When NOT to do SEO
Countless hours and dollars have been thrown at search engine algorithms to give searchers the most relevant, up to date and interesting content available - You don't have to trick the algorithms, just make a relevant, up to date and interesting site.
Yesterday I received some SEO spam in my Gmail inbox, which used to be a regular occurance, but it's actually pretty rare for spam to make it all the way through any more, so I was interested. Then I looked at the 'to' address, not mine, it was the generic website front end one which I had only posted a few hours earlier on a brand new website for a brand new business name. This was just direct mail.
How did Priyansi find my email address? Probably by finding my site on Google.
My site is boring. It is three paragraphs explaining what I do in business language. It has my contact details and ABN. That's it. Single page, no examples, no blog (just yet). It's responsive, but that's hardly a challenge for three paragraphs. The site is there so that I have something to put on a business card, and if someone checks, it exists.
I don't want it to come up in Google searches for anything but a search for my business name - for which it is first. Not until it is exciting.
A particular company I hacked for invested quite a bit of time and money into SEO a year ago. Their website it boring, says nothing, has an out of date blog and twitter handle, and no contact details. I actually thought the company may have gone under.
The company has two tag lines. I googled both, the first term had them on the 4th page, and the second had them as the 8th entry. Their company name had them first. Just like my brand new one.
A community theater group which has spent no money at all on SEO, but has an up to date site, and active facebook and twitter accounts, comes up first or second for just about anything I can think of which they might be relevant to.
As a searcher, I find what I am searching for. If I want a theater show in Melbourne, I find it, if I want information on a specific company, I get that. If I want to read about 'health management software', the first link is useful, not the Case 2 site.
If you make your site the sort of site that your audience are interested in, Google will find you. By all means make your site googleable, pop in a site map, make sure it reads well when read by the googlebot, but you needn't do anything more.