not at the top of the leader board.
Instead, invest in the resources you need to create a high quality experience through your website. And the rankings will take care of themselves.
Buying links will not buy you a better position in the organic rankings
Google have made it clear that buying links doesn’t help improve rankings. And more importantly, it doesn’t improve the experience your ideal clients have when they visit your site.
In fact, cheat codes like these can have an adverse effect on your rankings. Because techniques like this are flagged as shady and not in the best interests of Google users who are searching for reliable results. Nobody wants their website links splattered on a directory that nobody knows exists
Google partners don’t have a special relationship with the search engine
Anyone can gain a Google Adwords certification. It doesn’t mean they have secret access to Google’s illusive algorithm. There’s no Google certification for SEO. So if a company tells you they’re a Google Partner that means they’ve demonstrated their ability to create Adwords campaigns. This is separate to SEO which works on cultivating your organic search presence.
All in all, SEO is about showing up for your customers when they need you the most. And giving them a memorable experience when they browse website. And there is no cheat code for how you make your audience feel. Just like real life.
Now, over to you. What SEO myths have you experienced? And how did you overcome these?