I was gone all last week, in Maui. Yeah baby. It was our first time to Maui, and I loved it. I didn’t even think about writing a post the whole week, I am sure you understand. We had a great time, we enjoyed the beauty of the island, stayed in an amazing place with good friends, played a bunch of golf, hung out with my wonderful wife (who, we discovered, is allergic to macadamia nuts, poor thing), and made some new friends. One of the new friends we actually met on the plane over, his name is John Kennedy, and he is a manager of a wonderful magic/comedy show in Lahaina on Maui called Warren and Annabelle’s. If you are visiting Maui, you MUST attend this show, it was amazing. John, and the entire W&A staff treated us like family (in a good way), and we will never forget the experience, it was fortunately unforgettable. We saw the show on Monday night and were on the island the rest of the week, so later on in the week we called John and he kindly joined us for a round of golf on the Makena North course (which has some of the best views on the island, better than the Kapalua Plantation course, and is frankly a better course, but once again I digress).
During our round the usual topics were up for discussion, and we eventually discussed what we do for a living. I had given John a sleeve of SoloSEO logo golf balls, so he asked about SoloSEO specifically. (In fact, I will be happy to send out a sleeve of these Callaway HX Tour balls, to the first person who leaves a nice comment, and sends their address to firstname.lastname@example.org, these are so rare and new, not even Michael has a sleeve yet). John listened to my simple explanation of what SoloSEO was, and he asked a question many have asked previously… “Does it work?” Excellent question. Either due to beauty of the course, my miserable play, or our competitive banter I don’t remember ever answering John’s question, so I apologize, and now thought I would take some time to fully answer John’s question here. John, a resounding YES, SEO does work, and here is why.
SEO is a process of getting your site into a format in which the search engines can scan it, quasi understand it, categorize it, then refer it to others when the search engines feel your site can deliver what the search client is looking for based on the text they entered into the search engine. Any of the search engines want to handle searches as efficiently and effectively as possible. They are attempting to earn the public’s trust and gain search traffic, ultimately so they can demand advertising dollars from firms who want access to the traffic the search engine attracts daily. This is why we have sections on a search engine results page, consisting of both organic (free) and paid (ads paid for to the search engine for positioning) search results. To keep the public’s trust, search engines must not unfairly mess with the organic search results, which are algorithmically based on a number of factors, including many of the resulting work we control/create in SEO processes.
In the past there were an enterprising, yet deceitful group, who learned to “game” the search engines, using what has been termed “black hat” techniques. These techniques essentially fooled search engines into believing some poor quality site actually had quality content, and reputable products or services which matched what the search clients were search for. Instead, when these pages were visited, search clients would find a bunch of nonsensical text coupled with paid text ads, ironically usually placed by the search engine which originally referred the searcher to this garbage site. This did not make the search engines appear proficient, and the black-hat site owners didn’t care. They were greedily hoping search clients would click on the paid ads, rather than the browser’s back button, so they could make some commission paid to them from the search engines. Very creepy. It would be like finding what appeared to be the best ad in the Yellow Pages for a plumber, then driving to the advertised address only to find a smelly, dark, smoke filled shop, with a greesy guy convincing you to take some pamphlets they had on real plumbers. Then the slime ball expecting the Yellow Pages to pay them for each pamphlet taken by the originally deceived client. It wouldn’t fly in the real world, and it shouldn’t have flown in search.
Who were the big losers in this game of search deceit? First, the searchers, who were looking for something, but made to go through junk sites to find it. Second, the search engines, who were attempting to provide clients with a relevant site, but instead delivered garbage, making the engine look bad, and hurting their reputation. Third, the firms paying the search engines to place the company ads on quality pages, which were instead placed on pages of non-sensical text, which unfortunately associated the firm with the junk site. In all, it was a very bad period in search, and ultimately called into question the search engine’s ability to decipher the good pages from the bad ones, and the effectiveness of good SEO technique. Now the good news, the search engines are now doing an excellent job, really since November 2006, of figuring out these junk sites and removing them from the search results pages, and search has become much better for it.
Now the search engines have a better ability of determining the quality of the sites they index, good SEO technique is more important than ever. Now solid SEO can actually have a bigger and better influence on your site’s performance, than was possible when the search engines results could be tainted by the black hats. Now we can be assured if we do the SEO work, which is most definitely work, then our hard labor will be rewarded, and our sites will perform better, since site quality is more identifiable. The search engines have essentially created a situation where those who work hard are rewarded, and those that still attempt to cheat are more than likely caught, and their offending sites punished. Just how it should have always been.
There are many wonderful, and quality SEO tools out there, but SoloSEO offers the most comprehensive set of online SEO tools, all in one place. SoloSEO gives you a location where you can manage all your SEO processes, from link building to keyword research, from content creation to online competitive analysis, and keeps it all organized for you. In fact, just having a SoloSEO account can improve your online competitive knowledge. SoloSEO offers monthly SEO related reports that can be customized, and sent to you on a monthly basis, via email, without you lifting a finger. With SoloSEO, you will not only know more about the online competitive situation of your industry, but you will have the tools at your disposal to flex some serious SEO muscle, and improve your competitive online position.
So there you have it John, SEO works, everywhere, and even in Hawaii (even if I don’t). SEO is becoming a better use of marketing time and effort because the search engines finally have their act together. To you John on a personal note, thank you for the conversation on the plane, and advice on what to do on Maui, thank you for the evening at Warren and Annabelle’s is was most memorable, thank you for the golf, it was a blast, and thank you for the question, it was an excellent one. We look forward to meeting up with you again soon on Maui (or here)! Until then, to you a heartfelt Aloha and Mahalo!