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One question that arises fairly often in local search is whether keywords or business names are more important. The answer is, it depends. Really, it depends on a number of factors.

Those factors include your local culture, your niche or industry or type of business, and how well you market yourself off line.

For instance, if you live in a large metropolitan area where there are several different types of pizza restaurants including mom and pops as well as large national chains, then someone may simply search for “pizza” plus their area code or neighborhood name. In that case, they’re looking for the closest pizza restaurant.

On the other hand, if they want to eat at a specific restaurant, then they may search for that restaurant by name.

If you live in a smaller area – say, a rural area where a particular pizza restaurant is popular and there is little or no competition, then most searchers may search for that pizza restaurant by name.

But what if someone is locked out of their vehicle? It hardly matters where. They need a locksmith and they need one fast. They are not likely to search for a locksmith by name, especially if they are traveling. They are likely to search for a locksmith in relation to their location and just see what comes up.

When it comes to local search, it works in much the same way as universal search, but with a few additional factors. Place pages play a role in that, business names play a small role in it, and location-based content on your website is likely to play a role as well.

The bottom line is, you need to know your area and your niche. Local search is a growing area and will likely become as sophisticated as universal search in the next couple of years.

Google has announced that it has made 40 algorithm changes in February 2012, which sets a new record. Here are 5 notable changes to Google’s search algorithm changes and what they might mean for you.

  1. Local predictions in YouTube – If you search YouTube on a specific topic, Google will predict your intentions based on your location. This could have a significant impact on video marketing for businesses. I think many marketers who use video will be testing this one.
  2. Global shopping rich snippets – Rich snippets have not caught on popularly, but they are extremely valuable for search. If you run an e-commerce store, then you should learn about the shopping rich snippet. This one could prove to be a big advantage to webmasters who use it masterfully.
  3. Freshness improvements – More and more, users want fresh search results. I’ve noticed that lately Google has delivered these more quickly. This is good, especially for bloggers. If you write a business blog, traditional SEO still works.
  4. Improvements to local search results rankings – Speaking of traditional SEO, Google is saying that local search results now rely more on traditional SEO signals. If you run a local business online, then you should be testing this one.
  5. Link evaluation – This could be a big one. Google is saying they have turned off link evaluation signals that they’ve been using for years. And that means that many websites that have relied on links for their rankings could see a decline in rankings if they continue to use the same link practices. This is one that will definitely be tested by a broad swath of SEOs in practice.
  6. Google rarely is this specific about its algorithm updates. It’s time to start testing some of these changes to see if you can reverse engineer them. I know many SEOs have already started this process.

One of the biggest hurdles to get over for new content creators is the development of ideas. Sure, you can keep it going for a while, but what happens when you’ve run through your list of keywords a dozen times and you begin to repeat yourself? What do you do?

Why not ask your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn followers?

Your social media followers are likely some of your most avid blog readers and most frequent website visitors. Why not ask for their feedback on what to write about next?

It doesn’t have to be a big to-do. You just want some ideas for content. So ask your followers to visit your blog and tell you what they want you to write about. There are several ways you can approach this.

  • Make it fun – Write a blog post saying the best suggestion for a blog post will get a free copy of your e-book. Give a deadline and then share your blog post on your social networks.
  • Up the stakes – Ask your followers to give you their ideas and if you use the idea, then you’ll give away your e-book or multimedia presentation to each person whose idea you use.
  • Ask for guest bloggers – Open up the floor for others to post their content on your blog or website.
  • Interview a reader – Pick one of your most avid readers and interview them. Post the interview on your blog and make one of your questions about you. Ask “why do you like reading my blog?” or “what kind of content should we write about here?”

Readers love to give you their feedback, so give them plenty of opportunities for doing so.

If you want a sure-fire way to kill your website and ensure that it doesn’t get traction in the search engines or that visitors stop by for a quick look and leave, then follow these web design principles.

  1. No social media icons – Leave off the social media icons. No one’s going to share your content anyway. Truth is, people do share content. And they’re sharing it more all the time.
  2. Don’t include graphics – No one likes pretty pictures. Fill your web content space with nothing but text. Lots of it. Heck, go even further and don’t break for paragraphs. Do everything you can to make your web pages gray.
  3. Noindex, nofollow – Add the meta tag “noindex, nofollow” to every page on your website. It won’t get crawled or ranked by the search engines and no one will ever find you. You’re sure to live out the rest of your life in obscurity.
  4. Talk down to your readers – You’re smarter than they are. Show it. Readers love it when web content talks down to them, puts them in their place. You’ll get lots of repeat visitors to your site with that. Not.
  5. Don’t do any internal linking – Links are overrated. Why would you want your web pages to link together? Why encourage site visitors to visit more than one page? They came to your site to see the page they’re on, so keep them there. Actually, studies show that website navigation is one of the most important things for site visitors.

If you noticed the inherent sarcasm in this post, good for you. Now, don’t you think it’s time to learn how to really design web pages?

Natural language writing does not preclude use of keywords. In fact, you still want to employ some level of keyword usage, but you want to focus your writing on natural language techniques.

In the spirit of Google’s semantic language indexing policies, we’ve come up with 5 rules for natural language writing. Disobey these rules at your own peril.

  1. Rule #1: Use Keywords – The first rule is to use keywords, but use them sparingly. You want your primary keyword in your title and if you are linking to another page, use your primary keyword as anchor text. Also, use it a couple of times in your body content for every 500-700 words of content.
  2. Rule #2: Substitute Keywords – Take your primary keyword and find a synonym for it. Use your synonyms profusely. In fact, if you’ll write your content with a 5% keyword density, then go back and change some of those keyword phrases to synonymous phrases, you’ll be adding natural language fuel to your content.
  3. Rule #3: Keep Your Content Focused – Don’t go off on a tangent. Keep your content tightly focused on one topic. Make salient points on that topic and support them with facts.
  4. Rule #4: Speak In The Language Of Your Audience – I’m not talking about English vs. Spanish. That should be a given. I’m talking about using words that your audience can relate to. For instance, if you are writing about celebrities, would your audience say “celebs?” Would they use “stars” instead of “movie stars?” Don’t just use a word because the search engines like it. Use words that your audience will like.
  5. Rule #5: Take Out The Fluff – Natural language writing is terse, tight, and to the point. Don’t belabor the message. Say it and get out.
  6. Natural language writing has been around since long before the search engines. Instead of writing for robots, write for real people.

Aaron Wall has posted a nice infographic that shows life before the Panda update and what life has been like afterward. I think it’s a fitting infographic for a number of reasons.

First, today marks the 1 year anniversary of the Panda update. That’s reason enough for celebration (or woe, in some cases).

Secondly, the infographic illustrates some hard truths about the Panda update. Here’s a little summary:

  • The Panda update wasn’t just one update. The update was really a series of updates that occurred on average about once a month through the year. That’s very important to understand.
  • Before Panda, relevance was driven largely by links, which angered many journalists who saw themselves producing better content than website that were ranking better. After Panda, the journalists are winning.
  • Most of the sites impacted by Panda were large sites with marketing issues. Smaller sites and brands were unaffected.
  • Important! – The big winners were YouTube, big retail brands, and mainstream media. I think it’s interesting that the mainstream media sites started using bots to write their stories, and those stories are ranking.
  • Another interesting tidbit is that some sites that were hit by Panda recovered by complaining publicly while others went back to the drawing board.

This is an interesting and very telling infographic. You could say that the takeaway here is to complain about Google if you don’t like their search and ranking algorithms. It might not help, but it can’t hurt.

Without further ado, I’ll give you SEO Book’s Panda infographic.

Google Panda Algorithm Infographic

SEM Infographic by SEO Book

Last year Bing made it possible for people to find you easier in its search index by including Facebook results. Now, they are introducing Linked Pages.

This is an interesting concept, though I doubt that it will have the same power as your Google+ profile.

Linked Pages allows you to link any page on the web to search results related to you. Naturally, this will only have value if you anticipate people searching for you in Bing. If you’re a hermit, that likely won’t happen.

You start by going to Linked Pages on Bing.com. After logging in, you can allow Bing to post your linked pages to Facebook. Then you can search for yourself in Bing and start linking pages about you to Bing’s search results.

Interestingly, they don’t all have to be websites that you own. Of course, you’ll want to link your blog and your website. If you are an employee of a company, you might link yourself to the company website. You can also link yourself to your social media profiles at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other places around the web. Anywhere you have an online presence, you can link yourself to your Bing search results.

Bing will also allow you to remove links, so if you leave an organization, then you can remove your association from the Bing search results.

Is this practical?

I think, for reputation management purposes, it might be a good thing. Other than that, my hope is that Bing doesn’t get too intrusive where privacy is concerned. But beyond personal reputation management, I’m not sure about the practical implications of how it will impact search.

Let’s say you’ve decided that a huge website covering every aspect of peeling a banana needs to be published and that you are the right person for the job. You’ve done the research, you’ve picked your keywords, and you’ve put together an awesome plan for the website. How many pages per day should you publish?

I’m not talking about blog posts. I’m talking about web pages. Actual content pages of your website.

There are two types of mistakes new webmasters can make with the rate of publishing their web pages.

  • Too often
  • and not often enough

Both of these mistakes are easy to make.

Why You Shouldn’t Publish Web Pages Too Often

If you publish hundreds or thousands of web pages at a time you are likely to make some huge mistakes. First, you’ll have no way of knowing what you are doing that is working if you manage to get some of your pages to rank #1. What is your control group? It’s best to go slow so that you can measure each activity you perform as you perform them. Then, you have a much better chance of figuring out what is working and what isn’t.

Secondly, if you publish too many pages at once, you may very well get flagged by Google as a spammer and your web pages could end up at the bottom of the SERP heap. That would be disastrous.

Why You Should Publish Web Pages Every Day

A much lesser problem is not publishing often enough. You won’t be penalized for publishing one page a year, but you’ll spend a lifetime trying to figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. As often as search algorithms change, you’ll probably never figure it out.

The best content plan is to publish in moderation. You want to publish often enough that you can test new techniques and strategies without destroying the old ones you know are working. But you also don’t want to publish too much too fast. So my recommendation is to publish no more than 5-10 pages a day, at most. 10 pages a day might be too much to tackle if you are on your first website. At the least, you want to publish one new page per day, or one every other day.

Every time you update your website the search bots come and recrawl it. The search engines then index new pages and re-index any that might have changed since the last time you updated your website. By publishing often, you ensure that you have a steady content publishing stream that keeps your website in the search engines’ eyes. And if you are on the search radar, you are in front of visitors’ eyes too.

Checking out Google’s classic search page, there is now a little microphone in the search box. Do you know what that’s for? Try this as a test: Click the microphone and speak a search term. That’s right. Just tell Google what to search for.

That’s Google’s voice-to-text search feature. I’ll say it works pretty well. I’ve done a few tests myself.

So the big question is, if you are an SEO or concerned about search engine optimization at all, is this: How do you optimize a website for voice-to-text? And here’s the answer: The same way you’d optimize for text-only search.

The best that I can tell, the search results for voice-to-text and text-only are the same. So what Google has done is taken its search index and converted it to voice-to-text so that people who can’t type or who have physical or mental handicaps preventing them from making a text-only search can still enjoy the search experience. The overall index is the same.

This is a great feature for accessibility purposes. Some countries have laws that require websites online to meet accessibility requirements. That may be why Google introduced this feature in the first place.

SEO is SEO. You don’t have to try to figure out how to do it for handicapped persons. For the most part, their needs are the same as yours. You can, however, spend a little additional time and resource to make your website accessible and the best time to do that is in the design planning stage. Implement a good website design that is accessible to everyone and you’ll increase your searchability as well.

Selling isn’t bad. Without salesmen, there might not be any marketing going on, or certainly not any buying. But there is a time and a place for every purpose. Facebook is a place for sharing. Not selling.

There are plenty of reasons why you should spend all of your time trying to sell on Facebook, but there’s really just one overriding reason. It’s still considered personal space.

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember those pesky door-to-door salesmen. They showed up at your home to try and sell you a vacuum cleaner. Right when you were busy doing something far more important. Fast forward a few years and telemarketers were the ones who called – just as your family sat down to dinner.

The truth is, many of those salesmen were successful as selling – door-to-door and over the phone. But they sure annoyed a lot of people doing it.

If you spend all your time trying to sell on Facebook, you’ll end up annoying your potential customers. And unlike door-to-door salesmen and telemarketers, you could end up getting kicked off of Facebook. Get enough reports that you are harassing people with marketing messages and you’ll have your account discontinued.

A better way to approach Facebook is to share your expertise with people in a non-threatening way. Make your Facebook messages about things other than yourself.

If you can downplay the hard sell and just interact with your friends and fans to earn their trust, they’ll eventually see you as a viable merchant to buy from. But you’ve got to be patient, not pushy.

Leave it to Marketing Pilgrim. On one day they’re asking if Facebook Stores are a failed experiment. And the next day they’re announcing Timelines for Brands.

Here’s the question: Do you think Timelines for Brands will change anything?

Many a company has tried to sell through Facebook. Personally, I think it works better for smaller companies and solopreneurs, who can maneuver easily as individuals on Facebook and sell without actually marketing. But that’s just me. Nevertheless, Facebook does have something to offer for brands.

One of the new products, and it hasn’t actually rolled out yet, is Timelines for Brands. These won’t be just like your personal timeline, but they will be a little more eye appealing than the current Facebook page layout. That’s a good thing, right?

People who visit your brand’s timeline will be able to see at a glance the various features of your Facebook marketing offerings. They’ll be able to see your contests, coupons, featured items, and other timeline features at a glance. But will that matter?

I’m not one to pronounce an Internet marketing strategy dead just because no one has figured out how to profit from it yet. How long did it take for companies and brands to take to social media to begin with? How about video marketing? And mobile marketing?

There is a lot of opportunity in Facebook if you can figure out how to leverage your efforts. Hard selling doesn’t work. People go there to hang out, not buy stuff. Still, that doesn’t mean they won’t whip out their wallet for the right item.

Talk to five SEOs and you’re likely to hear five different answers on any particular question involving search engine optimization. But for now, let’s talk about keywords. Are they necessary?

I don’t think there’s an SEO alive who would say “No” to that question, but why not? We live in a day of semantic language indexing. The search engines rank pages based on ideas, not keyword stuffing. In other words, if your on-page content is clearly about how to change a light bulb and you don’t use the phrase “light bulb” but two times in your article, you could still rank for that key phrase. It’s all about quality.

So keywords aren’t important then, right?

I’d say that’s a wrong assumption to make. While semantic language indexing rules the day, keywords are not discounted. I believe you should still focus your content on keywords, but don’t fixate on any one keyword. That is, use a little semantic language markup.

Are Keyword Tags Necessary?

One area where there is a lot of dispute over the use of keywords is in the keywords meta tag. There are two main ideas regarding the use of this tag.

  1. Not necessary. The not necessary camp argues that keyword tags aren’t necessary because none of the major search engines look at them. While this is true, some smaller search engines still do consider this meta tag; and the major search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms so you never know when they may start considering keywords meta tags again.
  2. It doesn’t hurt. The rest of the SEO community falls into the “it doesn’t hurt” camp. Because of the two reasons mentioned above, they argue that it doesn’t hurt to use the tag. Someday, it may help.

It never hurts to employ a strategy that you won’t get penalized for. I would not dispense with keywords altogether. What you don’t want to do is stuff your content with keywords as that might get your pages banned, penalized, or de-indexed. Just use a little common sense in your search engine optimization practices.

I’m guessing Stacy Green coined the acronym P.O.E.M. I Googled it and got no results. She published her post introducing the acronym just four hours ago.

So what does it mean?

P.O.E.M. is an acronym that stands for Paid, Owned, Earned Media. We’re talking about content here.

I think it’s a useful acronym, especially for businesses that are accustomed to developing public relations campaigns for print and offline media. You can take this acronym and use it for offline, or digital media.

  • Paid – This refers to pay per click advertising, in-text paid links, banner advertising, and other forms of online media that you pay for. Do you have a plan for paid media? Can you measure your results?
  • Owned – Owned media of course is a reference to media you create in-house. It includes your website, videos that you create, articles you publish off-site, blog posts, and any other type of media that you have the copyright to. You own that media.
  • Earned Media – In the old days of offline marketing, earned media meant sending a press release to a news editor somewhere and hoping he found your story worthy of journalistic mention. Today, you don’t necessarily need professional journalists and editors, though they can help. Earned media includes interviews with bloggers, social media shares by celebrity networkers, and virtually any digital move that involves other people in an online format – forums, videos, blogs, social networks, etc. If it goes viral, that’s the ultimate earned media.

A good marketing strategy involves all three of these types of media. Plan it, implement it, and measure it. Follow a useful strategy and your online marketing efforts stand a much better chance of succeeding.

Online marketers differ as to what constitutes good marketing and whether or not specific types of messages are spam. When it comes to social media marketing, the lines get blurrier and grayer. The lines are blurred even more by the differences in policies at the various social media websites that people use.

One of the most important questions any marketer will have to answer about his or her marketing efforts online is, What makes a good social media marketing campaign?

Indeed, what?

Here are a few ideas I’ll let you chew on.

  • Your campaign is cross-platform. What I mean by this is you don’t limit your social media marketing to one service. Post to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You might even try a few specialty media services. But don’t post to just one.
  • Modify your messages across the platforms. Just because you are posting to multiple social media services doesn’t mean you should post the same message. Get to know your audience and tailor the message to your audience.
  • Develop a long-term social media vision. Don’t think in the short term. Know what you want your social media marketing strategy to do for you in the long run, and play to that.
  • Assign your social media marketing to one person. Make one person your social media manager and let her run the program. Too many fingers in the pie will spoil the berries.

Social media marketing is not an exact science. It’s a people business. Your marketing should be focused on delivering content that people want. Otherwise, you’re just spitting into the wind.

By now you’ve likely heard of e-books, Kindle, Nook, and Amazon.com. But are you aware of the brand new opportunity that you have as a small business owner to increase your reputation and authority by using these tools to your advantage?

First, let’s talk about what an e-book is. If your impression is that the e-book is a digital product and nothing more, then you need to correct your thinking. What makes an e-book valuable – just as what makes a print book valuable – is not the packaging but the information inside.

You have valuable knowledge and experience that you can share with the world. Don’t you?

Well, then. You should package and sell it. And that’s where e-books come in.

With e-books, you don’t have material costs. That means you can make more profit. And with technology being what it is, you can cut out the middle men of agents and publishers and do it all on your own. You get to keep more of your profits and you can sell your books for less since you don’t have to put out huge amounts of money into the cost of paper and production. Save your money for the marketing.

You have a platform, right? A platform is a mechanism for communicating with an audience. That’s your blog, your Twitter account, your Facebook page, etc. The people you want to connect with are your followers.

So, you have followers and fans. Are you just shouting messages to them on a daily basis without promoting a product that they can buy? I mean, beyond your basic services? Once you establish yourself as an authority, you can publish a book and that will increase your authority rating presenting new opportunities for doing more business with more people. And it’s something you can do on your own.

Everyone knows about article directories. You write an article, then upload it to a handful of article directories that are used by countless other marketers and hope that you get page views, click-throughs, and traffic.

While article directories aren’t exactly a thing of the past, there may be better places to go for your article marketing efforts. Here are 3 places you can get your articles published fast and that will build great links and send awesome traffic to your website.

  1. Squidoo – Squidoo is a place where you can build Lenses. These lenses are a snapshot into one topic. You can use photos, videos, multimedia, and textual content to communicate your passion for a particular topic – and use that to link to your website a few times. Squidoo does have its guidelines, however, and you must strictly follow them. Otherwise, your lenses won’t be nearly as effective.
  2. HubPages – HubPages are not as extensive as Squidoo. In fact, its best used for publishing one article at a time. And you can’t be as blatant about self-promotion on HubPages as you can on Squidoo. In fact, it’s highly discouraged. But you can publish highly informative articles that get lots of traffic and add links to your website.
  3. Blogger – Blogger is Google’s blog platform. But you can use it for articles. Set up your blog in your company name, or use a keyword-based subdomain, and post your articles as blog posts. Don’t forget to link back to your website in your articles.

Remember, article marketing isn’t dead. We’re just doing it a little different now.

If you like to watch SEOs argue (and who doesn’t?), you’ve probably noticed that there are essentially two types of SEOs. There is the “Content is King” crowd. Then there’s the links-are-the-most-important-strategy crowd. Almost all SEOs lean toward one end of the spectrum or the other.

I’ve always believed in both. Content and links, not one or the other. But my philosophy includes the necessary component that links are a form of content.

Only in that context can you truly say “content is king” if you believe that links are important tools for SEO.

It matters a great deal post-Panda.

Remember, the Panda update is the big “content farm” killer algorithm update that Google underwent last year. Big web properties, including many article directories, lost search engine rankings (and traffic) overnight. It caused a big ruckus among search engine optimization specialists all over the world.

And the problem wasn’t links. It was on-page content. But it was low-level content and that’s what Google went after.

If you believe that “content is content is content,” then you don’t understand the power of Google’s strong arm of the search engine law. Google has the power to kill your website at will, though they seldom go after individuals or particular sites. Rather, Google tends to incorporate changes to its algorithms that go after types of websites, or websites that pursue a particular strategy to game results.

So what should we learn from all this? Here’s the takeaway: Content is still king. But not just any content. Quality content.

Quality content is content that a searcher would consider answers the question they have when they conduct a particular search on one of the search engines. If you think about what those questions might be and seek to answer them with your content, then you’ll have a much better chance at winning in the search results.

I saw this image online this morning.

Just in case you can’t read the questions, here is a sampling of the questions with the answers:

  1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
    Student’s answer: the last one
  2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
    Student’s answer: at the bottom of the page
  3. River Ravi flows in which state?
    Student’s answer: liquid
  4. What can you never eat for breakfast?
    Student’s answer: lunch and dinner
  5. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in the other hand, what would you have?
    Student’s answer: Very large hands

This student failed his exam, but I think he should have passed on creativity alone.

When it comes to online marketing, many times the answer to your most pressing questions are not direct response. They require some lateral thinking, what is commonly referred to as “out of the box.” Are you engaging in that kind of thinking for your business’s marketing needs?

    Here’s the real question: How do you get to that level of thinking about your online marketing?

    Answer: You study and learn all the right ways, then go your own way.

You might think doing what everyone else is doing is the best way to go about marketing your business online, but it’s really not. You have to find your way. Sometimes that requires a lot of study time to come up with the answers that everyone expects you to come up with. Then, once you know those answers, defy the test. It’s not all black and white.

Social video marketing is a new term that is beginning to catch some momentum. But what does it mean? Is it just about slapping a video up on YouTube and going about your business?

In a word, no. There’s much more to it than that.

The keyword here is “social.” Video marketing involves high quality video production and then uploading your videos to the right video sharing websites and/or posting it to your website or blog. But social video marketing takes that a step further.

Google gets it. Its new social media service, Google+, makes video sharing very easy. There are two ways to share on Google+. You can click the YouTube slider on the top right of your screen and search for a video by keyword, then click to share that video. Or, you can click the video icon in your post box and record a video live to post it in your stream for your followers to see.

Of course, you can also share videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. But social video marketing is as much about the social marketing as it is about the video marketing.

You should be commenting on other people’s videos. And you should be sharing other people’s videos. Don’t forget that YouTube is as much a social network as it is a video sharing site. So use it for networking. That means befriending people with like interests, liking their videos, embedding their videos, sharing their videos with your friends and followers, etc.

Take video marketing to the next level. Make it social video marketing.

Michael Martinez said something interesting in a blog post yesterday.

The problem is, as soon as a popular SEO blogpundit shares an idea or strategy with her or her audience, the idea loses value. That doesn’t mean it becomes worthless. It just means the idea loses value. Think of your brand new car depreciating a few hundred dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot. SEO ideas lose value in much the same way.

That’s pretty sage. But what is he saying?

SEO is a game. Popular SEOs figure out what is good strategy and they implement it. It works for them. Then they share it with the rest of the world. Lower level SEOs begin to adopt the strategies that the popular and well known SEOs have shared. Pretty soon, everyone is doing the same thing. Even spammers. That’s when the search engines change their algorithms.

Who are the first people to know the search engines have changed? The well known and popular SEOs. How do you think they became well known?

By the time the big guys figure out a new strategy, everyone else has adopted the old one. But that old strategy isn’t working any more because the popular SEOs have moved on. They’re doing something different.

Here’s the deal. The popular SEOs don’t share their successes right away. They test them first. Sometimes that takes 6 months or a year. Other times, it might take 2 or 3 years before they get around to sharing what they do that works (and you can bet they aren’t telling you everything). By the time they share what they are doing that is successful, those strategies have almost run their course with the search engines. Mass adoption occurs, but the search engines and popular SEOs have moved on.

So what should you make of this? If you think I’m saying “don’t trust anyone,” then you should go back and re-read the post. That’s not what I’m saying.

What I am saying is that you should trust an SEO company that isn’t blabbing all over the Web what they are doing for you that works. You should trust an SEO company that does its own testing rather than just following the leaders. Trust an SEO company that does what’s best for you, not what’s best for them.