Don’t believe everything you read about SEO!
SEO is an industry where everybody has an opinion, and most people love to share it online. Have you ever played the game telephone when you whisper something in someone’s ear, and that person does the same to the next person? Usually by the time the message comes back to you, it has nothing to do with the original message. Well, SEO information works pretty much the same way. I read a lot of articles, blog posts and I am a member of a few SEO forums out there and it amazes me the amount of misinformation shared, repeated and deformed out there. On one hand, it makes my job easier because lots of potential competitors are learning things wrong and teaching it to others, which makes it easier for our sites to rank higher. On the other hand, it increases the chances of having a company hire them, be disappointed and that reflects badly on the SEO industry. The SEO industry has a reputation on the line because most people don’t understand what we do. It’s like mechanics. When you fix something that people don’t understand, they will suspect that you overcharge them for fixing things that didn’t need to be fixed. Here are some tips to avoid learning wrong information:
1) Check your sources
This seems obvious but nowadays, it is very easy to set up a website and start posting content. If you are reading an article or a blog post (like mineJ) on a website you have never heard of, don’t trust the first article you read. Do some more reading, check the background of the person/company before taking their word for granted.
2) Make a list of authority websites
Start by reading information from authority sources to filter information automatically. Here is a sample of some good websites to read: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ http://www.seomoz.org/blog http://www.seobook.com/blog http://searchengineland.com/ http://techcrunch.com/ Although Google won’t share their secrets, it’s very likely that the information they provide is accurate.
3) Verify the information yourself
A domain name is $15 a year (ish) and hosting can be very cheap as well, especially if you have your own server. Set up a few test websites and run some experiments on them. This way, you will be able to double check information by actually testing it yourself, and trusting the results.
4) Find reliable “mentors”
If you don’t have the time or the technical knowledge to try things on test sites yourself, find a reliable person who does. There are tons of people testing theories and sharing their results. You just need to find the ones who are trustworthy. Do you have more tips to add? Please leave a comment with a tip and start a discussion on this subject.