Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

6Dec/11Off

Why You Need SEO and They Don’t

A perfect search engine would be able to read and comprehend all of the text on every site, making judgment calls about what content is actually better in terms of it's information value and quality.

That search engine doesn't exist, and won't for the forseeable future. Machines can't yet understand the content. They can only break it down into words and phrases to determine what keywords the content is relevant for. There are a few things they can use, like grammar scoring, to try and discern the technical quality of the writing, but they have near zero ability to judge informational quality.

In an attempt to circumvent this problem, search engines like Google use external factors to help gauge quality and relevance. These factors are called "off-page" factors in the world of search engine optimization.

By far the most important off page factor is the links coming into your site. Generally speaking, the more links you have coming into a page, the better it's chances of ranking in Google for the keywords the content is related to.

This means that you could have written the world's greatest article on, for instance, how to train your dog, but if you never get any links to that article it will not show up in the search results for "dog training." in fact, with no links to it at all, Google may ignore the page completely, not even adding it to it's index of pages.

While this may be frustrating, and is clearly a limitation of the current generation of search engines, it's also a natural reflection of the world we live in. A business that fails to advertise it's wares may produce the greatest product in its market and still go bankrupt for lack of customers. A musical genious that rivals Beethoven but never performs before an audience or records his work will go unknown and unappreciated.

So it shouldn't surprise you that the sites with the most money and resources tend to outrank everybody else -- even if their quality isn't the best.

The problem is that once a site reaches a certain "critical mass" of popularity, it has very little need of search engine optimization as a rule. This is because the nature of it's popularity gives Google what Google wants.

For instance, a big site like Amazon can't sneeze without ten million reporters rushing to write an article explaining the sneeze, what kind of tissue Amazon chose to use, the physicians opinion on the far-reaching impact of the sneeze, and so on. That results in millions of additional links pouring into Amazon's website, further reinforcing it's domination in the search results.

On the other hand, when you, the lone webmaster, sneeze, you're doing good if anybody bothers to glance in your direction for more than a fleeting moment. Nobody offers a tissue, nobody cares what the implications are for your business. No links get generated, and your rankings remain unchanged.

Does that mean it's a hopeless, unwinnable battle? Should you give up now and decide that you are doomed to a life of financial slavery to some evil boss?

Um, no. It jus means that you have to be smart about the way you work. It means you have to leverage what you have and make it work harder with less effort from you.

For instance, the number of writers a big web property can afford to pay full time means they can have fresh, quality content pouring into their site every day. You're only one person, and if you can't afford to pay writers it means you need to make the content you can create stretch further. Many marketers use a content spinner or private label rights content (or both) for this purpose. Others put their own original content on their "money" sites and use those other tools for content they submit elsewhere.

As to gaining links to your site, the big web properties get those easily, too, as I mentioned earlier. But the lone webmaster can fight back here as well, taking advantage of link networks and blog networks to grow the links to your site without having to manually submit content to thousands of sites.

What you do with the profit you make once you do start to see some success is also important. Rather than getting all excited at that first great affiliate commission check and buying yourself a new big screen television, you need to reinvest as much of that as possible back into your business. Use your early successes to finance the tools and services you need to reach the next level of success. Of course, it's important to reward yourself to keep your motivation strong, jut don't go crazy.

Little by little your successes will get larger and larger if you stick to the plan. There will be failures and setbacks, of course, but you will succeed if you stay the course.

In time, your business will also reach the point of "critical mass", where you have to struggle much less for each subsequent success. In fact, if you stay focused and disciplined, you may even get to the point where it all comes rather easily. And let me tell you, that's a beautiful place to be.

Please leave your thoughts in a comment below.

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Comments (108) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Great insight Jon, it gives light to those who just started building their websites. Thanks!

  2. I believe you are right, of course. Quality content and steady, consistent link building are the ways to go. As your business grows, you simply must reinvest some earnings to keep growing. Thanks for the timely, motivational article.

  3. Hi

    Thanks for another blog post.
    I wish someone can help me with my sandbox site.

    Hope to reach the beautiful place too.

  4. Hi Jonathan –

    I’m new both here, and to Affiliate Marketing. After reading your last six blog posts, I decided it’s time to step out into the light.

    You stated, “Little by little your successes will get larger and larger if you stick to the plan. There will be failures and setbacks, of course, but you will succeed if you stay the course.”

    After voraciously reading, studying, and obtusely implementing, I am spinning my wheels. I start one direction, read something else, and go another. “Eww a SQUIRREL!”

    The word, “plan” is something many are going to struggle with when first starting out. Any advise or comments on how to execute?

    Thanks so much,
    Brett

  5. Great post, Jonathan! I have learned some really useful tips. Thanks!

  6. I definately agree about some websites that occupy the top three spots etc for a competitive keyword. There are times when I have conducted backlink research on some websites and wow, some of them go way past cloud 13,000 and still climbing!

    There are however, some sites that only have 20-50 etc and do show up high on the rankings. Maybe with a little more seo think work than backlinking turns in their favor maybe :S

    And as for that big commission check LOL I’m still trying even after 2yrs lol

    Great thoughts Jon, and its good to still see that you are around!

    William Daniels

  7. What about this “Lexicon” (Spelling???) that I am hearing about? It is supposed to connect words and determine meaning? Have you heard about this? If so, thoughts?

    Thanks. Nice article.

  8. Thanks Jon….just what i needed to hear….to keep my motivation strong….

    I totally agree about re-investing profits made early that will surely increase the terms of more successes early on!

  9. Thanks Jon
    When I start getting more profit from my website, I definately intend purchasing more tool. I do that now to make life easier an d intend buying many more when the need arises.

  10. Good post. Investing your profits back into you business is key to future growth.

  11. Hi Jonathan thank you for another nice article. And yet, some aspect of this article looks very strange to me, especially because I assume you are an SEO expert, with comparing to my own knowledge in SEO for example.

    In fact, I was thinking today about this question – Does SEO is still needed?
    Looks like a silly question, does it? Well not actually. It is very surprising you totally forgot about things like microdata, open-graph and schema.org. For those who don’t know these are tags you set in the HTML of your website that tell the search engine exactly!!! what is the content about with quite a HIGH resolution.

    In fact, when having things like schema.org the question about the need of on-page SEO these days, become quite relevant. Combine schema.org with all the issues usually related with Google panda and the discussion for genuine content then one may think that returning back to “naive” websites, with the combination of scheama.org is exactly what Google is looking for? I don’t know but this is a relevant option!
    No one really know except for those that keep bombing us every 4-5 of each month, with an algorithm that re-sort websites, and looks like it put a cap on the number of impressions for those sites that gain some traffic and send those new sites back to nowhere and nomoney. They know! but don’t tell.

    I am saying that again – “Naive” websites (no SEO or basic SEO) + schema.org is what Google looking for! Maybe! I don’t know! Don’t throw SEO! But think of it, and think of Google interest, and its competition with Facebook (which is a huge stack of “naive” content) , and think about rich snippet, and latest changes of interactive behavior of Google interface when searching, and the pre-defined filtering that google apply on content query, directly from search-engine GUI (news, shopping, image, blogs etc…), and +1 . Take this all together and one must start ask new questions about Google SEO in 2012.

    • I’m afraid the “naive” websites, as you call them, never rank for anything because they don’t do any link building. Make no mistake: Google has modified their algorithm, but it’s still all about the links…

  12. Once I discovered about keyword in H1, H2, bold, italic, in first 50, in last 50, in image alt, and text links my articles and my rankings increased ten fold. This SEO business gets more and more intriguing as I get deeper into it so any help in your articles is gratefully received. I invested in speech to text software and that increased my article/post output as I’m a “one finger typist”.

  13. Your post is so true, links and authority help rank your site.

    And the content needs to be good when they get there otherwise the hard work will have been in vain.

    Good stuff!

    John

  14. Absolutely agree with you Jon, we need to work smarter to get more success

    Putra

  15. Thanks Jon..
    As usual a great post from you again ..
    Its really inspiring. I hope this keeps me on my road to IM.

    • Hello Jon,

      Indeed very inspiring piece of article. It all i needed because after an aproximatly one year of IM study I am in a position of a fresh start. During this year every money i had was invested in knowledge and also in tools, one of them is TBS and i have to say that is a must in everyone toolbox. So right now i am trying to make some profits out of this business that will be reinvested in other services and tools, like you pointed, to reach the next level.

      Thank you!
      Bogdan

  16. Jon,

    Good article. It is good to hear affirmation that all is not lost and that the little guy still has a chance!

    I have yet to see any income from my sites however I keep plodding away with articles and SEO optimization, doing the google dance with the Panda twist and trying to stay motivated while keeping my eyes and ears open for those nuggets of gold that will start to make things click and I hit the magic combination.

    In theory all things are possible (like winning the lottery), however it is a question of survival, staying in the game and finding that magical combination of sustainable buying traffic.

    -Owen

  17. Like it or not content nowadays is critical if you want to succeed in online. Unfortunately creating valuable content is the no number 1 reason people struggling to make money online. Thanks for the advice.

  18. To show my ignorance. How do you get authority sites to link to you? What is 1WL and 3WL? I believe what you are saying and understand the importance of the back links but not sure how to implement it.
    I’m a real esate broker and alot of what everyone is talking about here is above my grade level.
    At least now as a result of your post I have better questions to ask.
    Thank you

  19. Great Post Jon,

    got to have more backlinks to my web

    thx

  20. You have explained pretty well how to counter the shortcomings of niche website developers against big sites like Amazon. Although they have all the full time writers and authority in Google’s eyes we can definitely put some hard work and reach our goals using blog networks for links and using tools for creating content submitted elsewhere.

  21. “It’s just a bunch of computers and software” This is true but the panda updates are really pushing brand websites which makes affilliates life hard work…

  22. Thanks Jon, A nice refresher to remind us what we’re doing out here. I believe that if we (as you say) stay the course, we will eventually see success.. it’s almost inevitable!
    The reason why so many fail is because they give up before they see any results. Each day, we need to lay a brick.. after 6 months, we will have a decent wall.
    Stu

  23. This is really an inspiring article. You are extremely true. We need to reinvest more to our internet business when we just started to gain the revenue from it. Thank you Jonathan! You TBS is really helping me a lot!

  24. Thanks for this article Jon. Your opinion is very inspiring for those that have not yet seen the success that you have.

    It is great to see someone like yourself still spend time trying to help those that are yet to reach the levels that you have. I guess that raises you up in the eyes of your subscribers – and the world.

    Great stuff. I always find your articles to be interesting.

    Barry

  25. Bravo! awesome article man for us little guys who one day dreams of being the big guys. Thanks.

  26. A very useful, informative and educational post Jonathon, thanks.

    Russ

  27. Thanks for the article Jon. I do reinvest everything. Hopefully one day I will actually have a little extra. The last Panda update threw me back a few pages, not sure why.
    Yahoo is still good though.

  28. Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for another insightful post. Always reinvesting in yourself (education) and your business always helps make our efforts scaleable.

    Thanks for the great suggestions for SEO and the encouragement to keep taking regular action in building our businesses.

    Much appreciated.

    mike Krumlauf

  29. Honestly, I’m down with SEO work almost 3 month after panda update. I lost best ranking in google in most of my website.. I lost 1/2 of my income due to that. I feel very disappointed. Thanks for you post… you cheer me a bit … jon

  30. Jonathan, this post really hits home with anyone who has been competing online for a while. I know that once I started investing some of my profits back into my business it really helped me to grow.

    As soon as you start to treat your online business like an actual business, one where you need to spend time and resources on advertising (or ranking in our case), then you will start to climb up in the search engines. Sure it would be nice to be able to write the very best, most informed article and get high rankings because of the content, it just isn’t feasible. A little link love can go a long way, and your networks are great for that.

  31. I have always invested in my online business and that can be a problem at times. Spending more than I make. But it takes money to make money.

    Anyway, I have most of your products Jon and I agree that you need backlinks and that is why I have your products and especially 3Waylinks.

    However, my account will show that I have over two hundred links to the site from your program and then I check my Google Webmaster’s account for the site and it will say that I only have ten links. This is very frustrating when you know you have more than that. Plus the site is over a year old and they links have been there that long. Google just doesn’t count all the backlinks or index’s them. Not the fault of your program its just Google.

    I have started using accounts to ping the url’s of the backlink sites and see if that will help. I sure hope so.

    Anyway, I sure like your products and I really like your two new ones Article Builder and Jiffy Articles. These have really helped in writing articles for eZineArticles and my site. Most of the time I don’t need to make any changes and they pass Copyscape with no problem and eZineArticles. So thank you very much for these two programs. Anyone, that writes content for their site should have these two programs. Especially if you have trouble writing articles like me.

    Again, thanks Jon for everything.
    Phil

    • Building backlinks to your back links is always a good idea. It gives them credibility and if you post regularly then you’ll get page rank too. Even now in 2011 it’s still possible to rank high relatively quickly.

      You just have to discipline yourself to do one post every day and then leverage the hell out of it using Jons tools. as the song said. ” Multiplication, that’s the name of the game …”

  32. Just when the motivations starts to flag you’re there with great advice to help us keep going, thanks.

    I think one of my problems has been re-investing too much of my profits into the WRONG things.

    Corrected, now that I have found your excellent software, so I’m leaving other lists to focus on actually USING AB and JA that I have bought from you, instead of flitting from one thing to the next.

  33. Nice post. Agree completely, especially the part about when you’ve hit “critical mass” things just start getting easier and easier than before.

    Our business is in a position where we can afford not to have any SEO traffic at all because our affiliates are doing the SEO stuff and all the hard work of generating traffic to our sites.

    Not saying that we don’t take SEO efforts to rank our sites in SE — just that we do that passively by joining link networks like 3wl, 1wl, mwl, and others.

    Best,
    Welly Mulia

  34. It’s really a very helpful and great information Jonathan.Thanks a lot.

    Prem Prasad Thapa

  35. Hello Jonathan, What a nice piece of work I love the metaphors as I understand them. Google is people too that are the judges when a tie goes to the runner. I wish we knew the secret sauce so everyone is on the same playing field. Shallow pockets, no time and I want it all now is a hard combination to please Google. I’ll take your advice and march on…

    Thanks

    Fred

  36. Motivation is nice – but specifics are even better. Like you said, google is just a bunch of computers and software – how do we beat it? Please advise.

  37. Awesome, I like this SEO softwear very much, but until now, I still can’t buy it, How can I buy it?

  38. Thanks for another one of your informative articles. We use your Best Spinner almost every day. I follow all your articles and am trying to follow your advise and observations – I am looking forward to your next post.

  39. Th u Jonathan for an inspirational post I will follow you and focus

  40. Jon,
    Great piece. The trick is getting the first commissions to be able to re-invest let alone treating yourself.
    I do agree with your point on motivation – this is one area that each of us must focus on maintianing otherwise our investment ($ and time) will be to no avail.

    Keep up he god work.

  41. Some very good information for us newbies!
    It appears SEO is still ‘Very Important!’
    Thanks
    Rob

  42. I’ve been reading your post every now and then. Your tools TBS and AB helped me a lot in my online journey. Thanks Jon

  43. Sound advice, Jonathan. I wasted most of my first year by failing to learn these critical SEO and link stratagies. Perhaps your readers will be quicker to respond. Thanks for the pointers.

  44. Worthwhile post Jon. Decliningn motivation is the thing that slows me down about every 6 weeks or so. Your posts help reignite the efforts at increasing my rank.

    Gerry

  45. Good post Jonathan, and some interesting comments as well.

    For the last several years I have been building up my website with the hopes of making it an authority site. It was frustrating seeing much smaller sites with mediocre content outranking many of my pages that I had worked so hard to make top quality. But now many of these smaller sites have disappeared and many of my pages are ranking well.

    I’ve found that if you work hard and persevere, good things will eventually happen.

  46. Hi Jon … amongst the email that flood my inbox daily, yours is the one that I open up at once (at the risk of giving in to “distractions”).

    Thank you for the excellent reminder about getting links.

    As you said, I may have the best product, but if none knows about it — I’d make no sale.

    1. I’ve bought two of your products (TBS, AB), and I love them. You just have to be smart on how to apply them.

    2. With so many blog networks competing for your monthly dollars (UAW, Traffic Kaboom, Article Ranks, MAN, SEO LV, BMR, with all their “superlative” reviews … ad nauseum) …

    … plus yours (1WL, 3WL) …

    How do you choose?

    Because I trust you and your judgment — I’m more inclined to invest next in your blog networks.

    2a- Given a choice if you only can afford 1 blog network — which do you recom?

    2b- If you have the budget and can afford your 2 blog networks (1WL, 3WL) — what is THE compelling reason why you should invest in both?

    2c- If you use both (1WL, and 3WL) — how do you use each to max out the “juice” out of them?

    3. BTW, I “peeped” into the WP theme that you use in this blog (Lightword), for someone who easily afford the “premium” themes.

    (Again, I’m now more inclined to use this theme by the simple reason “because Jon L uses it!)

    3a. Please share how your thinking went in choosing this theme, which is fr.ee per their site.

    3b. Given your technical “genius” … were you the developer of the theme?

    4. What WP theme do you recom and actually use for your adsense sites?

    5. What keyword tool do you recom and actually use?

    Sorry Jon for these series of questions, but I believe that the “giver” in you will give the time to respond to my “confusions” cheerfully.

    Again, thank you and may the Good Lord continue to bless you abundantly, because you give “sunshine” to those who are in the dark.

    - Nap Lopez

    • I, of course, endorse my own link network because I know exactly how it works, and I know that it works. My own experience and those of many forum users proves its effectiveness when used correctly. I can’t say that about other networks since I don’t use them.

      As to which network to use if you can only afford one, that really depends on the site. If it’s a brand new site with no links at all, 3WL will get you ranked for low to low-mid level keywords. 1WL is designed more for inner pages that need extra link juice to rank, but 1WL won’t usually work on its own — the site needs a good base of links first (unless the keywords are very low competition). So 3WL is usually your best “first network”, followed by 1WL to add more long-tail keyword rankings.

      As to the theme I chose for WordPress (LightWord), I use it because I like the way it looks and because it uses nested blog comments, which I really wanted.

      • Hi Jon,

        Thank you so much for the generous reply.

        One thing you did’t touch …

        Do you recommend a keyword tool other than Google’s KM tool external?

        In your business, what do you use as a keyword tool?

        Again, thank you.

  47. Very good post Jonathan.

    I guess you know where many of us are. Well, where I’m at at least. I make money daily, but am still struggling to get to where I really want to be. I work on at least one site daily, and things are steadily getting better, albeit not as fast as I would like. With several decent sites that are producing at least something, I just never forget that I’m moving in the right direction and that I WILL get there!

    A bucket is eventually filled even one drop at a time.

    Thanks for the great products and motivational posts like this one.

  48. I think you have mentioned 2 very important concepts:
    critical mass & size. Of course they are very close related. And I totally agree, that especially when you are under the critical mass, you need to promote your site more or less with methods called by Google as spam.

  49. I`m subscribed to your feed because your very thorough in your explanations and I appreciate that.
    This article is very inspirational and I will keep plugging away getting links.

    Thanks, Mark D.

  50. Thanks Jon for the post, definitely helps to hear things demystified when it is getting tough to focus. I really like your point in the comments about the big G just being a bunch of computers and software, I feel that a lot of people get scared of the hype that surrounds the G and freeze instead of acting.

    Derek

  51. Great post Jonathan. It’s all about being smart with the little cash you have and making it work for you most effectively. Effort > Tools > Outsourcing….rinse and repeat.

  52. My last comment was probably a year ago. From a moment I stopped reading other blogs and tried to keep focused on a schedule. It’s hard decision to make “stay focused” for a pretty long time. This time is precious as this is the experience you need. The difference between those who give up and those who don’t is in having this experience of making mistakes, staying focused, reinvesting the money you make.

    There is no short cut!

  53. Awesome post, Jonathan… Judging on the number of comment on this post alone, it is clear that alot of people care about SEO;) we have much to learn, much to learn. Btw, is the best spinner available on Mac, I bought the program but it doesn’t run on my Mac, what should I do?

  54. That makes, sense, Jonathan. Like your tools, use them, but it’s still tough to compete. Time is the worst enemy, for me.

  55. Thanks Jonathan… another great post. I hear that Google also has human reviewers – how true is this information? Not that it should matter anyway. If you provide quality content and generate enough backlinks, then there’s no reason why one can’t compete with the big boys. How long visitors remain on the website goes along way to the total seo score too – correct?

  56. Hi Jon,

    Had to stop by and say thanks for all of your tools, guidance and very good SEO information that you have shared over the years. I would not be where I am now in my online career without all of your help, great tools and great link networks!

    Thanks,

    Tops

  57. This is Great Jonathan,you have touched where it matters most for me.I have been struggling with ranking my sites on Google.

    Thanks

    Lilian

  58. The point most evident in your article is that to get lasting results you have to do your research and then get to work leveraging your time and efforts towards your goals. You must also have to clear sense of your target audience and offer them value for their attention. Before you can do this you need a clear vision of where you want to end up and a strong reason to keep you motivated.

    I appreciate your straight-talk approach Jonathan as well as TBS. I intend to try AB next, just waiting for the superspun version. Keep up the good work!

    Rich

  59. Love the post Jonathan. Always want to write that perfect article thinking that will be the one to draw traffic to my site. Unfortunately I realize that it takes a little more than that. Will keep at it though. I also like the idea about re-investing in yourself. It can really help in the long run.

  60. Jonathan,

    As always your thoughts are interesting, especially to folk like me, and there must be many of us who have been struggling for many years, through many false dawns.

    It does however seem to me that whilst there are many quite helpful people on the internet, and you are one, it is tough to get specifics from them, so I hope you will be prepared to read the following, and tell me SPECIFICALLY what you think.

    Obviously the more backlinks, and quality backlinks the better, however that begs the question.
    Who finds the backlinks?
    A backlink is as useless as a webpage if it isn’t found by Google.
    How therefore do you ensure your backlinks are found?
    Article marketing is obviously essential, and EZA and Go Articles seem a good way to start, but the numbers are small.
    UAW makes sense, which means article spinning, and not too difficult at all, but once again we come back to who finds the articles in UAW.
    I have been experimenting with the following.

    1. Write Web Page
    2. Write Blog linking to web page, however it is on the same domain, although it is WordPress
    3. Posterous
    4. EZA article
    5. AS Helper and spin the same article
    6. Social Monkee for the web page
    7. Traffic Launch Pad for the webpage
    8. Isnare Article written with AS Helper
    9. Digi Traffic Accelerator
    10. UAW[same spin as AS helper] am getting around 120 articles.
    11. PDF articles
    12. IM Talk
    13. IM Automator.

    A. To add weight I am doing Back Link Booster{BLB} to every result that gives me a webpage, in other words Posterous, Isnare, DTA, UAW,PDF, and also doing IMA to the same, and TLP, and Bulk Ping.

    I am also writing articles and spinning again for UAW with the main link to my EZA article, and then repeating step A above to all the articles.
    How much of TLP, IMA, IMT and DTA is duplication of effort.

    Incidentally the one page I am working on has gone from 62 back links in Market Samurai and position 114, up to 260 back links and position 52 in two weeks.
    The website is mature [6 years]

    It is tedious, and I can’t afford to pay someone yet, so I just need to know if my efforts are roughly right.

    How often do I need to add a new page. The website has 240 pages, and the index page has 8297 backlinks, and lost its PR3 to PR2 a month ago, but my new pages are getting a PR1 quite quickly.

    I’d love to know what you think.

    Ian

    PS the website was completely rewritten in June because the template people stopped giving me free updates, so I moved it to XSite Pro. Sadly the URL’s were different, and Adsense Income dropped from £180 a month to £30. It is now slowly climbing, and I have altered my approach from specifics to general. PIWIK shows that my affiliate clicks to CJ have grown 500% .

  61. I really appreciate you continuing to provide posts like this. I read them as soon as I get them. Thanks!

  62. A good post – may one thing to add on is focus. Many (including myself) have spread energy too wide, trying to win with to many site, rather than focus on a one site and doing the work. Maybe we cant hit Number 1 for “digital products” as some said it, but being smart, aiming around the bigger competitive terms, and expect to have to work for it ;)

  63. Hi Jon:

    As someone coming to the ready start part of my internet journey I come to not only learn but completely understand what exactly the necessary components of a successful internet marketer and this article is spot on. Content is still king and I can’t imagine that changing anytime soon. However, it’s all about up to date, highly relavent, informative that truly speaks to the subject. It must delivery to the reader exceptional value from beginning through to the end. I don’t see this as a problem with anything other than patients on my part, my willingness to take the time and care at every stage which I find much easier due to the additional tools (TBS). I just need to remind myself that once I’m finished with the article/ project I am also going to be able to transform it using high quility tools and with a little thought turn that one article into several version, all very readable and if I’ve put the care and patients I spoke of above conversions of many types.

    For me it’s been the many technical facets, I’ve spent a little over 4 years broadening my technical foundation, the actual learning skills. Now, don’t get me wrong, I could truly use the addition revenue but I have avoided jumping in for the quick buck because I care not to gain a pinch now, I want to be considered relevant myself. I hope one day soon people will stop if only for a moment when they see my name. I don’t want my name associated with sales per say, if I delivery quality thoughtful information, not only will the money come but I won’t need to concern myself with Google’s never ending campaign to enhance their business instead I will encourage it.

    I do believe that one day Google will find a way to almost instantly weed out the crap while at the same time be able to score the relevancy surrounding what exists already, and when that day comes

  64. I see a piece of content like a political candidate. To get the search engines to notice it you have to campaign. The more influential your ‘supporters’ (backlinks) the better the search engine (polls) rate you. You have to work hard because unlike the big boys, they can buy influence very easily. But there’s plenty of heart to take from the fact that lots of little guys are still outranking the big boys all over the web.

  65. Good overall article to read! Yes, I run my own little SEO consultancy business and service and well know the importance of inbound links.
    I used the old method of lots of little sites to get Adsense revenue, built a few links and wholla I had annual adsense revenue.
    Not, so much anymore!
    It seems authority sites work much better.
    I changed my business model and set up {a service} which not only provides links for my clients, but promotes the heck out of them and they pay me a monthly fee.
    Just got my first Client on this one! So, I am very happy.
    Still I need to produce content, so a person like Jonathan is a great help in many ways to help you be productive when it comes to creating article content.
    See you again soon!
    Marty Ware

  66. Great article and you are so right. The right SEO is possible but it always takes real work or some investment. Putting the profits back into the business is also a good recommendation. Turning the corner to making a profit has taken longer than I estimated and I can see why many give up long before they turn a profit. Many factors can turn the tables on your income and you must keep at it all the time.

    Dave Nettles

  67. Great post. I definitely agree with how important it is to reinvest back into your web properties. One of the best investments you can make.

  68. Right-on, Jonathan! Great post and excellent food for thought…

    Time was when we could throw up a site, write a few articles, get traffic, make sales and make money. You didn’t have to know much and you could do it most any way and it still worked! Those time have passed… and won’t come back…

    You can still do essentially the same thing, but to make it function you have to work a lot smarter. Like foxes in the wild, we must use intelligence instead of size. As you say, “…you have to be smart about the way you work. It means you have to leverage what you have and make it work harder with less effort from you. ”

    On the Net this means really knowing SEO and the current rules. It means discovering, knowing and using the best tools available to leverage our time and effort. And it means staying alert and energetic to continue to survive and grow…

    Foxes in the wild will survive, but will always be limited by their size. However, WE have the ability to GROW, even to moose and grizzly bear size, to dominate our habitats!

    So we could potentially have the advantages of size too someday!

    ….But we have to work smart and hard to get there first.

    Thanks for putting that into perspective for us!

    Jorge Chavez

  69. Is this working?
    Backlinking is dead? I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t think so.

    I guess what they actually mean is that the old way of getting backlinks is dead. Now you have to play to the social media audience as well. The guys who like to express approval by clicking a button once, rather than leaving a comment or putting your link ontheir site.

    And, to get that approval, you have to put in some effort with great content that answers their questions or piques their imagination.

    It’s been tough watching people trying to cheat with spinners and scrapers but the search engines are slowly getting wise to it. And now they’re also trying to weed out obsolete content so that we get the most up to date information, not some post from three years ago that was really popular at the time.

    It’s a slow process but it’s getting there.

    • I don’t see content spinners as “cheating” at all. If used properly, a content spinner helps you leverage your time and resources to produce more content than you could just writing one article after another.

      As to the “like” or “+1″ buttons having a significant ranking impact, while they may at some point in the future, right now they have little effect.

      As to quality content, that is and will always be a key asset for any website.

      • LOL, Sorry, Jonathan, I got my words in the wrong order, I meant scrapers and spinners.

        People who scrape other people’s good content and then throw it into a spinner to produce a ‘new’ article to which they put their name. I have no objection to spinners themselves to make several good articles out of one great one. But I have been on the receiving end of scrapers who took my wonderful article and turned it into gobbledegook and then removed my resource box. I recall I couldn’t decide whether to be outraged at the theft or relieved that it no longer had my name attached to it.

        Re the like and +1 buttons, surely each time is producing a link on the walls of the person concerned, exposing your content to a greater audience of possible social approval.

  70. Excellent post Jonathan. I can relate the small person struggling. I think the biggest struggle is starting out and you have to do everything yourself, it really becomes overwhelming and most quit or don’t put in the work that is required. I’m to the point where I have to make money in this business cause I have invested so much.

  71. Great article. The ups and downs of this buisness gets me down at times, so some encouragement every now and then is very welcome. Thank you…

  72. Jon,

    This one made me laugh, because you had to write it directly to me! It is as if you sent me a PM.

    Everything about it fits me to a tee! Starting with your statements ‘reinvest as much as possible’, and ‘little by little successes will get larger’ to ‘failures and setbacks, but you will succeed if you stay the course’.

    I am getting closer to being ‘there’, and most of that is due to your help! Without your programs, advice, special helps when I needed it, your forum, and this blog, I do not think I would be where I am now.

    I can now say that ‘I make my living online and be telling the absolute truth’! In addition, that my writing site ranks high in the search engines, just have to work hard to keep it there.

    Thank you so much for everything you do for your customers, forum members and for me personally,

    HoneyJo

  73. Thanks Jonathan! I love reading your posts. This one comes very timely because I have been thinking a lot about the importance of sticking to a plan and growing it slowly by reinvesting rather than trying to make it work quickly. I am learning to look at this from a long-term perspective point of view. And this has helped me greatly. Thanks for the quality posts and products you put out. There are only a few folks online (percentage wise at least) that are doing this. You’re one of them,

    Greg

  74. Even better than the post is the comments. In this massively competitive business we share, I’m continually amazed at the generosity and kindness of my fellow page makers. Kindly, positive, upbeat comments are the norm, with rants and flames being so rare that when one occurs, it’s either ignored or put down quickly.

    As such, I’m so very proud to be in the company of what I consider to be the very essence of good business folks that I rarely found in the brick and mortar world.

    Norm

  75. Hey Jonathan very cool. I like how you write that most of this stuff is common sense and takes work. This isn’t rocket science but does take time and diligence and that’s ultimately what google wants…useful content for the end user.

  76. Jonathon, you have hit the nail on the head.
    I created my web site sometime ago and like you said, if nobody knows your about you won’t get vistors.
    I have resorted to traffic and backlink programmes and I am now finding people know I am “alive”.
    My Alexa ranking went from 15.000.000 to 4,000,000 in a month.
    One thing I found was to make each web page unique, in other words, my site is about work from home jobs and I was putting the same meta stuff on each page.
    I cleaned up my site, now each page talks about itself and now I am slowly crawling out of the………

    Nice article.

  77. Great post Jonathan. If you’re gonna use SEO and you should be, it’s important to learn the game. Educate yourself on on-page seo and off page. The main problem with this is consistency. Most people don’t stick with it long enough to see a result at all.

    I’ve been doing it for some time now and can attest that it works. I also love the point you made about re-investing into your business. Great tip. You have to tool up. He who has the most tools and backlinks wins at the SEO game.

  78. Yours is one email I always open and read. Excellent info. every time and 100% trustworthy. You are one of a dying breed, a Gentleman.

  79. Jon, thanks – I really enjoyed reading your post – believe me, there have been times, particularly ‘post panda’ when I have felt like giving up, feeling like the little guy can never win against the big guys out there. However, I have kept focus, kept pegging away and kept building links. Income is increasing slowly but I am reinvesting just about all of it! I really think that focus is the key and not setting your target to be too big to start with otherwise it is really easy to get disheartened – “take small steps” is my motto and delight in reaching each little goal on the way to the big prize!

  80. Really good stuff Jonathan. You have a gift for writing what many of us want to accomplish…”to get others to see our point of view”.

    Maybe you can enlighten us whether this is a gift or did you learn your style of writing as the “Internet Years” went by. I for one would like to know?

    Paul

    • I’ve always enjoyed writing, but the older I get (I hope) the more I can see things through other people’s eyes, and the more I can relate to how they are feeling even if it’s not my own circumstances. I’m a work in progress, of course, but I hope I’m getting better with age. :)

  81. Really Motivational!! Thanks Jonathan..currently am going through that phase..and i always ask myself this questions..why I need SEO for my websites and they don’t..You answered it very nicely..Thanks again!

  82. Ok, I have this question…are the links from spun content and link networks really worth the investment for a small business owner? I can have one of the best, most relevant websites in my niche (which we do) but can all the lower quality links that small business owners go after really help their bottom line?

    • Yes, it’s very much worth it IF the spun content is quality. Not that garbage that some marketers use where they take the automated synonym replacement and don’t clean anything up. The end product should read well and be as unique as possible. Link networks are a fantastic way to get ranked. I put all of my sites in a couple of links networks I operate, with great results.

  83. Thanks for sharing those insights Jonathan. Yes, the online world has become a reflection of the off-line world; dominated by “big box” websites.

    Still, I agree there is hope as Google is making a concerted effort to change its algorithms in an attempt to provide users with a valuable experience.

    I have no doubt that quality content will eventually be noticed, and those that took the slow but steady path of creating a valuable user content will be rewarded.

    Stewart

  84. Hi,

    I agree with reinvesting your earnings back into your business.

    When you reinvest in your business you pay less income tax, because investing in your business is a business expense that you can write off.

    Would you rather spend the money on yourself and pay more income tax, or grow your business and pay less income tax?

    I would rather grow my business.

    Think long term and you will thrive, think short term, and you may not survive.

    Scott

  85. It’s amazing how much this post coincides with my own thoughts lately. I’ve really been focussing lately on trying to outsource writing and quality link building, so I can free myself to the strategy and creative side. And, as I’ve started to make a little bit of money, the more I want to make more just so I can pour it back into building really quality and useful stuff.

    Thanks or the encouragement and the quality post as always, Jonathan. And for being one of the good ones.

  86. LOVE Your POST John!

    It was educational and interesting.

    It felt really Good to know I am doing the right thing.
    I am giving the Big G what it wants and using Blog
    Network to build my links.

    I use your products for the content help!

    Keep em coming John!

    -Tim B. Miller ♫

    **Tip** Make sure when you write your content for your blog posts and pages that you have over 1000 words or MORE.

    **Tip 2** Have pictures related to your content and use different medias such as YouTube Vids, graphics Mark Dulisse has a awesome new plugin that can add this for you! I’m done:)

  87. I do not see your point, can we compete or not?

  88. Thank you for these words of wisdom. It’s good to get back to basics as far as relearning the ‘why’.

  89. I agree with your post here too. I used to get excited when I made commissions and think about all I could buy to treat myself but then it would be like 6 months before I would see another good commission check. In the meantime, my business would suffer and lose traffic and I would have to work harder.

    So, like you say here, I started re-investing 75% of my earned income back into my business and I slowly started to see the difference. The money came more frequently, the extras added up, and people started to know my name.

    I think if you are going to be serious about building a business, you should do everything you need to to keep it growing. If you had an offline business, you would be paying rent, buying supplies, paying for advertising and more. So, why should you not apply some of that strategy to an online business?

    I know back linking can be a pain(trust me, I’m a VA, I do it for many clients) but it is a necessary thing to do if you want the search engines to find you.

    thanks for the read! Great tips and info as usual.

  90. Good post, Jon. Must say I feel somewhat disheartened at the moment. I have worked hard on my site, but then Panda came along and I took quite a hit. I know that I have quality content, all original and written by me. Some pages still do well, but many have fallen way back. I have no idea what the problem is or how to move forward from here. That ‘beautiful place’ you mention seems to be very inaccessible right now. Luckily my motto has always been to ‘keep on keeping on’, so that is what I will do. I will find a way out of this again.

  91. Nice article, but one thing I would certainly think about is the idea that perhaps Google and other search engines may be a little smarter than we give them credit for, in fact, they have massive computerized power, and Micro sourcing, that could be a huge game changer, still nice article…

  92. I disagree with the comment that “ANYONE can compete with the “big boys” if they have enough motivation and knowledge about SEO.”

    I have enough motivation and seo knowledge, but I still could never beat Clickbank’s 1st position for the keyword of “digital products” most of the times. Sometimes I had beaten it.

  93. Sounds great! I need to go back and see what I’m doing wrong with SEO and correct it. Thanks.

  94. Thats why I keep re-investing into everything I do.

  95. You hit the nail on the head Jonathan! Two things really stick out in the post:

    1. ANYONE can compete with the “big boys” if they have enough motivation and knowledge about SEO.

    2. You won’t be competitive all at once. But like you say, take all your profits early on and invest them in tools and VA’s in order to ramp it all up.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Steve

  96. Great Post Jonathan, you have alot of great information here… I will be back to visit often

    Eric Burnett


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