SEO Doesn’t Work

Well, we’re probably all aware it doesn’t work quite as well as it used to.

In the good old days (pre Florida), you could still knock up some content of between 250-500 words, mark it up, point a few high PR links at it, and you were done. In all but the most competitive categories, that was enough to get you top ten, most of the time.

Not any more, in Google, at least.

There’s been a lot of speculation about what is required now. It’s fair to say that a number of leading commentators have settled on two factors as being key: inbound links, and actual visitor behaviour.

I’d add one more tip: PPC will directly affect your SEO.

In this Clickz article, Mike Grehan asks: “Links are good. But you can only get links from other people who have Web sites. What about the millions of end users who don’t have sites? The only way they can show a search engine their approval of results’ relevancy is by voting with clicks”.

And what is one quick and easy way to get clicks? Actually, let me re-phrase that: what is one quick and easy way to aquire a visitor behaviour score?


Any new site not doing PPC is missing the boat. Big time.

  1. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    I have to disagree with Mike there. I launched a new site two months ago and it gets 2,000 UV daily on a steady basis – no promotion involved. Yeah, it doesn’t get much SE traffic but it gets traffic from blogs and community sites. Search engines aren’t the end-all, be all of traffic.

  2. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    Oh and welcome to v7n, Peter. πŸ™‚

  3. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-18-2006

    Thanks John.

    Yes, there’s other (and often better) ways to get traffic. However, what I think Mike is getting at is that the traffic behaviour will affect your search rankings directly. No visitor interaction = no (or lesser) ranking.

  4. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    A valid point. πŸ™‚

  5. James TrottaJames Trotta04-18-2006

    I’m not sure I follow. When you say webmasters need PPC for SEO purposes (I agree with John that search engine traffic isn’t always required even if it’s always nice) does that mean we should display PPC ads? Or advertise using PPC ads?

    In the ESL area, the highest ranking sites don’t display PPC ads or advertise with them. They do it the old fashioned way with tons of old, powerful links. They still work IMO.

  6. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    Advertise using PPC. The point is, search engines can and do drive huge amounts of traffic, so ignoring PPC possibilities is ignoring a huge market.

  7. Diane VigilDiane Vigil04-18-2006

    Interesting point, Peter; wouldn’t have been the first time that visitor behavior was part of an algo.

    BTW, John, an author notation on these permalink pages would be helpful.

  8. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    Diane, I just noticed that these pages don’t have that. I’ll get it in the works.

  9. Diane VigilDiane Vigil04-18-2006

    Thanks, John.

    And congrats on getting Peter to blog here. I think this is the most I’ve ever seen him “talk” <grin> but, of course, Peter’s always a good read.

  10. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    Thanks for the congrats, Diane. Peter’s always been my favorite read so it’s like Christmas to have him writing here. πŸ™‚

  11. rayray04-18-2006

    Spend money on PPC even if you are in the top 5 or 10?

  12. John ScottJohn Scott04-18-2006

    Ray, welcome to the v7n blog. πŸ™‚

    The thing about PPC is, you only pay for clicks that you get, so if you target keywords that convert it can’t hurt.

  13. JuggoPopJuggoPop04-18-2006

    Glad someone pointed out that the author notation is needed. I was just about to say the same thing… thought I might have been missing it somewhere. How about author bios on the left menu (even if they link to it elsewhere)?

    Keep up these great posts… πŸ™‚

  14. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-18-2006

    “the highest ranking sites donÒ€ℒt display PPC ads or advertise with them. They do it the old fashioned way with tons of old, powerful links. They still work IMO.”

    Yes, I fully agree. As I stated in my post, two factors are key: inbound links, and actual visitor behaviour.

    PPC is an easy way for a new site to get the second condition happening. There are, of course, many other ways to do that.

    However, user activity on the site, and the resulting influence on search results is an interesting area. I need to do more testing on a connection I’m seeing more and more often. I’ll post more on this in due course, if you’re interested.

  15. John ScottJohn Scott04-19-2006

    >BTW, John, an author notation on these permalink pages would be helpful.

    Fixed πŸ˜‰

  16. PatrickPatrick04-27-2006

    How about getting ranked at another search engine where seo is easier, (say MSN) which will drive traffic and in turn help your rankings on Google.

  17. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-27-2006

    Nice one πŸ™‚

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