The 13 Most Costly SEO Mistakes… How Many Are You Making Right Now?

My friend, I have little doubt this will be the most valuable message on SEO you ever read…

And if you act on the advice that follows, you can write your own ticket in this world and profit beyond your wildest dreams with as many websites as it takes to please your greedy little heart.

Fact: There are too many damn gurus in this business.  Most of who do not practice what they preach.  There’s little I can tell you on how to spot a real one. But…

The least I can do is set the record straight.

The next time you hear a guru tell you he’s got a secret that will show you how to deal with the Panda update, turn around and…

RUN!

He doesn’t know what he’s talking about and I can prove it.

You see…

Google is not a human being.

Google is thousands of human beings with rooms full of supercomputers.  You’re never going to beat them.  Don’t try.  And you know what else?  You don’t need to.  

Many people think Google updates its algorithm only once per year – this is absurd.  The fact is Google updates many thousands of times per year and most go unannounced.  Therefore, if you are trying to rank with some kind of formula, you are doing business the wrong way.  If you are buying products that teach you how to rank in Google… or buy in to theories on how to do so… stop now and never do it again.

I hope this message changes the way you think, forever.

Everything I will tell you from this point forward comes straight from Mother Google — not from some moron who just wants to make some easy money.

So let’s hear it…

From Google With Love (emphasis added by me)

“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals. Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.”

There are three main lessons I want you pull from Google’s advice:

1) The person who says he can teach you to “game” Google… is an idiot.

2) The person who teaches that Panda was a big deal… is ignorant.

3) Focus on humans, not on robots.

Now, you may consider this bad news but…

The word on the street is…

If and when your site does make it to the top ten results for your keyword, sooner or later your site will come up for review… by a living, breathing human being.  That’s correct.  Google is going to pay someone to manually look at and give their opinion of your site — and if it isn’t good — off you go!

Google has explained that this is why you may be on page one… and then when you come back and check another day, you’re on page thirty-two.

Like I’ve said, you cannot game Google.

But here’s what you can do:

I’m going to give you 13 questions human reviewers will ask themselves about your site (taken from Google documents).  I highly suggest you listen, learn, and implement.  That is, if you ever want to see the light of day on Google’s first page.

Take these questions and use them as a lens through which to view your site.  How well does your site hold up?  Here are…

13 Revealing SEO Questions

(with tips from yours truly)

Q1: “Would you trust the information presented in the article/website?”

Buck’s Tip:  Some say we live in the “Information Age” — the problem is, most of the information is useless.  The litmus test of a good website (assuming you find the site interesting) is, “Can I believe this site?” Get a family member or friend to look at your site — but don’t tell them it’s your site.  This way, you will get an honest review.  Just send them a link and ask what they think.

Q2: “Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?”

Buck’s Tip: Here lies the danger of using PLR.  Hopefully you know to re-write the PLR — but have you ever considered adding your own personal flair and opinion to the content?  A lot of writing on the Internet is missing something.  It’s missing a human touch… the pulse of a human heart that whispers, “This was written by a real person.” On top of that, a little research can go a long way.  Remember, make your content VALUABLE.

Q3: “Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?”

Buck’s Tip:  Have you been to a site where it was obvious the person either outsourced articles or quickly put together a bunch of crappy info?  Or worse, they copied info from somewhere else?  Usually you can FEEL they have no idea what they’re talking about.  You say you have?  Okay… then why would YOU turn around and make a site the same way?  I’m always amazed how people can lose their common sense as soon as they get behind the pen.  When planning out the content to go on your site, ask yourself, “What would I want to read about?  What subjects in this niche would be intensely interesting to me?”  You can’t go wrong doing that.

Q4: “Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?”

Buck’s Tip:  What an excellent question!  I think this one is my favorite.  You would like to make some money, wouldn’t you?  This is where your own human (family member) review would come in handy.  Ask Uncle Bob if he would buy from your site (and remember, don’t tell him it’s your site).  If he says no, then ask why and implement the changes he suggests.

Q5: “Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?”

Buck’s Tip:  Nothing screams amateur like grammar mistakes.  Either take your time and do it right or take the time to get a proofreader.  Don’t be embarrassed to have mistakes, even Microsoft Word won’t catch them all.

Q6: “Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?”

Buck’s Tip:  Ouch.  Google is one smart cat.  But this fits perfectly with what you’ve learned so far.  Write to humans and you can’t go wrong… in fact, you’ll only go up, up, up.  And don’t you dare stuff your keyword in that post as often as you can.

Q7: “Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?”

Buck’s Tip:  Now notice this:  ”Original analysis” — analysis is a fancy word for opinion.  Of course, you need to have some facts to back up your opinion… otherwise you’re just an animal willing to run his mouth… like me :>

Q8: “Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”

Buck’s Tip:  Your page is going to be compared to the other pages you’re competing with (on page one for your keyword).  So if that’s what the reviewer looks at, that’s what you should look at too.  Scope out the competition.  And make sure you’re better than them.

Q9: “Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”

Buck’s Tip: This is a big weakness for a lot of sites.  What is your domain name and extension?  In my opinion, the .com domain extension is the best you can get.  Think: How often do you see a .net or a .info at the top of Google?  Check around and try to find one.  And the problem with the .org extension is this: Are you really an organization?  Maybe you could try to fake your way, but even then it’s a lie.  Do you want to be a liar?  Do you want to give YOUR money to a liar?  Again, this is just my opinion and recommendation — but I much prefer the .com to anything else.  You can try to reason your way to a view opposing mine, but remember, the person who reviews your site doesn’t know you or anything about you.  You are not smarter than that person, you are just another cog in the wheel to him. 

Q10: “Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?”

Buck’s Tip:  I like this tip.  Go beyond obvious.  It’s called news for a reason… it’s new.  Will your readers already know what you’re writing about?

Q11: “Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?”

Buck’s Tip:  This is another excellent benchmark.  Look at all your bookmarks and saved sites.  Notice their features, sections, posts.  Why did you save them?  Take notes.  And then implement on your site.

Q12: “Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?”

Buck’s Tip:  Your site should not look like a Las Vegas casino sign.  Nothing should distract your reader from the content — you know that you are repulsed by these types of sites… so why build one yourself?

Q13: “Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?”

Buck’s Tip:  They’re really trying to hammer out sites that don’t create value.  So ask yourself: Is your post good enough to be an article in a magazine?  It’s a good goal for each post.

Whew, that almost put me out of breath.  Reminds me of an old girlfriend — anyways…

Now that we know what Google has to say…

Let’s hear from a rich expert:

Steve Pavlina is an uber-successful blogger in the personal development niche (which many would argue is and was saturated).  But that didn’t stop him.  In fact, he started in 2004 and Mr. Pavlina reported in 2006 that he was getting over 700,000 visitors PER MONTH… without spending money on marketing, tricks, or gimmicks.  Plus he never focuses on SEO or trying to rank.  Here are his ten ideas on why his site is so successful.  Let’s see if they gel with what we’ve discussed so far:

1.) Create valuable content.

2) Create original content. (The secret to get readers to stick around.)

3.) Create timeless content. (People still quote Aristotle… but do you know any news reporters from that time?)

4.) Write for human beings first, computers second.

5.) Know why you want a high-traffic site. (Have a clear goal.)

6.) Let your audience see the real you. (Get out from behind the computer.)

7.) Write what is true for you, and live with the consequences. (Be honest, unless you want to run for a political office.)

8.) Treat your visitors like real human beings. (You’re writing to real, savvy people. Don’t talk down to them.)

9.) Keep money in its proper place.

10.) If you forget the first nine suggestions, just focus on genuinely helping people, and the rest will take care of itself.

If you take away anything, let it be this: Forget normal SEO.  Replace what you call SEO with what I’ll call FOH –

Focus On Humans

I don’t want to take any more of your time, but I hope you enjoyed my post.  If you don’t already know, this is my first blog post for you.

How did I do?  Did you enjoy it?  Let me know.  And tell me what other SEO problems, challenges, or issues would you like to hear about.

The best comment gets a prize.

So I’ll see you in the comments section, right?…

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61 Responses to The 13 Most Costly SEO Mistakes… How Many Are You Making Right Now?

  1. Rae says:

    I don’t know how many marketers out there are always looking for the next new thing that is going to give them an “easy button” answer to all their marketing problems, and makes it so you don’t have to do any work at all. Let’s face it…e-mails are sent out by the dozens by “gurus” who want to sell you products that promise you tons of traffic and sales and you don’t have to do a thing to get it. WRONG!
    It always goes back to the very basics. Create original content, give something valuable to your reader, and as you said, share something of yourself.
    Be passionate about what you are doing…don’t just throw a bunch of junk on a website hoping to get someone to buy something you know nothing about.
    I personally recommend products that I have used and can really give a valid review on and strongly recommend….or I recommend services that I think are close to my heart and would love to do myself.
    Just provide good quality stuff and people will trust you and buy from you. Nobody wants to be “sold.”

    • Bucky says:

      I think you’re absolutely right, Rae — laziness tends to be a part of human nature… we’d just rather have all the benefits without any of the work…

      But, remember that a lot of people (as beginners) have no way to judge whether or not this “guru” is telling the truth… but they hope he is, so they buy.

      Sounds like you’re headed down the right path so keep up the good work and take care!

  2. Mary Simpson says:

    Very well said. Anyone going through the checklist and honestly evaluating and answering each question should be able to create sites that are valuable to the viewers. Valuable sites bring return visits, which in turn bring in money or whatever it is that the website creator is seeking. As you so well point out, to paraphrase the “Golden Rule,” give the visitors what you would want if you were in their place. That’s the bottom line if you want to be successful! Good job.

  3. Paul Counts says:

    Great article! I was ironically getting ready to write a similar article on my blog about how SEO really is not as complicated as people want to make it out to be. Oh well, I will just have to link to this article as I really couldn’t have said this better myself. :)

    Everything you said is 100% accurate with SEO and traffic. It drives me nuts out there that people out there trying to peddle things like “SEO Is Dead”, “Learn Panda or Else”, etc.

    Good for you and I hope people will listen to this!

    • Bucky says:

      Fancy seeing you here, Paul! :) Hope you’re well.

      There was a guru selling a course the other day and her main headline was “Backlinks Are Dead!” — and I’m sure she racked up the sales… but that’s just the industry we’re in.

      Thanks for your support and comment!

      • Paul Counts says:

        Thanks Bucky! I am doing really well! I think I saw that same “Backlinks Are Dead!” headline. It is sad that people have to use death to sell in our industry.

        No problem on the support and comment!

  4. Mark says:

    How refreshing was that??!! If everyone, including Big G adhears to that set of parameters then I won’t waste half a day wading thru a pile of hype/junk sites every time I want or need to find some truely useful information. To be sure, that whining noise you hear is merely those who have their ‘money sites’ careening into the PR abyss. Such are the wages of no useful content, hyped up pitches and products of dubious value. Not to kick anyone on the way out the door, but, good riddance. Leaves room at the top for those of us who ‘get it’.
    Ya know, you’re pretty astute for a lil’ ole ‘roo. Thanks for a great post!

  5. Andre Arnett says:

    I think more and more people are now beginning to understand how serious it is to pay attention to exactly what Google wants if you want to get your site looked at and to see it moving up to the first page. SEO is very important for all of us to learn. And good SEO is even better. I like the information you have provided as it gives some good tips on dos and do nots. The Q&A is priceless filled with information that everyone needs to know and with questions that they may or may not think of asking. Thanks for providing such an interesting read.

    • Bucky says:

      So happy to hear from you Andre… we get you on all the webinars so I’m gonna try and get you on the blog posts now :)

      Thanks for the compliments.

  6. M. Johnson says:

    This is very informative and helpful for anyone who is searching and going from one thing to the next and burning themselves out. This is a good check list to use for measuring the value of their site. I think sometimes we forget to just keep it simple. Every page that’s placed on a site should trigger a question as to the value of it’s content.
    Good info!

  7. Fine4u2say says:

    I believe all that you wrote . Thank you for the good advice. You are experienced and knowledgeable so I hope you can help me with a troubling question. Do I want to focus on a niche and use five keywords with some long tail keywords or do I want to have 100 keywords?

    • Bucky says:

      Focus on humans, not on niches. Don’t worry about keywords, worry about providing exceptional value. I’ll continue on subjects like these in the my next SEO posts — thanks for the comment.

  8. Andy Mackow says:

    So true Buck, reading this post got me thinking, reminiscing, in fact going into a cold sweat…………

    I remember sitting in a seminar a number of months ago, a little bored, admittedly, so flipped open my iPad and begun to look through my list of blogs, never forget that sick feeling when I saw that, one by one my sites, most of which had been ranking in the top 20 in google for their targeted keyword phrases had been deindexed by google, after its Panda update.

    This was so gutting as my mentor at the time was a “guru” in targeted product niche SEO micro blog arena and I had bought into their system and over 12 months with the help of 12 virtual assistants in the Philippines, had built a portfolio of almost 1000 (yes, one thousand) micro sites. And over night had the whole lot pulled from under my feet.

    The problem was that I was not considering my readers, I was playing the whole SEO, first page of google in a week, thinking that I have been taught about Google loopholes and how to exploit them. Trust me when your paying $9 per domain name and have around 25 hosting accounts, then the salaries for a team of virtual assistants and article writers, it was an expensive first major mistake of my internet marketing career. What I did wrong was not take a step back, and think hard about what I was doing.

    I stood back, and revaluated my strategy, looked at why this possibly happened, and decided I was not demonstrating my sites had been giving “value” to the visitor. Now I have fewer sites (12 in total), all authority type site with lots, and lots of quality targeted unique content, which are ranking well, and more than anything are easier to monitor. My current challenge is keeping the visitor on my sites longer and longer showing google, that the user likes my site, and also making them more sticky to keep the visitors returning.

    So my advice to your readership is this, “listen with open ears to what Bucks saying about Google, digest, learn and apply this advice, it may save you a few quid in the long run, and prevent you from going down the wrong path”.

    • Bucky says:

      Wow, Andy — I bet that felt like getting punched in the stomach.

      That’s just one of the those experiences where you have to get up, dust yourself off, say “lesson learned”, and march on…

      I tip my hat to you… thanks for the compliment.

  9. Excellent post! Everything you/Google would like to see in a site are things I myself judge other sites on to decide whether the site is worth my time or not. It really is all about the readers. Thanks for the well-written post.

  10. Mary says:

    Loved the post. However, why is the most reasonable and effective method so hard to implement???

    • Bucky says:

      My guess would be it requires the most diligent work.

    • Ginger Mudd says:

      It is hard to implement because people think they are going to get rich quickand it just doesn’t work that way. It takes work. If not hard work then focused, disciplined and as Bucky says diligent work.

      And it helps to have a goal. It doesn’t have to be a money oriented goal.

      My best performing sites…in terms of traffic and stickiness…are on subjects that I am both knowledgeable and passionate about. I started my first site for the sole purpose of helping people solve particular problems. My articles are always thoroughly researched with references included. And even on subjects that I know well…related to my career and I have expertise…I still do research. I double check what I’m saying. I try to give detailed explanations of technical terms.

      When I write with the underlying goal of helping people…the money just follows…naturally. But it takes work!

      • Ginger Mudd says:

        I meant to say Thanks James for a very good article. I love the way you write. Always very informative, honest and down to earth!

  11. Mike says:

    Very informative and eye opening. I guess the “secret” is truly to be yourself and show your passion for what you love to do. I’m guessing this will leap out at “our” readers.

    Warmest Regards
    Mike

  12. Frank Pacey says:

    Thank you very much for the article, Bucky.

    The real problem is how to make your content valuable and encourage trust.

    Best regards,
    Frank

    • Bucky says:

      Frank, I think this article will help you determine how to make your content valuable — but an article on creating trust is a good idea.

      Thanks!

  13. Barbara Dowling says:

    Wow, your post is quite refreshing! Each one of the tips is better than the next! And the icing on the cake—focus on humans!

    I loved Q4 regarding credit card info. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve gone to and just clicked off because I did not feel comfortable putting my credit card info there. I also loved Q11–would I want to bookmark or share the site with a friend? That should be the ultimate goal–repeat business and referral business–YES!

    I have been watching webinars and buying every new shiny object out there to the point there’s no time to implement. This posting really hit home to just get out there and buckle down to the basics–remembering people buy from people they know, like and trust. These are great guidelines to achieve that. Thanks for the great post and all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

    • Bucky says:

      Love your comments, Barbara. Thanks for telling me which questions you liked best. I hope you have a fantastic and successful new year as well.

  14. crystal says:

    Whew! Now that is something I can manage FOH instead of SEO. And if it’s not outsourced a person would become an expert in that niche (subject of interest) very quickly. Okay that’s one techy thingy down, I’m putting that nagging got to do, look into, figure out how to and who to out source it toooo…….
    out of my MIND. Now alls I have to do is figure out this keyword domain .com stuff. I have been held up on this it seems forever!! So I have been made to understand that if a person doesn’t have a good domain name the game is over before it starts. Also the niche of interest should not have any authority sites on the first page of google or else its just a waste of time because no one will be looking at your site. Well it just seems… in my experience anyways, that all niches (subjects of interest SOI) lol. have some sort of authorities hangin around. I like and appreciate your post very much, thanks for sharing your expertise Bucky! Looking forward to the next post.
    Take care,
    crystal

    • Bucky says:

      Hey Crystal, the domain is important but consider this… Steven Pavlina’s domain is just his name with a .com at the end. It was not an exact match domain and no keyword was present either — it was, instead, the content that kept people coming back.

      In fact, the content was so good people sent it to their friends. That’s how I found out about him, a friend told me.

      A lot of the things we worry about are just false alarms.

      I hope future posts can help you even more.

      Take care!

  15. Wanda says:

    Loved the information and appreciated it very much although I’m computer illiterate and didn’t even understand half of it. I already have a superior feedback record about how well I treat my customers and it hasn’t helped me one bit!

  16. AINOON DAVIES says:

    Ah finally someone has spoken up…what took you so long ;) ??? I’ve had enough of finding emails in my mail box from self proclaim SEO experts preaching their theories and most times scaring the hell out of me !! Have you noticed that these experts seem to multiply like the virus!

    I’m not saying that all of them are wrong but most of them seem to delight in panicking the newbies..ah yes the newbies, that’s where the business is really!!!

    Everytime there is a whisper of a Google update, by miracle there’s somebody out there with a ready answer on how to beat Google and with clock precision there’s a stampede for the product!

    • Bucky says:

      There’s my buddy, Ainoon! I was wondering when you were going to comment…

      And virus is too nice of a word.

      You have a nice day over there in France, sir!

      Take care.

  17. karmanto says:

    its good event to follow

  18. Dean says:

    Good Stuff Bucky – as usual.

    I’m gonna try an take advantage a dis stuff! The way I sees it is all I really gotta do is write good and pretend I’m interested people an didn steal stuff from other sites an stuff. No what I mean??? Ain’t that the kinda stuff you said yourself – I get out my encyclopedia Googleanica and go searchin round till I find stuff I can write good about – then write it, put my feet up on da keyboard eat popcorn watch HD TV on the monitor, pass gas an watch the bucks roll in and stuff. Got it Bucky Thanks!
    Just call me Slick.

  19. Bucky says:

    haha yo yo yo Slick, my man, can I get a copy of that Encyclopedia Googleanica? Hook me up dawg.

  20. Nick Johnson says:

    Hi Bucky,
    Interesting article and very useful.

    If I can add my two cents worth the simplest way to judge the value of you site is too use Google Analytics and I really only look at two metrics when I want to see how my sites are doing – time spent and number of page views. I have notices when these two are high my income is high ands its also true when they are low my sales go down.

    Another stick I would like to beat gurus with was an interesting blog post I read just before Christmas where the author laid out a plan for getting $100 per day from a website. Two things impressed me – he suggested no monetizing for the first two months and also said that creating money should be regarded as a long term process. Put your hands up how many people really have websites that generate that sort of money?? If you do the maths and followed this blueprint and you had three websites generating $100 per day you could be earing $109,500 in a years time, I don’t care wear you are that a reasonable income. Everything he wrote was blindingly obvious but it also needed that one vital element – GOOD CONTENT.

    So my resolution for 2012 – revisit all my blogs see which ones I can turn around and NO MORE SHINY OBJECTS until I have gone through all the stuff I bought last year.

    Regards

    Nick Johnson
    http://www.bestantiagingproductsnews.com

  21. Steve says:

    I had a chance to read an overview of the Google guidelines to human reviewers that was leaked earlier this year, and you’re spot on, Bucky. They used the term “thin affiliate sites” to describe those sites that failed to answer the questions you ask above. The human reviewers also are directed to rank sites as Vital, Relevant, Slightly Relevant, Useless or Spam. A vital site would be something like Apple’s site for search terms related to Apple Products. For affiliate marketers, Relevant is what you are shooting for. We should all copy your questions when we add content to our sites because satisfying those things will get us that Relevant rating when the human reviewers take a look.

    • Bucky says:

      Good points, Steve. I was aiming for this post to be valuable enough that some would want to print it out and keep it. Glad you found the questions valuable!

  22. Reg B. says:

    First off you make some valid points 99% of the Guru’s want your money with crappy products to make you a ton of money… Your 13 points are on point to a successful website. Being that said,a Ugly site can also rank in the top 10 if you update it regularly.If could write content I be number 1 on all search engines… Content is what people look for,something to give then information on a problem they or to educate themselves in a topic or niche… So if you give them what they want then you will build trust and that starts the word of mouth, that “Hey this guy (or Gal) knows what they are talking about”… And then and only then if you have a product or a good adsense product pops up they will buy from you. But don’t stop there continue to feed them or otherwise they will die… So many times I get left hanging on a subject or go to a website that the last article was posted 2 years ago… What a waste of time… But thanks for the information it will be put to good use…
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Reg B.

  23. Maria Garcia says:

    All small jewels of knowledge, gathered together add up to wisdom one day. Thanx for the jewels!

  24. Lilly Smith says:

    I did like most of it. However, I just started a .org site so I hope you’re wrong about .org sites.

  25. Lee S says:

    Hello Bucky,
    Good stuff. One of the biggest “secrets” to SEO is that there is no secret, just a combination of systems and strategy applied over a long(er) period of time. One of the biggest mistakes people make is seeing SEO as a short term thing.

    Second, people see SEO as huge and incredibly overwhelming, but, if you just start with 4 basics you’ll get about 80% of the results without having to go through the tedious 20% of the work.

    My humble opinion of the The 4 basics:
    1. your H1 tags
    2. your internal linking relevancy’s
    3. your URL
    4. your title tags

    cheers,
    Lee

    • Mike W says:

      That may have been true before Panda and Penguin but certainly there are many examples of it not being true now. Click my name for my blog about this and read why these basic SEO things simply are not working at this point.

      What does work? Hell if I know. Hell if Google even knows! I think they’ve clearly lost their minds with this Penguin update! All you have to do is search using google and you’ll find more lousy search results on page one than ever before.

      I do agree that H1 tags etc are important. It’s basic. But obviously just these 4 steps plus great content are not going to get you very far with google in a competitive niche. Not at this point in time. Not when sites that are templates created by a manufacturer of a product and used by every one of their distibutors is ranking in the Top 5 on google, while sites with tons of informative content are on page 30!

  26. Great advice bucky,

    I found that you can’t just throw up a me too blog or site these days. It’s too saturated and full of the same. I actually subscribe to everything that you mentioned for SEO and concentrate on building value for the reader first and foremost. the rest takes care of itself. Backlinks and articles are important, but not if you don’t infuse quality and into each one.
    That’s what big G is looking for as well as real readers.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

  27. James Mann says:

    Now this is a quality and informative post. Most enjoyable.

    One thing that I have found helps is to get keyworded domains for a phrase that one can actually make money with.

    I always try to get a DOT com, even if I have to use a hyphen or two in the domain. Living in Canada I have tried .ca and never been able to get any ranking. I have even purchased a .ca as well as a .com and used almost identical content and the .com blew the .ca out of the water.

    I haven’t got that figured out yet.

  28. myke says:

    Hi,
    Very thought provoking article and very well written.
    I’m no expert but I have often thought, how trying to pull
    the wool over Google’s eyes was a way forward in the internet
    marketing world.
    It defies logic to think you can outwit a multi-billion dollar giant
    who actually makes the rules.
    Warm regards,
    myke

  29. Lauree says:

    Thank you, Bucky! I not only read the article, but printed it off as it is going to be extremely valuable as I learn more about internet marketing. I have also read all the responses, and appreciate and thank the senders for their input, which is also helpful to me. I guess everyone else is an experienced marketer — no-one has commented on how much value this information has for someone like myself, just getting started and seeing so many of those “death” notices in my inbox. I am obviously a slow learner, but I have signed up to far too many lists, and am now realising that 90% of them are of no use, hence I am busy unsubscribing. Those I will remain on are your own and others of like ilk. Thank you again for pointing me in the right direction and helping me avoid disaster. And a Happy and Successful New Year to you and all, Lauree

  30. Put a human head (yourself) where possible on all of your content online including comments.
    This includes you as well Bucky.

  31. Today was my first introduction to you. Never heard of you before. But clicked on an email about your kindle book product. Subsequently looked around your site and read the above blog post about SEO.

    Oh, my gosh…somebody’s honest. That and the 13 points blew me away. I am now a new customer and follower and look forward to hearing more honest words of wisdom from you.

    Donna

    • Livater says:

      You are right Donna, I have been watching and visiting the site for awhile. The article is great. I believe Buck is a nice guy that I can trust after being duped many times by the so called “gurus”. Just want to add that.

      Keep up the good work Buck for newbies like me.

      Livater

  32. bob marconi says:

    It has gotten to the point that when I see the word ‘SECRET’ in any emails or sales pages, I just use the delete button. Or all the sales pages, webinars and videos I get showing how ‘They’ struggled and overcame, etc. If you pay attention to the ‘scripts’ they all use the same one with minor changes…

    The same holds true for folks who show me how many $$$ I can earn ‘Guaranteed’ using their product or service…

    It is getting so that finding someone to trust is almost impossible these days.

    (Just getting started with my site…)

  33. Anshul says:

    Reads like the press release form Google when they released the Panda update early last year but very valid points:)

    Just on the subject of using PLR content, I do in fact use these articles for a number of my niche sites and have them re-written at writing service like the content authority. I get exceptional results my visitors would like to read and still enjoy good rankings so depends on how you use them.

  34. Hi – what a fanastic post and inspirational to boot – thanks so much for the insights James. These things are so obvious that I find myself questioning what has happened to our humanity. Yes we all need to make a living and yes we should do it with honesty and integrity in both the online and offline world. As an ‘Aussie roo’ I think it’s pretty cool that you lined up integrity, down to earth etc with the Aussie thing, because you know we Aussies know how to dodge crap, forgo raw prawns and go for fair dinkum every time. Internet marketing is like walking across a paddock full of roo poo – just have to watch where you put your feet! Your ten questions provide a guide as to where to put your feet.

    carolc

  35. Well – I don’t know how I missed this post before, but I sure am glad I found it now. It is a great post with so much fantastic information. We all should know everything that is in this post, but we certainly act like we have never even heard of it sometimes.

    I am as guilty as anybody in violating these 13 questions (should be rules). But, I certainly intend to do better. I have printed these out and tacked them up on my wall as a reminder.

    Thanks so much for this great post and I will check in more often so I don’t get so far behind.

    Herschel Lawhorn

  36. Roy A. Jones says:

    It’s always been about giving the humans what they want. Even before Panda what good did it do to have your site on page 1 of Google if your site had useless content and nobody wanted to stick around to see your offers anyway? Yes you would have been good at SEO but no one was buying from you because they left quicker than they found your site. And if we stop and think about it who doesn’t prefer the human touch. When you call the power or cable company who is speaking to you at the beginning? It’s not a human and if you are like me you get irritated. We need to think of our websites and blogs like this also, give them a human. People love people. If it’s not human we tend to walk away. The obvious thing that you brought to my attention was to look at all the sites on page 1 of the niche which you are going to be competing with and then make your site a little or a lot better than theirs.
    And then there’s those sites that claim to make you rich over night. So a lot of bite the hook.Unfortunately all of us newbies enter this endeavor seeking the overnight riches. What we need to realize is all the real GURU’s did not get to where they are now without hard work. It takes time to figure out which path in the IM world you are going to specialize in and then hone in your skills. It takes time to build a list. Authority websites don’t happen overnight. All these skills are learnable but we feel overwhelmed so we purchase one product after another thinking each time that this will your money maker. Then all of a sudden we find ourselves broke. Thats when most of us give up. The rest of us just get mad and figure out that most of the gurus are just selling junk to make a $. I like to these jokers
    Giving
    Unlimited
    Relatively
    Useless
    Specials
    Sorry had to get that one off my chest. Anyway this is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time, thank you.
    Roy A. Jones

  37. Ben Yau says:

    Wow, reading this post combined with your previous post about domain names. It does give me a lot to think over since many of my micro niche sites are .net and .org. I definitely like the questions you pose, especially when it comes to content and writing.

    So far I have toed the waters of outsourcing, and obviously not well because the content that comes back is not quite worthy of what I want to put on my sites, and so I pretty much still write everything.

    That’s why I vote every week for your Outsourcing product in your polls :) I’d like to know how to outsource good quality content and reasonable prices. I’m still new at this and that would be valuable to know.

    No questions this time around, except for a plea for MORE BLOG POSTS. I find your posts thought provoking and useful! Please don’t tell me the Buck stops here! (haha) Thanks Bucky!

  38. Mike W says:

    I agree and disagree…
    First of all, if you think “content is king” you are wrong. The Penguin update has killed many good sites with great content while rewarding sites with lousy content. If you don’t believe me I can point you to my blog about google that has lots of examples of this, or you can just google “penguin update” like I did to find a lot of examples. In my niche I see my competitors with the worst of sites ranking on page 1 now while my site full of content is nowhere to be found. SEO is super important; the question is “what does google want?” in terms of SEO. (That’s the name of my blog too by the way…)

    Secondly as far as humans getting involved, while they may get involved at some point with some sites, I find it hard to believe that google has enough employees to check all first page sites! And if they do, they are sure a bunch of stupid humans right now, regarding the rankings being given after the Penguin update.

    So I don’t mean to be disrespectful but some of this stuff google says just doesn’t add up with the facts and results. IMHO.

  39. RoseG says:

    You’ve made some very worthwhile points in this post, I am going to make sure that I remember to take action on them.

    RoseG

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