Tuesday’s Search Headlines
Happy Tuesday, everyone. There’s something very wrong with my left eye today. It’s red and puffy and hurting, which is a problem since it’s the only one I have that can see clearly. I hope your day is going better than mine. Here are some headlines for your reading enjoyment.
Bruce Clay Housekeeping
Okay, people, two quick things.
First, it’s SEO Newsletter day so keep an eye on your inboxes! This time around Bruce issues his predictions for 2008, SEO Analyst Lynn Gerber gives us all a tutorial on keyword usage, and we get you caught up on the past month in search. Don’t miss it.
Also, another reminder that if you don’t answer the spam math question in the comment field (the answer is 7), your comment will be banished to our junk folder and it may take me up to 24 hours or so to catch it. Please try and answer it. It makes me sad to think your voices are silenced. Again, the answer is 7. Thanks, you’re the best!
Fix A Crappy Site; Don’t Promote It
Wiep Knol started an important conversation a few days ago with a slightly tongue and cheek article about how to build links to crappy sites. He offers up some "suggestions" for bringing in easy links before finally concluding that perhaps SEOs shouldn’t waste their time getting links for worthless sites. Instead, use your time (and the client’s money) to improve the site in order to attract natural, high quality links. We couldn’t agree more.
As Bruce often says, search engine optimization is not about making a pig fly. It’s about genetically re-engineering a site so that it becomes an eagle. We’re not trying to get crappy sites to rank; we’re trying to help those sites become relevant and authoritative so they can attract links naturally and actually help users.
Sure, you can go out and buy a bunch of links to get your sucky clothing site to rank well, but in the end, you’re just throwing your money away. Even if you’re able to attract some foot traffic, once users visit they’re going to realize you have nothing to offer them and leave. It’s like paying for a PPC ad without first optimizing your landing pages or doing any kind of search engine optimization. As Wiep finally concludes, it’s typically in your best interest to fix a crappy site then to promote it. It will save you a lot of work and deliver much better results. Amen, friend.
Hiring People With Different Skill Sets
NHG had an inspired post yesterday about hiring people who are better than you to increase your skill set and improve the strength of your company. I think this really is great advice. There are a lot of companies out there afraid to hire smart people or give employees the freedom to run, experiment and do what they’re good at because they’re afraid they’ll use it against them later on. I understand the business concerns regarding this; however, running your business like a paranoid child is really only going to hurt you.
Unless your working in a noncreative industry, hiring "worker bees" isn’t going to help your company grow, neither is hiring smart people and then smothering them by constantly looking over their shoulder. If you want to see your company mature and meet its goals, hire smart people with different skill sets to do different jobs and then get out of their way. This is one of the things I love about working at Bruce Clay, Inc. For better or for worse, we’re given the freedom to play off our strengths and test the waters. It’s what helps us to constantly improve on our last efforts and keep moving forward.
Truthfully, you’re never going to find one person who knows everything, nor should you look. Different viewpoints bring different ideas and new ideas spawn innovation. Don’t cramp your company because you’re afraid of being outshined. Plus, you’d be surprised what a little freedom can do to employee morale and retention. Freedom and cookies.
Do The Search Engines Really Love Fresh Content?
Over at BlogStorm Patrick Aloft talks about the old SEO adage that "search engines love fresh content" and outlines all the reasons this is true including having an increased crawl rate, finding topical traffic, increasing inbound links, etc.
I was glad that Patrick took the time to explain why the adage is true and explain that the act of publishing new content alone isn’t what will help you with rankings. The content has to be both fresh and authoritative in nature. This is the kind of content that builds traffic, establishes you as an expert in your industry, attracts links from trusted sites, increases stickiness and will help your rankings over the long term.
Do everyone a favor, if you’re not going to take the time to create quality content, don’t even waste your time throwing up garbage. You’re only insulting your visitors and your SEO when you ask them to help you promote your crappy site.
Dreamhost wants you to know that they’re very, very, very sorry for overcharging their customers some $7,500,000. As Josh Jones said, Um, Whoops. [Guess who is a semi-loyal customer? Luckily the credit card I had on file with them was stolen two weeks ago and thus canceled so DH’s charge didn’t go through. –Susan]
Aaron Chronister (aka TheMadHat) won my heart and eternal respect with this post Why The SEO World Is Full of Shit, Part 1. I can’t wait to read part 2 where he talks about the SEO cults and communities are out there. I actually find the use of the term "cult" very fitting…
My eye hurts.