Google, I Don't Want Your SEO Advice

Apr 8, 2013 • 8:25 am | comments (36) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

not listeningA webmaster asks in the Google Webmaster Help forum essentially why isn't Google sending him more traffic for a more set of diverse keyword phrases.

So after hearing advice from other SEOs, Google's very own John Mueller comes in to try to help.

John said:

I'd just like to add that I'd really strongly recommend finding a topic that you are passionate and knowledgeable on, and focusing on that. In the long run, having extremely high-quality, unique, and compelling content -- even if it's 1/10th or 1/100th of what you have now -- is going to be much more important for your website. Be patient, take your time, build something that is absolutely fantastic. From browsing a few of the posts there, I might even go so far as to say it might be worth starting over completely. This is not about including relevant keywords or writing "articles" with a specific word-count or keyword density, it's about building a website with a community of passionate users who go to your site (and who recommend it to everyone) because it is by far the absolute best of its kind.

So Google's John Mueller is telling this webmaster, what you have now is something really not compelling for Google to index and rank. So maybe you should start fresh and go with something you can make a difference with.

How does the webmaster respond? Sorry, I can't do that.

I can't start over because it would take me to much time.

Let's see how well that goes.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for not listening man.

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04/08/2013 12:55 pm

I've seen a trend over the past few months with various Google employees/fanatics telling everyone to just start over. It's not right when a lot of them have a very good chance of recovery if they work hard enough at it. I'd love to know how "Lysis" became a top contributor on the Google forums. I rarely see posts as ignorant and arrogant as his/hers.


04/08/2013 02:19 pm

I think your being a bit hard on the OP. Several times in the thread he showed he was learning and you selectively quoted his response to make him look worse than he was.

Barry Schwartz

04/08/2013 02:20 pm

Yea, I know.


04/08/2013 02:48 pm

This is what happens, if you read and follow SEO stuff. You become a SEO !!! ))) Dangerous stuff.


04/08/2013 03:34 pm

Start over and then buy some advertising from us.


04/08/2013 03:59 pm

I'm getting really frustrated with doing SEO's these days. I feel sorry for my small business clients. Now I tell them, they need to create PHD type interesting, amazingly viral and note worthy content to rank in the search engines. Businesses don't have resources to continually create mind blowing content. Creating content is not their business goal, running a successful business in their goal. The Google+ aspect of ranking is very individual oriented and not business oriented. How do the individuals in a company effect a business ranking in the search results? Is a requirement for every job in a company going to be blog once a week and receive bonus if your article is g+ more than 5 times? I've met people with MBAs who don't know how to insert a TOC. I've met sales folks who don't know how to write a tradeshow follow-up email and include a web link to the company website. Small businesses are going to really suffer because they don’t have the dollars to hire expensive authors and experts in their industry to write a blog post. As an SEO I’m going to need to make AdWords mandatory in order to rank on keywords. It’s more cost effect for a company to use AdWords instead of hiring a team of writers. @Tiggerito it doesn't matter how Barry wrote the article, the fact that Google is advising companies to start over is absurd. What kind of message is Google sending to the business community? Ok company, flush all of that hard work down the toilet and start over. What???!! You've got to be kidding me!


04/08/2013 04:01 pm

or don't start over, but buy SEO service to "recover". What's the difference, except money flow direction ?


04/08/2013 04:02 pm

This is exactly right! Now as an SEO I need to make AdWords mandatory!


04/08/2013 04:04 pm

Depending on the firm/person they /could/ help; however, they (said SEO firm) /could/ be the reason that a site was penalized or bumped. Chicken/egg discussion here - valid point though.


04/08/2013 04:26 pm

It costs nothing to be presented in Google index. It should cost something, if the company wants to get business with the Google's index help. What is unusual here ?


04/08/2013 04:45 pm

Paying to be indexed is not SEO. I've saved small businesses lots of money by ranking them organically and reducing the need for SEM. Tell me a little bit about why you are "Anti-SEO"?


04/08/2013 05:17 pm

I'd also defend JohnMu on what he said. From what I see the OPs business model is to attract visitors to get online advertising revenue, and his original plan was to copy/cyndicate other peoples articles and was maybe spinning them. John stated in a far nicer way than the others that Google (and people) do not appreciate that and he should re-think how he creates the content for his website. This may mean starting from scratch and getting rid of all the poor quality content that it currently contains. I also work with small businesses and totally agree that it's extremely hard for them to compete in a content is king world. Seeing larger businesses hire article writers to bloat out their websites with drivel and get ranking is dismaying.


04/08/2013 06:15 pm

" saved small businesses lots of money by ranking them organically " This is not your index to rank something in it. No doubt Google doesn't like what are you doing. What did you expect ? You call it "saved money", but Google calls it "stolen money". And I absolutely agree with them. Imagine Google doesn't exist. Imagine you created very famous list of most popular ... something. You sort positions according to your own criteria. You have your own understanding, you own goals, you own paths, etc etc etc You're proud of what you're doing. Now imagine I noticed, that if I DO-THIS-THING, then I have the ability to change positions in your very famous list. How would you treat me ?


04/08/2013 06:43 pm

The site in question is spun made-for-adsense content that has no value. I'm surprised JohnMu got involved. When the OP said "it would take too much time" says it all ... he's chasing a fast buck and thinks he can get rich quick. This used to work, NO MORE thankfully.


04/08/2013 06:44 pm

If Google didn't exist SEO would focus around Bing/Yahoo - assuming that 'merge' would have never been needed. Point is this: any business putting all of their eggs in one basket is doomed to start with. Whether it be SEO, AdWords or Snail Mail marketing.


04/08/2013 06:46 pm

If crappy SEO's didn't hurt client's sites then this would never be a problem. Instead of crying at Google, cry to your SEO (or your own SEO methods) and fix it from the start.


04/08/2013 07:05 pm

The point is not in the search engine existence. The point is in the question : How would you treat anyone, who would influence the way you run your business ?

Josh Zehtabchi

04/08/2013 07:12 pm

With respect, but a very close eye.


04/08/2013 08:01 pm

I would like to see your eye, when someone would hack your business, pretending she/he was helping small businesses/homeless/kids/animals/etc It's funny, that I have to explain such obvious things to Americans, who consider private property as base of everything ) Google's index is private property. That's it. Everything else are just absurd excuses.

Josh Zehtabchi

04/08/2013 08:03 pm

Oh, okay.

Scott McKirahan

04/08/2013 08:04 pm

Actually, he said "it would take to much time." At least he didn't use the number "2" instead of the word "too." That's all I had to see to know the quality of the content on his actual website.

Dario Petkovic

04/08/2013 10:29 pm

Can't guarantee results with SEO alone so you're spot on the money - more AdWords


04/09/2013 04:29 am

You're the best Anti!

Soni Sharma

04/09/2013 04:30 am

That's true... Quality site is good for ranking. But there are still many cases where low quality websites rank higher than high quality sites and most of the time similar results from the same website comes up in SERPs which irritates user.


04/09/2013 06:40 am

Maybe that is their canned text for first step problem solving of the year :)


04/09/2013 07:53 am

the best advice to rank in Google - scrape content from every other successful website in your niche, set it up automatically to make updates and sitemap refresh, buy some expensive white hat SEO link building and enjoy the success. Google algo loves scrapers, they are all over the place...

Orange County SEO

04/09/2013 11:48 am

Oh well they need to listen more.


04/09/2013 02:44 pm

I'm hoping you are not serious. When I search the web I am most certainly not searching for the person who paid Google the most money. I am searching for options related to my specific needs at the time. I'm not buying a billboard ad, but letting people know what content I have. More and more I'm thinking Bing might have it right.

Michael Gocia

04/09/2013 03:18 pm

That's an best advice and helps a lot for web masters. really you can get good positive response from google adsense. Thanks for sharing such useful stuff and we like to have more interesting posts from you.


04/09/2013 03:23 pm

What does surprise you ? TV, Music, Movies, Publishing, Shopping ... probably All industries are working these way. You enter into the mall to buy goods "related to your specific needs". Pay attention to the fact how these goods are put onto the shelves. The most profitable for the mall will be put in front of your eyes. Others will be put lower or higher. Do you think slots are placed chaotically in the casino ? Absolutely not. This is the whole science. Digg it. Study it. But Google somehow should work differently. It can't. I told already, that Google probably made revolution in IT, but it didn't make revolution in economy. At least not now )


04/10/2013 11:05 am

Yes, first time I agree with you and it's also the first time I want to reply on your post. In today scenario the more you think of SEO and try to follow SEO guidelines - if i do this i will get this and if i do this i will get penalize etc. is hurting the most. Seeing from Google Search Results, most of the sites that are showing in top ranking are from those who know less SEO or no SEO but still they are ranking. They are doing what they think is right. They never follow any SEO guidelines. They only know about links, title, meta tags and have links spread all over the places good and bad. Still they get ranked replacing old sites. But within few months they are replaced by similar new sites with no content or coming soon page or even a keywords rich domain with zero valuable content. I have seen an EMD site ranking in Google for very competitive keywords and in the name of content they have 4-5 keywords all in H1 tag and nothing else. They have generated paid links and links from pad file submissions to software download sites. Even though they are not in software field. So can anyone suggest to the client to add good content since for the client a site is ranking on Google without content. suggest not to go for paid links or spam links else Penguin will hunt or can't proof the client EMD penalty ever exist. I have seen a site ranking in different countries and for different keywords with keywords stuff content and above this all content is in H1 tag, 600 to 700 words of keywords stuff content all in h1 tags. The site is pushed up with every update Google is doing. So, no one can suggest the client to add good content and not to focus on keywords in the content else Panda will hunt you. So, you don't need to follow what Google say since from last few months there is no stability in search ranking. You will find only 2-3 sites that have paid heavily on buying links and rest 7-8 positions are going to be a puppet for Google. It will be get replaced every week every day with sites like LinkedIn, Facebook pages, Digsitevalue (scrapper) I know you sure have something in reply for this and yes I am an SEO not anti-seo.


04/10/2013 01:38 pm

Thank you for the reply, but I'm not sure I get your point. Regarding the trash in search index ... It depends from what are you searching for. If you would leave your house to find a drug dealer, then most probably you would find him. The world is not perfect. Do you have your own reason to digg Google's trash ? Regarding the SEO ... It was never important, if you had something else to offer - quality/entertaining content, games, useful information ... something. And for those, who had nothing to offer, it was the only way to promote their web property. SEO is something average between total white hat and total black hat (read hack). Like smoking tobacco - not a drug by the law, but a drug by the medicine science. On the early stages of the industry development it was appropriate to use it. It became a rudiment with the industry evolution. Everyone is making her/his own choice what to do - digg others trash, use rudimentary methods or evolve with the industry.

Saju Mohan

04/12/2013 07:05 am

Its about 'what you write' not about who writes. Small business clients can write their own experience in simple words (with out hiring great content writer) which people may find interesting. write about the problems they have gone through in their business, how did they overcome it.. like that.. So that's what I mean by creating 'quality content' for promoting business.


04/16/2013 02:36 pm

Google is stealing private property with their index. They don't own the content. Where is Google without the content?


05/09/2013 02:01 pm

Google is the biggest bot of all bots out there. They don't ask you for permission to steal your content and use your data for creating their index. If I put something like "don't index my site" in my TOS, will Google respect that? Of course not. I need to find a way to disable their bot crawling my private property on my own. So do they. If they don't like what website owners are doing, they can remove sites from their index. The end of the story.

Cathie of Ducktoes SEO

05/16/2013 05:10 am

Local businesses need to provide good services not good content. they really don't have the time or resources to write content and that is not what they are about. For instance if a potential client is looking for a caterer for a wedding, do they want good writing about catering or a good caterer? They want a good caterer. So search results need to be about the services and products local businesses provide, not about the content.. Even if the local business does have good content, none of their clients or readers are going to link to them, because none or at least very few of their users/readers have websites. So they won't be high-ranking for content. If they do a little link building then they might have high ranking but that is the only way. Anyway where are the sites that rank high for content? if you look at their backlinks I think you'll be surprised.

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