What SEO is not

To SEO or not to SEO. That is the question isn’t it? There are so many websites and blog posts about SEO, what it is, how to use it, how to manage it. All positive points. But to correctly understand what SEO is all about, we have to look at what SEO is not.

SEO is not guaranteed

That’s right, you had better believe this. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not guaranteed. If you ever hear someone who calls themselves a SEO professional that they can guarantee you a top number 1 Google results place or even a 1st page Google placing. Run away, run very far away.

No SEO professional can guarantee any search engine placing. Most search engines, Google in particular, have very well guarded secrets around their search algorithms. No one can control the way the search engines work, therefore no one can guarantee any search engine ranking.

All SEO does is give your website or blog a fighting chance. With millions of other websites out there and millions more SEO’ed, your website or blog is but a drop in the ocean. To have a better than average chance of being found on Google or other search engines alike, you turn to SEO to help with those averages.

SEO is not science

SEO is a craft and not a science. There are too many variables and unknowns in SEO to be scientific about it. SEO is continually changing. There is no Scientific control or repeatable experiment that produces the exact same result all the time.

SEO is an ART form, it is a craft that one has to learn and experience. By means of tried and tested methods we can put ourselves in the ball park. But that’s about it.

SEO is driven by people and not scientific fact. Most things in SEO depend on human behaviour. People writing algorithms, people linking, people creating content, people searching.

Matt Cutts tells us that there are hundreds of tweaks to these algorithms per year. So even if you would be able to single out one of the ranking factors to test without interference of all the others you still can’t assume the situation your test stays unchanged during the test.

SEO is not manipulating Google

Try as you may, you will not be able to manipulate the search engine results to your benefit. Sometimes Black Hat SEO works for a season, but soon enough the gurus at Google block each and every hole.

SEO is about natural selection. It’s about what natural human beings are searching for in a natural fashion. It’s what we call organic search.

If you are caught trying to implement Black Hat SEO then you, and worse your client’s site, can be banned from Google’s index.

SEO is not Everything

SEO is not the be all and end all of search. Too many websites suffer from over optimization. Yes there is a point where too much SEO is a bad thing.

Too many people believe that the success of their business, website or blog begins and ends with their search engine ranking.

Their obsession is shown more in their link-building practices more than anything else. They are obsessed with keywords and key phrases to the detriment of actual quality content.

Being a successful online company requires placing people first and search engines second. Write and develop for people not for Search Engines.

The bottom line is that you must have your priorities straight. Your presence in the search engine results page is important and SEO is usually very important. However, it is not the most important thing, nor is it the only thing. Never sacrifice your primary business objective for the sake of your search engine rankings.

SEO is not the only solution

In conjunction with the point mentioned previously. SEO is not the be all and end all of your website marketing and promotion efforts. It is but a small piece in the puzzle.

Factors such as usability, that is navigation, image placement, font selection, color choice all play an important role in website development and marketing.

Having a clear call to action is equally important otherwise all your SEO efforts amount to naught if no action is taken.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having impeccable content and as well as engaging your target audience.

Seeking other online and offline SEO, marketing and promotion are all part of achieving a successful online marketing campaign.

SEO is not mysterious

SEO is not a dark art. It is not something that only a select few can know or understand. It does not belong to some elite members of a secret club.

SEO, for the most part is just pure logic. Yes, there are some guidelines that one needs to follow. But the truth is that SEO is all about human behaviour. It is about what people search for and how I can utilise that to have a better chance of presenting my website, web page or blog to them.

For the most part, you and I can get pretty decent results without the use of a so called SEO professional.

Where SEO professionals do come into their own is when I need that extra mile. When I need those long hours of dedication. Yes, SEO is not easy, nor is it a simple thing. SEO professionals have the skills and time and knowledge to take your website that extra mile.

SEO is not a once off

Too many people think that SEO is a once off thing. That all they have to do is choose a few keywords,put those keywords on a web page, then sit back and watch the traffic roll in.

The fact of the matter is that SEO is hard work, and time consuming. Most websites do not see any significant results for six months or more.

No my friend, SEO is a continuous methodology. It is a battle for the finish line that keeps on moving. When you are resting, some other webmaster, or SEO professional is working hard to beat your website to the top of Google.

Conclusion

Now that you know what SEO is not. Perhaps you will have a better understanding of SEO. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it. Don’t abuse it, use it or lose it. But most of all don’t ignore other factors surrounding the success of your website, blog or business.

Do you employ any SEO techniques in your website? Do you stay away from SEO? Do you think that SEO is beneficial? Love to hear your thoughts.

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Robert Bravery is a professional programmer, Web site Developer and professional blogger for Integral Web Solutions.