Don't Bother With SEO. Use Real People Optimization Instead.



Don't Bother With SEO. Use Real People Optimization Instead.


WEB-257

Want advice about improving your rank in search engines? Just build your site... and STOP TRYING to boost your rankings.


It's only natural. If your neighbor was a doctor, sooner or later, you're going to ask him about some of your aches and pains, so it shouldn't surprise me that so many people come to me for advice about getting more search traffic to their web sites. It happens so often, I've come to expect it whenever I'm at a party.

To me, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a dead issue. People are spending way too much time and money on SEO, and it's got to stop.


Don't get me wrong. I know there's an entire industry devoted to Search Engine Optimization. Even big companies like Amazon (Alexa) and GoDaddy jumped on the bandwagon and started to sell services to boost search rank. It's just a pointless money grab.

Most SEO tactics cause more harm than good, which is why search engine optimization companies go out of their way to tell you that their company only uses "White Hat SEO"... their way to tell you they're like the good guys who wore white hats in old westerns. This is to give you the false impression that all of their optimizations are completely safe.

First of all, there's no such thing as White Hat SEO.


Instead of debating which tactics are considered White Hat (Safe) or Black Hat (Unsafe), don't look for any tactics. Who says you need ANY tactics? It's not a game, it's a web site. You don't need a strategy, you just have to make content that speaks to your audience.

Speaking of audience...

WHO is your audience? I've got news for you Sparky, it's real people... not Google, Yahoo or Bing.


If you remember only one thing from today's post, remember that Google, Yahoo and Bing are NOT YOUR AUDIENCE.

You don't need to gear your content towards search engines and you certainly don't need to impress them with your mastery of their search ranking system. In fact, as soon as sites start to take advantage of their ranking formula, they change it... on purpose... specifically to insure that people who understand their ranking formula don't get there because of it.

I want to be crystal clear here. Search Engines HATE when you do anything to try to improve your rank. I do mean Hate.


Hate is a strong word. I repeated it for a reason. You have to understand, the only thing that makes one search engine better than their competition is the quality of the results. Google became the #1 search engine specifically because when they launched, their results were drastically more accurate than their competition. Whenever a site tries to take advantage of their ranking system by building content specifically designed to boost it's rank, they stand a great chance of actually displacing better sites that don't use the same optimizations. That's actually bad. Very bad.

Some of you may be wondering why optimizing your content so it ranks higher is bad for search engines.


Think of the web as a bottle with a billion different pills in it, and you're Google. It's your job to help people find the pill that will cure them from whatever ails them. At first every pill looks the same, but because your search formula is the best, when somebody is looking for a specific pill, you deliver it reliably and the customer lives. It's critical you deliver just the right pill, or you'll (literally) lose customers.

Your formula is working great. Every time somebody looks for a pill... you deliver... until people figure out how your formula works, and tinker with the system enough to make their knock-off pills look like the perfect match. Before you know it, countless pills that aren't as good as the ones you normally deliver pop out, and your lose customers. Your only chance for survival is to change your formula, and try to ban everyone that tried to game the results.

With every change in search formula, the only sites that consistently remain on top are the ones that didn't have any optimizations in the first place. They simply had quality content. Any content that is there specifically to impress the search engines can only harm you.


Deep down, that's all that matters. Put content on your site that real people want to read.

Ever since SEO companies came along, the hardest thing for search engines like Google to do is figure out what any given page is about. When the page is stuffed with meta tags, keywords, link / word clouds, and countless other things designed specifically to make them search friendly, it makes it much harder for them to accurately index it. This is one reason search engines like Google had to start ignoring a lot of things like keywords and descriptions in meta tags.

I've seen too many people waste their money on SEO. Some may have seen a temporary bump in their search traffic, but most of those sites eventually vanished entirely right after Google changed their search formula, which happens quite often.

The bottom line is if you focus on content real people will actually want to read, you'll rank well, even if you've done zero optimizations, and you'll know for sure that any changes in search formulas won't have any negative effect on your position.


If your content is easy for people to understand, search engines will understand it too. Real People Optimization. That's the only search engine optimization you'll ever need.

Real People Optimization (RPO) is still the best way to build an audience. Period.



, Founder

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User Icon Posted: 3/1/2015 9:12:10 PM
From: , Newbie - Web

Deep down, I think you're right, but...


For somebody who preaches that you shouldn't optimize your sites for search engines, most of your sites are pretty search engine friendly.

Just saying... [grin]

(Like Reply N/A) [0 Likes]
User Icon Posted: 3/1/2015 9:39:04 PM
From: , Founder - Staten Island, NY

Okay... Smarty Pants


Yes. They are pretty search engine friendly, but I never think about search engines when I build sites, or create blog posts. If I did, I'd go nuts.

Even for non-blog content, it's never worth my time to go out of my way to insure what I'm writing will have any bearing on what search engines think of whatever I've built.

I want to stress that while I'm saying people shouldn't obsess over making their sites search engine friendly, they also shouldn't go out of their way to make them unfriendly to search engines, by making the content inaccessible to things like crawling.

For example, if you have a site with 10,000 pages about the history of Pez Dispensers, but you require visitors to enter something in a search box to see it, a search engine won't know that you've got ANY pages about Pez Dispensers, so none of them will be indexed.

To me, that site isn't not only isn't search engine optimized, but it's also not Real People Optimized... because they will never know you've got 10,000 pages about Pez Dispensers either.

So, in the interest of Real People Optimization, you would want to make some sort of navigation so people can browse your Pez Dispenser pages, broken down by category. That's what I call Real People Optimization. As I've said, any site optimized for real people is automatically optimized for search engines. The key is to focus on real people first, and completely ignore the search engines.


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User Icon Posted: 3/4/2015 12:03:50 PM
From: , Newbie - Web

Just messing with you.


I agree with what you wrote. I just think there's room for SEO and RPO (real people optimization). So a site can be both people friendly and search engine friendly. Right?

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User Icon Posted: 3/4/2015 1:09:31 PM
From: , Founder - Staten Island, NY

Yes... and no.


I'm just saying it's overblown and you shouldn't let it get in the way of creating your content.

Here's a perfect example. You think my site is very search engine optimized. It's not, and it doesn't bother me.

Sometimes my titles are longer than the 100 or so they recommend, and so are my descriptions. Not only that, more often than not, my titles don't have keywords in them. I can go on, but the point is I like to choose my titles and descriptions, and not base those choices on what I think the search engines think. It's my blog, not Google's.

If that means Google won't index every page on my site, I simply don't care. I'm not doing it for them.


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