Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#1 SEO Mistake is Imitating a #1 Ranked Site

#1 SEO Mistake = Imitating a website that ranks #1 in search for your top keywords.

Why is this wrong? Doesn't it make sense to model your SEO according to a winner, a website that is successful in being #1? How could that possibly be a bad policy?

This is not a good Search Engine Optimization strategy, because a site that comes up #1 can have many reasons for that position, especially common is longevity (website has been online for many years), social media promotions, and other things we may not be able to see.

A #1 website could be using a variety of promotional techniques and marketing channels, including link building, PPC (pay per click ads, like Google Adwords) and PR. Word of mouth could also be helping the website, as customers rave about the products or service.

A website that ranks #1 must be doing some or many things right -- but it could also be making SEO errors that must be avoided. Something is offsetting the negative effects of the SEO errors for their website, but if assume everything they're doing is right, you'll copy the error and run the risk of wrecking your SEO.

It's common for business people to say, when you recommend a Google-compliant SEO technique, "Well XYZ company isn't doing that, and they rank #1, and sales are skyrocketing for them, so I don't think we need to do it."

Your company needs to do SEO correctly, the way Google says to do it, regardless of what anybody else is doing.

In the worst case scenario, a website may be temporarily benefiting from black hat SEO, which is use of gimmicks or loopholes to artificially boost the rankings of a website which does not have the content to deserve that high ranking. 

Eventually, Google catches on to the tricks and will penalize or even remove the website from search altogether. You must avoid that like the plague.

Forget about what the #1 website is doing. Do what is required by Google. Then look at that favored website and see if they comply or not. If not, they must be doing something to compensate for the errors. And don't assume they'll remain #1 for very much longer.

If you want to know the right way to do SEO in any detail, whether it be proper use of H1 tags, img alt attributes, meta descriptions, meta keywords, robots protocols, site maps, etc. -- check with Google Webmaster Guidelines. Then you know you're doing what will boost your site in search results rankings.

In fact, if you just follow the link below and read just this Google Webmasters Guidelines webpage, and comply with the rules, you'll know more than most web designers -- not to mention gaining a big strategic advantage over your competitors.

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