John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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February 24th, 2012 by john andrews

Google Panda Recovery: SEO Secrets Revealed?

Google’s Panda update has old school and new school SEOs running for the hills. They don’t know what to do to recover from Panda. The old tricks don’t work, and often appear to be the cause of the Panda penalty. Google doesn’t care – it’s busy making money as the only search engine serving the American marketplace.

I guess we’ll never know the SEO secrets to Google Panda recovery.

Did you feel that let down? That big drop in brain chemicals after you read “I’ll guess we’ll never know…” ? That’s what you do to your readers when you write crap like this. And when you call yourself an SEO, writing crap like this, you may just tarnish your brand permanently in the minds of those who actually care about SEO as a profession.

I’m seeing SEO journalists and self-proclaimed SEO experts do this… to get traffic. Of course it works in Google… Google can’t tell real content from crap content any more. But it doesn’t care. I do. And your readers do.

Now if everybody does it, will that make it okay?

I see where you’re going. If you cabal members all do it, then it will seem normal. Social norming… that’s the technique. And then we can huddle around our Seattle propaganda hub and pretend it’s all true.. congratulate each other for fighting the hard fight, and winning as “SEOs” (or inbound marketers or whatever).

Nope, sorry guys.  Dreaming doesn’t make it so. And colluding behind the scenes doesn’t make you any better as an SEO either. You probably don’t know it, but your prospects already talk about you. They listen, and then they go away (from you) and talk (to others) about how you seem enthusiastic, willing to negotiate, willing to seemingly offer guarantees and reduced rates, and earnest to work hard to achieve results. But those prospective clients also say — you don’t come across as likely to get it done.

And nobody wants to pay for services for the sake of keeping you and your team of underlings employed.

So go ahead and keep writing. Go for broke… why not “Matt Cutts and the Secrets of the Google  Algorithm” followed by “I guess Matt will take those secrets of the Google algorithm with him to his grave…“. But know this : you look like a fool. To everyone.

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February 6th, 2012 by john andrews

Google’s SEO to the Rescue!

Google is not just a huge search engine and Internet company, but also owns an investing company Google Ventures.  Google Ventures invests in… you got it… Internet companies. How do those companies do when it comes to SEO? Come on, I know you know the answer to that!

Perhaps you start with the politically correct answer…. Google Ventures only invests in good companies, and they already know so well what they are doing they don’t need “SEO”. That perspective would fit Google’s paradigm. But it’s wrong.

Maybe you like Google but also understand that SEO is valuable (not just spammy). So maybe you said “Google probably makes sure they understand the Google guidelines, and then of course they do “SEO” but probably just-make-good-content-for-users. You’d be partially right.

Haha– some of you I am sure thought “Google probably tells them what to do, to beat the algorithm!”. Wow… conspiracy much?

Come on, seriously. Could Google really do that? I suppose if they did, they might as well go “all the way” and actually send out a team of dedicated experts to consult for the company. That way they could make sure the SEO was executed properly. Why not? SEO canbe hard to get right. And if you’re going to buy into that “Google is Evil” conspiracy stuff, why not have fun with it and create a script where Google actually helps them win?

Along those lines, here’s my super hyperbolic projection of how bad things COULD get, if Google were TRULY evil.

Google Ventures invests in a company that is run by a former SEO/SEM who used to give talks on online marketing and SEO, and then advises that company on specifics of user interface, conversion, and what we all know as “SEO”. Make that an SEO who bought a pre-existing site, and optimized it for SEO first. Oh hell why not go crazy and make it a purchased, optimized, ECOMMERCE site, commonly known as a vertical industry shopping portal.

Let’s throw caution to the wind, and pretend it was heavily curated content. Images, mostly. of course since it’s an SEO play,it’ll have SOME unique content per collection of curated images, so let’s get crazy and put that into a SIDEBAR just for fun.
Now let’s pretend Google Ventures not only helps consult on SEO issues, but even sends out experts to actually make changes to their code and design for them. In my version the former SEO guy is so happy he smiles HUGELY for the Boston Globe photographer (I imagine something like this), when they end up with what looks like an optimized, user and search engine friendly, almost-spammy website that rocks the SERPs, with a keyword density of “perfect” as defined by the Big G itself.  Hah!

It can be fun to make up funny shit like that story. I hope you enjoyed it! Hoo boy I need to sit down, I’ve been laughing so hard at the irony and cynicism in there. Wow.

Now go read this and do a little Googling of the players involved, before someone at Google pulls a Schmidt and cleans up the serps for reputation management purposes.Then, meet me inside SEOBook forums to discuss how to deal with this Google monster.

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John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

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