Forget SEO – It Is A Total Waste Of Time

Now, I know that this is a controversial statement but hear me out before passing judgment on my parentage or doubting my sanity..

I am NOT saying SEO is dead per se. You can, with a lot of work rank a website for long tail and low competition keywords, although getting a new site to rank for highly competitive keywords is like pushing water uphill, and is not going to happen whatever those SEO professionals tell you.

The perception that organic rankings in google is free is incorrect.

My point is that the amount of time it takes and the associated costs to get a site ranked, especially in a competitive niche, is not always worth the effort.

With paid traffic you can switch it on and off as you like and you can easily and accurately measure the ROI.

Who is Lloyd Hester and What Does He Know?

Gone are the days where you could rank a site on page one of google in a few minutes. I know, I used to do it. Try typing in “Who is the number one SEO expert” into google or “Lightning Fast Google Rankings” or click on these links to go straight there.  Who is the number one SEO Expert? or just Number one SEO expert and also lightning fast google rankings  NOTE:  In reality, this is not that impressive if you remove the inverted commas the result disappears from the first few pages at least.

Continuous and Ongoing Changes For Marketers

What worked then does not work now. And, what works today will probably not work tomorrow.

The Guru’s have stopped selling SEO ranking tools and gone over to selling youtube ranking, Amazon sales machines and running webinars for profit!

If you are working on SEO then you are aiming at getting google to rank your site in the search engine ranking pages (SERPS).

Google’s terms state that any type of manipulation to improve rankings is a bad thing. Not up there with fox hunting or mistreating defenceless animals but they do not like it and spend their lives trying to find out how we do it and blocking it.

They really don’t like it. I imagine that their underground, protected shelter looks a lot like the CTU unit out of 24. Who knows, maybe they have their own Jack Baeur running about searching out and torturing those of us planning a Black Hat campaign on the World?

Any form of link building that is done for the purpose of improving your site’s position in the SERPS  is against the mighty G rules. That’s it.

Not only that, google are continually updating their algorithms to cause us pain and giving them silly names like penguin and panda!

Now this being said, of course, there are a lot of ways to build links and I am not suggesting that you totally ignore them. However, in my humble opinion, I would forget SEO for SEO’s sake.

Content Is King – Oh Yes

Content is king and if you are producing and posting relevant, informative, educational and interesting content that provides value to your readers, you will find those people will naturally talk about it, it will get syndicated and links will grow naturally.

Posting to snapchat (HUGE at the moment) facebook, Instagram, twitter, Pinterest and youtube can all help drive traffic to your site and if you get a lot of interaction, retweets, pins. Likes etc, then you could well get promoted into googles prized ‘first-page’ for a certain low competition keyword.

Using on-page SEO techniques are a different matter, however, if you are producing content it does not take long to optimise it properly which will give you a boost.

Adding the right h1, h2 tags, using keywords in your title and related phrases in the body text is all good and will make a positive difference.

But, if you want to drive guaranteed traffic to your site then I would suggest paying for traffic. Shock, Horror.

If you value your time then this is by far the cheapest way. Running a facebook campaign is not expensive and as long as you get a reasonable ROI then it is not a problem.

Spending all your time and effort trying to rank a website only to get it slapped down a few places, replaced, or worse still totally wiped out in a few weeks is soul destroying and whilst we can shout at google all we like, it is their ball and they can do what they like with it (well nearly)

If you are building amazon affiliate sites for example, why spend hours writing unique content and building links to it when you can put up a site quickly, run an ad campaign and get instant results. If it does well ramp it up, if not then move on the next one.

Always The Exception To The Rule

There are always exceptions to the rule and I am sure there will be plenty of people who will be quick to tell me of their SEO gymnastics and phenomenal results but, I would put a pound to a penny that there are very few of them that have ranked for a very competitive term.

It is still easy to rank for “What to do in Azerbaijan for the over the fifties” or “The best vinegar to make pickled onions” But, to rank for a term like “best mobile phone” or “top t-shirt designs” the chances are it is not going to happen.

You can even sell it to someone who has not read this post and let them try to SEO the crap out of it and see if they can rank it.

Overall, the work it takes, and the unreliability makes it a fools errand.

Of course, I do not expect everyone to agree but I have yet to see an argument that has made me change my mind.

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  1. igor Griffiths says:

    Hello Lloyd

    I totally agree with you when it comes to SEO. Attempting to wrestle a wild bear is never going to end well for you and neither is trying to outwit Google which is why putting all your focus on SEO is a bad idea.

    Sure understanding what the latest algorithm changes may mean is useful, but you should never dance to the tune of others, rather create your own communities and become immune to the shenanigans of the wild bear that is Google.

    igor

  2. Dawn says:

    I tend to disagree. The methods you describe (social book marking), to drive traffic to your website or perhaps a landing page, are all forms of SEO or SEM.

    I think link building is good…but you have to know how to do it so that it appears “natural.” I’m sure you know why many PBNs get hit. They are spammy; with no real content, or set up to leave footprints so Google quickly figures it out.

    • lloydh says:

      It is good to have a difference of opinion Dawn 😉 Over time, if you have a site that is proving to be profitable then it may well be worth building links to it and improving the rankings in the SERPS, but my experience is that too many people worry too much about SEO when there are so many other methods that can bring traffic to your site faster than trying to rank for “latest weight loss craze” or similar.

      You do not need to rank in google or any of the search engines to be able to generate traffic and profit. I think that people believe that SEO is free to do and therefore the holy grail is to get their site onto the first page of google and, in reality it is a very costly business in time, effort and money and, there are cheaper options available.

      I totally agree with PBN’s and they are so easy to track down, especially when they advertise their services on google!!

  3. Desana says:

    Hello Hester,

    finally, I see an article about SEO that got me glued to read till the very end! I would love to learn more, therefore will be happy to receive updates and probably within the course of time I will become more knowledgeable in this area of internet marketing and will be happy to have a chance one day, perhaps who knows, to exchange views, opinions, or experiences.

    • lloydh says:

      Thank you for the kind words Desana, Search engine optimisation (SEO) is continually evolving and I am sure that you will learn it as you go along. There is no big secret though. Great content, regular updates and links back to your site will all help.

  4. Kevin Everett says:

    I agree Lioyd. You should write for people not search engines. I would say though that it is worth finding out what can hurt you in the SERP’s and avoiding those practices. Is SEO a waste of time? In the short term you may make a good income by trying to “cheat the system”. Just remember, the search engine companies are nut stupid. Any attempt to “game” the system will be short lived at best, and may even get you dropped from the search engine completely. Great post Lloyd, thank you.

    • lloydh says:

      That is a good point Kevin, understanding the bad practises to stop yourself getting hit by a google slap which can affect your SEO rankings.

      SEO is not a waste of time, it can bring massive benefits and profits if it is done properly but, it can also change very quickly, so relying on SEO is a dangerous game.

      People will always try to cheat the system but the search engines are much cleverer than most of us and are usually well ahead of us.

      People buying links from link building websites or PBN’s for example, is so easy for the search engines to find and a really stupid thing to do if you value your site.

      thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it.

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