Where Do You Deserve To Be?
Links are like votes. In any democratic society those votes must count. However, votes can be falsified both online for rankings or in a "real" election for power. When we see the news of likely electoral fraud in a countries "democratic" elections then many of us are displeased and feel angry at the cheats and sorry for the people who have to live under what is usually some sort of power hungry dictatorship posing as democratically elected leaders.
Do these leaders deserve to be in power?
Consider the drivers behind such fraud. The desire for power and the desire for money are huge factors in this fraud.
I know many people are driven to succeed online but often they expect results to come far too quickly, if that is that they are to come at all.
Often people will get frustrated when they don't rank as well as they think they should, often they try to cheat the system and falsify votes through self built links. Yet the same people are probably horrified when they hear of rigged elections when they themselves are trying to rig the SERPs which should be representing a democratic view of the public opinion of a web page!
The desire for rankings is only ever a desire for either money or exposure but the question is whether you deserve either when compared to your competitors?
Do you have a decent and competitive business model or a view that the people need to hear? Or are you just trying to chase the dream of easy money?
Do you deserve to rank? Is your site offering value to the people?
These are the only two questions worth asking and if the people (not you) answer yes then you have no need to worry about rankings as the people will naturally link, mention and engage with you without any need for you to link build!
Whoa! What a GREAT, GREAT opening for a good discussion. And let's see who will be brave enough to say "No, I don't deserve to rank." lol
I don't feel sorry for the people who have gamed the system at all, but there were some decent quality sites that were killed.... I mean I know of people who lost 90% of their traffic overnight.
The game has definitely changed and if nothing else we've seen that mediocrity is dead. You have to go beyond just writing encyclopedia-like content. I think it's also important to identify what is VALUE.
Value used to be unique content that you wrote yourself. Even if you paraphrased another site -- as long as you targeted the "right keywords" and created some internal and external links, you were rewarded. Today with so much content around I think the stakes have been raised. Value is not just encyclopedia-like content and 500 pages. Google looks at multiple signals now (including Authorship) to determine value.
Really great, great topic!
Thanks Lisa. Unfortunately it didn't open much of a discussion! I guess most are still looking for a quick win
Interesting point about value though as this has historically been seen as well written and well researched content but actually I think value is far more subjective, what is of value to one person is not valuable to another.
In the physical world we are used to valuable items having an intrinsic monetary value, but what is valuable online?
To a student in the 11th hour of facing a deadline about weather systems value may be come from a well researched, referenced and written article on the subject... However this would be of little value to someone who just wants to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, they just want an easily accessible answer such as a picture of a sun or rain cloud.
The key to value is to understand who your audience is and what is important to them, and that goes far beyond traditional SEO but is becoming the new SEO in every way.
There may be some technical reasons why your friends lost rankings, if you can PM me with some details I'd be happy to take a look.
Bingo! At the end of the day it comes down to knowing your audience and being able to build trust and relationships by giving what THEY need. That is definitely the new SEO.
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