How In The World Are We Suppose To Compete?
What does Google really want? If you are a “white hat SEO” you do everything “By the book” and according to Google’s guidelines and best practices the odds of you outranking your competitor that is using “grey hat techniques” are pretty slim. Everyday sloppy black hats are getting slapped by one kind of furry animal or another, but the reality is that if you don’t at least put a little bit of skin in the game your website will fall down the rankings while you hope for another update to help you outrank someone you should have been outranking all along.
I’m not saying go out and throw a thousand spammy links at your website with a bunch of Fiver gigs…that would be website suicide. What I am saying is that if you want some sort of success with your website or blog you need to really understand how Google works and what you can (and need to do) to walk the fine line of getting ranked in the search engines and maintaining a website that will withstand all of the Google zoo updates.
I recently read an article written by Alex Becker of Source Wave about his niche site duel collaboration/competition with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income (Pat flynn’s interview with Niel Patel about what is working now). It got me thinking about how many people are just following the online herd and regurgitating all of the latest vague Google information instead of being innovative and educated about how search engines work and understand that the search engines also have rules they need to adhere to if they want their results to be relevant and useful to the person using their search engine.
What rules Does Google Have To Follow?
Google has built its algorithm around link building and therefor they have created this link building monster. We are told by Google that any “link Building” is bad and that links should be created naturally. Well that’s great, but how many successful companies have followed all of the rules to get where they are…Google included?
Google cannot just “nuke” any websites that have built some grey hat/black hat links. If they did Bing would take over almost immediately. That is why they have hundreds of updates every year, because they cant change everything all at once. Someday in the next few years they will go to an algorithm based purely on social signals, authorship and authority, but as you can tell from the SERP’s, link building and Page Rank are still very effective no mater what Matt Cutt’s says.
Take Your Lunch Money Back!
Think of it this way, if you are constantly getting bullied at school what are you going to do about it? If you are constantly getting outranked by someone who understands how to use Google’s algorithm to their benefit (black hat) what are you going to do about it? If you are like me, you are tired of giving your lunch money to the black hat bully and it needs to end now!
Do you go up and sock the bully in the hallway at school where the principal can see you? Nope, you wait until after school when the coast is clear, you punch him right in the nose and take your lunch money back.
My point is that you need to think about what you are doing and the repercussion of your actions. Is taking down someone who has been bullying you against the rules…yep. but it is justified…absolutely! And if you do it right you will come out smelling like roses for a long time to come.
Understanding Google’s algorithm does not mean you are manipulating it, you are simply taking advantage of the way the algorithm is set up. Educating yourself about what is currently working is absolutely necessary to have any sort of success online. Understanding that what you do now will go on your permanent record as far as Google is concerned does not mean you need to be “ultra white hat” you just need to be “ultra educated” about where Google is headed in the future and stay out of the spam filter they call their algorithm.
“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success. “
You have to take some chances to get what you want in life and anything worth having will take some hard work, a series of educated guesses and crossing your fingers always helps too. If you are afraid to fail or afraid that Google will “nuke” your site then you could be in for a long ride.
No one knows what the future holds and how internet business will change but one thing is for sure, if you are afraid to fight for what you believe in you will get left behind and someone will always be taking your lunch money.
Don’t go out and create a bunch of spammy links to your website because this will definitely get you Penguin slapped, but you can’t live your life being afraid of Penguins either, people will make fun of you. Learn as much as you can about what is working and what you can do to exploit Google’s algorithm to its fullest. If you are doing things right and making educated decisions odds are these updates will actually help you out…not hurt you.
Let me know if you agree or disagree? I would love to hear what you have to say about this white hat vs black hat subject.