My post about entrepreneurship being too difficult was a surprise hit, so I will follow up with a post about SEO, which is somewhat related, also being too difficult and a waste of time and money.
-Impossible to get good rankings for KEYWORDS PEOPLE SEARCH FOR (I added the caps because a lot of SEO folks brag about ranking for keywords but these words don’t actually bring more than 2 or 3 visits a month)
-Good backlinks are hard to buy, and almost all of all paid links are worthless spam sites with artificially boosted metrics to sell useless links upon unsuspecting buyers, too expensive and often don’t work, may get site penalized.
-Buying private blog links don’t work on good keywords (or else they would not sell the links. They would be using the links themselves, ya think), too expensive ($300-500 on a link package is money down the drain), waste of time, may get site penalized.
-Guest posting: too time consuming, very very hard to get good posts, takes too long, high rejection rate, links probably will not help much, tends to result in small amounts of junk (tire kicking) traffic anyway, may get site penalized.
-Good keywords are always dominated by major brands and content providers like Vox, CNN, Business Week, Bloomberg, Washington Post, The New Yorker, New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Wikipedia, and so on. And then you have to also compete with .edu and .gov sites too. All search engines are dominated by 100 sites. In 2006, much of these brands were either very small or did not exist, but now they’re hundreds of them.
-Also, many people don’t even use search engines as much anymore. They use social media to get information.
-Success is few and far between. For every success at SEO, there are many failures. There are only 10 slots for each keyword, of which the top 5 are the most important. If 11 people are vying for a keyword and they all do perfect SEO, one must still fail. But most of the time companies spend a tons of money on SEO and see no results.
-It’s mostly random in many instances. Sometimes a site that has no apparent rankings factors will do very well.
-Google has devalued many sites that used to provide good rankings.
-Even long tail keyword may not work because they may be dominated by sites that have a lot of ‘domain authority’. No one optimizes for the keyword ‘student loan crisis’ but you have thousands of high-authority news site ranking for it, which makes it a very competitive keyword. Optimizing for long tails may also get your site penalized if it’s interpreted as ‘thin content’ or keyword stuffing.
-As to be expected in any imprecise science such as SEO, there are a lot of misconceptions. Hobo Web (http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/how-to-write-seo-friendly-website-content-for-google) overestimates the importance of content. Content is NOT king, not by any stretch of the imagination. This site has two posts that total over 4k words each. Search engine traffic to them? Zero. User experience also does not matter that much. The best ranking pages are often .edu domains that have poor user experience.
-For the aforementioned reasons, a lot of SEO methods do not work. Maybe they worked between 2003-2007 but not anymore. SEO is one of those things where you can spend thousands of dollars and see zero results or even negative results if you get a penalty. It’s almost as bad as an overpriced liberal arts degree from a no-name college.
Google of 2016 is like talk ratio or TV: very expensive and saturated. It just flat out doesn’t work, unless I suppose you have a multi-million dollar budget, and even then it may not work. Too many people waste too much time and money on things that don’t work. Instead of SEO, better methods of wealth creation include the stock market or real estate.