SEO is Not Dead!



SEO Is Alive and Well

Black hat marketing is pretty much finished thanks to the many upgrades to the Google animal farm (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon and more). Many say that with the downfall of black hat marketing practices, SEO is dead. Uh – no, it is evolving. Others say content marketing is the new SEO. They too are mistaken. If content marketing was an atom, SEO would be a particle.  You see, SEO is much more than blackhat tactics, there are white hat practices used by content writers who want their work to be seen ethically, by as many people as possible.Black Hat tactics are SEO practices that violate the search engine’s terms of service (TOS) so that a website has a better ranking in search engine results (SER).

Black Hat tactics are SEO practices that violate the search engine’s terms of service (TOS) so that a website has a better ranking in search engine results (SER). Black hat is a term that came into being from the mid-20th century westerns where the bad guys wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones.

Some of the things that the Google algorithm changes  penalized and punished sites for by lowering their SER rankings include;

  • Keyword stuffing;
  • Link manipulation;
  • Automated search requests to Google;
  • Creating new pages, or domains, and subdomains with duplicate content;
  • Pages that phish, place viruses and malware on visitor’s computers;
  • Scraping – automated copying of other sites.

Sites and pages that practice these and other black hat practices are downgraded by Bing and Google. You know how you sometimes see  something like “about 653,000 results?” Using black hat techniques and being found out will earn a spot in the bottom 1,000 results. You know no one is going to click through that many pages. Why bother with a site at all?

Of course, great content is a great beginning to a high-ranking search result. And some believe that based on just great content alone, a site’s SER will improve. It could, but a writer who knows what they are doing can help great content be recognized by search engines and their bots. Writer’s activities include researching keywords, and creating good-looking, unique and relevant HTML tags and mark-up.

On a blog, Barry Feldman of The Content Marketing Institute said;

“most online marketing professionals will recognize that both content marketing and SEO are star players in an enterprise-focused marketing strategy. If your team has a void in one area or the other (or both), you need to fill it — end of story. SEO experts need not fear the extinction of their craft. Their roles will remain vital to brand marketing because they know better than anyone that effective and ethical SEO can’t happen without content to be optimized.”

Social media is the third leg of the stool we call improving traffic, the other two are Content and SEO.

Site owners should analyze metrics and share the results with contract for hire writers. When you and your writer see the page views, social media sharing, and time on site or even better on a page, they find out what works well and what should be forgotten for the future.

So, although SEO has changed, it is far from dead. And it is not a zombie form of its old self. It is an evolution that by design of the search engines, is improving Internet user’s experience.

What are your thoughts about the rumor that SEO is dead? Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.

If you have a question about this article or need some help in getting your website and blog to have better SER. Please contact me, I can help.


What Exactly Makes Your Content Quality Content?

aliciaGuest Post by Alicia Rades


 As an Internet marketer, you hear this concept everywhere: You need quality content.

Okay, that’s great.

qualityBut, uh, what exactly constitutes “quality content?”

I mean, you could spend heaps of time writing articles, filming videos, and recording podcasts. But when you have nothing to show for it in traffic or returns, having someone tell you, “Well, be sure it’s quality content,” doesn’t do you any good.

If you’re not sure where to get that “quality” aspect everyone is talking about, keep reading.

What is Quality Content?

Quality content is a mix of a whole bunch of different things. Think of it as a recipe; you could have one small thing missing, and it will still be okay. But if you leave out one of the bigger ingredients, you’ll completely miss the mark.

Here are just a few things that can go into the “quality content” formula:

  • Proper semantics
  • Reputable statistics and resources
  • Easy-to-understand examples
  • Visually appealing formatting
  • An eye-catching headline
  • An entertaining and relatable voice

But those don’t even scratch the surface if you’re missing the most important ingredient.

Here’s the Main Ingredient

If you want to create quality content, then you have one goal you’re striving for:

Make your readers care.

So let’s say you write a piece that’s packed with information and completely grammar-free. On the surface, that could be a high-quality article.

But that doesn’t matter a bit.

What really matters is how your audience reacts to that article. Quality isn’t all about whether your content is well-written and presented in a pleasing way. While that certainly helps, the main ingredient to quality content is the value your readers put on your content.

Even Google says that a principle of quality content is to “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

How Do You Reach that Goal?

If you want your content to matter to your audience, then you have to listen to their problems.

For instance, you could write a great article about debt management and place it on a financial website. But what if the readers are more interested in building up their investment portfolio? They won’t put very much value on that article.

The way you make readers care is to develop a valuable idea that will resonate with them. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do they want to know?
  • What problem are they looking to solve?
  • How can I solve that problem for them?
  • What types of worldviews do they hold that can influence their reaction?

Once you have an idea about a topic that they’ll love, then put into place a great voice, proper grammar, valuable resources, etc. and you have a quality piece of content.

But what if you don’t have the time or the talent to do that yourself? It’s worth it to consider hiring a freelance writer who can develop that quality content for you. The good news is that freelancers are likely to cost you less than hiring an in-house writer.

While the standards for quality content may change from one day to the next, focusing on your audience is a tactic that will never die. Have you been going about creating quality content all wrong? Tell us what you think the main ingredient to “quality content” is in the comment section.


aliciaAlicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a freelance blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, career, and lifestyle topics among other subjects. When she’s not writing for clients, you can find her managing the blog at Get to know more about her and her services at, where you can download her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet.