Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing Help by Duane Forrester

Bad SEO article – about SEO and articles no less

Posted on | May 15, 2007 | No Comments

Man, this burns me.

A guy who apparently is someone in the world of search – there are too many “someone’s” to keep track of – writes this article and gets it on MSNBC via

OK, so MSNBC gets a pass, because they’re just syndicating content as they do.

Even can have a pass, because really, should they know about SEO and articles?

But the author – claimed to be someone – should certainly know better – or at least have his facts straight.

Here’s the article over at MSNBC.

Now, let’s discuss some of it’s main points:

LSI: latent semantic indexing – at least he gets it right by saying its been around a while. Not so sure it’s a big deal to point out that most folks don’t understand this. After all, most webmasters today are savvy enough to include relevant content – so you’re selling cars, maybe you have a page on trailer hitches too…

This isn’t that big a deal and most people naturally end up addressing this one anyway. It’s a bit like explaining to people what the egress is. They’ll figure out its the exit on their own. 😉

Google contains more than 100 algorithms that make it the world’s most popular search engine. – I call BS – maybe 100 variables in the algorithm, but 100 individual algorithms? I’m not buying it personally – and even if there were, who cares? Cover the basics, build the content and users/links shall follow. It takes work and time. Bringing up “100 algorithms” is simply a way to “look” like you know what you’re saying – it’s a parlor trick to include useless info that doesn’t matter.

“Context” is the new buzzword for SEO in 2007. – LOL, the concept of “context” has been around since day one in the world or search optimization. It goes hand in hand with relevancy, which, as even the greenest SEO knows, is critical to making it in Google’s world. Nice to see the author catching up with what’s “new” in 2007… 😉

He goes on to suggest a method of keyword research, using Google’s Site Related Keywords tab in Google Adwords, that I’d say is a bit off the mark.

While certainly it’ll give you keyword suggestions related to your content, this work should have been done before the content was even built, using keywords you know are actually searched on – massive hole in the info here Jon. Sorry, but that’s borderline misleading to those new to the space. 🙁

Finally, the whole point of his article is this: articles help SEO. Umm, I’ll have to disagree to a degree. I’ll concede that as an author, distributing articles might end up netting you some inbound links from decent sites, but in actual practice, most sites using article services are new and trying to skip a step to rank well. They aren’t interested in creating unique content, hence their use of articles – articles that many other sites will also use. So, in the end, those new sites do nothing other than throw a pointless link your way.

Now, if you’re a publisher – you should not use articles as a way to boost search rankings. In fact, they simply won’t help in the long run. If you and one other person are using it, one of you will be dropped from the index for having duplicate content. So, you have to ask yourself this:

Do I really believe, across the whole of the internet, I’m the first person anywhere to put this content live? Wake up – you weren’t.

There are no shortcuts to long-term success. Build unique content or die, I say.


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