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Five SEO Mistakes… or Maybe Just Three

May 20, 2015

On Tuesday, Forbes posted an interesting article on SEO tactics. The author, Jayson DeMers, claims that the five strategies he lists are outdated and should be removed from any modern search engine optimization campaign.


Articles like this one can post a very valuable challenge for your local SEO company. If you’re fully convinced by the arguments they make, it might be time for you to look for a new company that’s more up-to-speed with modern SEO tactics.


On the other hand, no one author’s claims should be taken as gospel. But if your local SEO company cannot provide a convincing explanation for why they’re holding onto a tactic that has supposedly been discredited by an industry expert, you should probably take your business elsewhere.


DeMers claims that modern SEO keywords should be specific in order to increase their chances of generating conversions, even if they come at the expense of overall traffic. That’s obviously true, and for certain types of businesses it’s a solid argument for place-specific keywords and strategies. If you’re a business primarily serving the Los Angeles area, you should include that in some of your keywords, and you should probably look for a Los Angeles SEO company to handle them.


DeMers also emphasizes that guest blogging strategies must focus on sites that are highly relevant to your business or campaign and that hyperlink anchor text needs to be relevant to the topic at hand and not simply the sort of opportunistic keyword-grab that major search engines will tend to recognize and filter out. These points also seem difficult to dispute, though they may be a bit less obvious to all but your best local SEO companies.


But if you brought this DeMers’ article to us as a test of our SEO expertise, we’d be confident in disputing the remaining recommendations: avoidance of directly indexing a site with Google and neglect of press releases as part of an SEO strategy.


While DeMers is right that indexing is no longer strictly necessary, he seems to overestimate what a waste of time it is. There’s very little investment involved, and knowing that your site is indexed from the start gives an SEO company an early start on monitoring the progress of its strategies. If a site doesn’t rise in the ranks, it’s as clear an indication of trouble as it would be if it failed to be indexed organically.


Finally, DeMers points out that links from press releases do not contribute to improvement in Google search rankings. While this may be true, it is also short-sighted. While Google is certainly dominant, it is not the only search engine, and if a press release boosts your ranking only for Yahoo or Bing, that is still a valuable gain. But more importantly, even if a click from your press release to your site doesn’t boost your ranking, it does increase traffic, and this in turn increases the likelihood of organic links and shares.


In this way, although press releases may not be much of a boon to your SEO campaign in particular, they can be a tremendously valuable part of an integrated strategy that treats SEO, social media marketing, and traditional marketing as part of one bigger picture. This may undercut the wisdom of some people who are strictly SEO experts, but that is something that is worth doing from time to time. And it further emphasizes the added benefit that can be gained from partnering with an online marketing business that can pull double duty as an SEO company and a social media company.

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