Bonnie Lowe has an interesting post on her blog titled Is SEO a Waste of Time & Money?, in response to a recent press release by Anthony Fallon which states: Anthony Fallon, CEO of Warrington Web Works, a UK web publishing company, proved this week to his clients and readers that search engine optimisation is a waste of time and money to businesses. (source)
Now I dont know if Anothony released this information just to create controversy and buzz (which is just as good a marketing strategy as SEO, Web 2.0, or any other method)... or if he actually believes what he wrote. But it does make for a good topic.
He is not entirely off base, mind you. Its just that the title and a few of the statements are a bit misleading to people who dont fully understand the workings of the industry. AND, there is nothing new about the valid points that are made.
The press release, the article, the "proof", etc... are simply a marketing strategy to gain exposure for this product. My only point being that this relieves me of having to worry that it was intended as straight-up factual news.
I havent read the book, by the way, but I would agree that your Link Strategy (or "off the page optimization") carries more weight with Google than Keyword Stuffing (or "on the page optimization"). This has been the case for the last couple of years of course. In fact, I wrote about it last year in a blog post about Link Building...
What I would really like to point out, though, is that SEO is not a waste. Period. SEO simply means optimizing web pages to rank well in the major search engines for specific keyword phrases. This is something that EVERY site owner or webmaster should consider while developing a website or marketing strategy...
Anthony's point in the article was specifically in regards to SEO professionals. Individuals who promise you top listings, or SEO firms that will "optimize your site for you". I have been saying this for years... and I'll say it again here:
If an 'SEO' is any good, you probably cant afford them. They are entirely too busy making far more money optimizing their own web pages. If you CAN afford them, they probably arent worth the asking price. Also - if you dont know SEO yourself, you have no way of knowing if you will truly get what you pay for. And if you do know SEO... you would know that its not near as complicated as they make it sound.
(There are a few exceptions, but not many 😉 )
Bottom line... spend fifty bucks on the best guide in the industry and handle your own SEO. You are guaranteed positive results that way... and saving tons of money (and potential blacklistings). Get Aaron Wall's SEO Book. There is a link to it in the right hand column of this page, actually - it's hands down the best SEO guide on the market.
You can always outsource the various tasks involved, including Link Building, once you know exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.
Back on topic... In Anthony's article titled SEO Mind Crime, he says:
I was tempted to tell her not to bother from the initial phone call but I thought I would meet face to face and explain why SEO was a waste of time. She, like many other business people like her, are wondering how to get more traffic to their websites and achieve that holy grail of a top ten position on Google.
I actually think that Anthony is making a good point here, though it might be confusing to many readers due to the wording. I agree that hiring an SEO Professional to the tune of $29,000 for a guaranteed top 10 position on Google for 3 years is PURE BS. However, I dont agree that 'SEO is a waste of time' or that top 10 positions on Google are any kind of 'holy grail'.
His "proof" that SEO is a waste was that the article (SEO Mind Crime) would rank on its own at Google within a matter of days, without "SEO".
*!Ding-Ding-Ding!* The article was written on an established domain, and tagged & linked to! Excuse me if I'm wrong... but isnt that SEO? (it is)
First of all, its EASY to get a web page to rank well for an obscure search term. If you want an example, search Google for "Funny Blog Spam" (without quotes). A random blog post that I wrote several weeks ago ranks #3 of about 8,710,000. It just happens to be relevant (according to Google) for that particular search term (for obvious reasons).
Why does Google consider it relevant? Because that is the TITLE of my blog post. Because that is the LINK TEXT (or anchor text) used when linking to that blog post from other pages of my blog. And because a few spam sites and directories picked up that post in my feed and published it on their pages. It got very few "legitimate" links from outside sources (lol).
But c'mon folks - that's all SEO really is!
It's about choosing your keyword phrases, and then choosing the correct placement. You want to use the keyword phrase in the page title, in the text header, and in the anchor text of inbound links. That's it... it's that simple. The more competitive your keyword phrase in the SERPs (search engine results pages)... the more quality inbound links you will need. The less competitive it is, the less you need.
Easy as pie. Not worth $29k obviously - but certainly no waste of time! SEO is something you do as you go. Of course, you do want to do it correctly... and so its worth every bit of $50 bucks to know the ins and outs of keyword research, competition analysis, and all of the best resources to get you kick-started... but that's really all you should HAVE to invest.
I dont really think that Anthony proved that SEO is a waste... I think he proved that SEO is EASY 😉
SEO is not a hard task. Anyone can be successful at SEO. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get top rankings. Get a copy of The SEO Book!