Is Site Optimization Automatically Better?

Assuming it’s crawled, there are so many signals used to compare your site’s page to another for it’s key words and phrases. These are signals that are actually changing every day. While site code and content optimization count as competitive signals, the merit of the content itself [i.e. based upon a series of measurable reactions from other people like back links, bookmarks, facebook likes, retweets, subscribes, etc., etc.] is highly weighted.

Better yet, let’s allow Matt Cutts to explain 🙂

“If I Buy Google Ads Does My Site [Pages, Content & Keywords] See Favorable Organic Search Indexing?”

It’s a question we’re asked often and also a common assumption spread by the uninformed. Today’s post titled, ‘Google Search and Search Engine Spam’ should dispel any confusion. In it, Matt Cutts is quoted as follows,

“One misconception that we’ve seen in the last few weeks is the idea that Google doesn’t take as strong action on spammy content in our index if those sites are serving Google ads. To be crystal clear:

  • Google absolutely takes action on sites that violate our quality guidelines regardless of whether they have ads powered by Google;
  • Displaying Google ads does not help a site’s rankings in Google; and
  • Buying Google ads does not increase a site’s rankings in Google’s search results.

These principles have always applied, but it’s important to affirm they still hold true.”

No matter what you’ve heard about the latest silver bullet to the top of Google’s search index, be very skeptical. Consider Google and it’s army of engineers have an interest in making sure their organic search results are timely & relevant. That interest being the satisfaction of those that search, to protect the quality of the results. Good search results drive more searching, more clicks and more revenue. For the business trying to be relevant and visible in the organic search indexes it’s a good thing. It means that if you create good timely content you have as good a chance as any business to be there.

And sure it’s a leap of faith to spend your valuable time publishing content, but {then again} isn’t all advertising?


Matt Cutts talks about getting successful back links and how they should be based upon the merit of your content: the summarized answer to the question he answers is, ‘attract as many back links as you can, but do it organically based upon quality. Don’t do reciprocated or purchased back links based upon an  ulterior motive.’

The subtle hint is, if humans wouldn’t appreciate the link assume Google’s algorithm might not either.



And remember, core organic SEO [without gaming] is based upon:

1) focused, well formed & consistent content,

2) a measurable reaction from humans to that content [back links, SERP activity, bookmarks, subscriptions, feed connections to other sites, time on page, etc., etc.] and also

3) well configured / easily spider crawled sites.



Beware of What Is Sold As SEO!

Yesterday, while doing some research on a [paid] real estate plugin for WordPress, I had an experience that concerned me. The company who created the plugin told me their solution was the key to better SEO. And they are wrong!

Now the salesperson certainly didn’t know I had experience with the subject. I also believe their ‘vaunted plugin’ offers value, but no one should ever believe there is an ‘SEO silver bullet’ like I was told… like so many busy ‘uninformed’ business people are likely told. Worse, they are also sold this misinformation!

Frankly, the idea that someone is outsmarting Google or that you can just buy SEO off the shelf is ridiculous! The dynamic nature of a networked web; the constant re- weighting of search engine (algorithmic) signals and the random activity of ‘subject competitors’ makes placement in an organic search result… unpredictable. The results change every day! If anyone guarantees SEO or top search results then ask them what proprietary information they have on the daily adjustments made to Google’s (ranking) search algorithm. Ask them what exactly they know about ALL ‘the subject similar competition’. Ask them about their day to day effort.

There are pros on the leading edge of research like Aaron Wall and Rand Fishkin and they would both say organic search results are never standing still!

Getting back to the company with the plugin, I asked why it was so good for SEO. The first argument presented was, “… with our plugin clients normally outperform &” I thought, “Depending on what keywords we’re discussing (and he wasn’t specific so let’s assume the Long Tail),  do a little searching and find that several of our clients do so without this vaunted plugin!”, and certainly have a lot of content and they may be doing their SEO right, but no one should ever believe that even they can game Google for top search results. Not when over 200 hundred signals are used to compare one page to all the others with the same keywords. Think of it this way: if every time you searched real estate in a local area the Google search results served up, why would you need Google? We could just go to and that would be awfully limiting. The gentleman then asked I go to a particular client’s website to see his performance in Google. It just so happens I knew of the person: one of the more well documented, back linked and organically optimized real estate websites in North America. A site I later discovered had only added the plugin a month or two ago. Regardless, I couldn’t help but wonder “Is this what everyone hears when they speak with this company?”

Folks, I apologize for the rant and we’ve certainly heard other claims for ‘the silver bullet of SEO.’ The point here is: ‘discern what is being sold to you as SEO’! Understand that SEO is based upon 1) useful & consistent content, 2) a measurable reaction to that content [back links, SERP activity, bookmarks, subscriptions, social shares, time on page, etc.], 3) an easily crawled site and the 4) competition. The fact is, there is no silver bullet… truly sustainable SEO requires time and effort!