Guess who will win? Google is on the constant lookout for attempts at manipulation and punishes abusers. Your penalty might be invisibility.
Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. — GoogleI keep seeing people claiming they are experts in SEO. Their presentations make SEO look
- complicated which implies you need to hire them
- slow which means you need to hire them for six months are more
Other WaysThere three free ways to rank high in search results in your niche
- create compelling content
- follow conventions
- help Google find you
Create Compelling ContentYou need great content. This takes time to create and time to impact your search rankings. Quit and you start slipping. Using social media regularly keeps reminding Google about you. Using Google tools can't hurt either. This blog uses Google Blogger (instead of WordPress) and is syndicated via Google Feedburner (instead of FeedBlitz).
Word of mouth will then boost your popularity. That takes the form of comments on your blog posts, Likes, Google "+1" and links from other credible sites (essentially testimonials).
Follow ConventionsWhen you're writing, you benefit by following norms. Make your content easier for readers and you'll help Google too. You'll want a sensible heading and subheadings. You'll want to write posts of a reasonable minimum length (e.g., 300 words). You'll want to use simple, common words because they are more likely to be search queries.
You might not get much credit for good grammar but you won't be penalized either. Maybe Google can (or will) check grammar.
Help Google Find YouGoogle wants to find you. You help by telling Google about yourself. Your Google Profile is the perfect place to link to your different sites. Google Analytics also marks your sites (you can only track what you own). Google offers Webmaster Tools to show you what Google sees. Don't forget Google+ either.
There's plenty of free online help too.
The Wrong Focus?SEO focuses on websites but you may not need one anymore. You can rely on social media instead. You'll want a destination like a blog or personal website (which can be on a blog platform). If you are on LinkedIn, have a Google Profile or using Google+, you're increasing your chances of showing up on page one.
One search engine “expert” had a Klout reputation score of 13 out of 100. Another has only 22 tweets. That’s proof of inability.
Impatient?If you want to be found right now, you can buy attention with Google Adwords and other advertising techniques.
I've got nothing against hiring SEO experts. I have never used one but they may be ideal for you. Lasting results take more than money.
- Is SEO snake oil? (GreatJakes, Apr 2011)
- How to hire a social media expert
- Signs of the wrong social media expert
- What are you omitting that can get you in hot soup?
- Opinions, errors and creativity
- video: Google shows startups how to master SEO in 10 minutes (Mashable, Jun 26, 2012) (new)
- image courtesy of Svilen Milev (Bulgaria)