Big loss with Harold Ramis passing away this past week, wanted to write something related to seo, but also to keep his memory alive in our industry.
The famous line is of course:
“Fat, Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life, son”
We’ve all done this to our sites for one reason or another, or maybe you inherited a site in this state.
All of these add to the size of each page on your site. Think about the person trying to use your site on a smart phone. Feels painful.
Admit it, we’ve all said or done things we wished we hadn’t while under the influence of alcohol. Maybe you tried a private link network? Hired some directory builders for $5 to get you 500 “high quality” directory site submissions? Wanted to give cloaking a try? How about a little hidden text encapsulated in the H1 tag? Obtain only anchor text links?
Or, maybe you got drunk with power and decided to finally send that tweet to Matt Cutts telling him how you really feel about “creating great content” and how you know about that Google Places
spam technique they haven’t caught yet loophole that gets all your clients ranked and you wanted to brag about your rankings?
Many items here, maybe the biggest thinking that you were smarter than Google? Maybe they wouldn’t catch on to your attempts to wear the black hat for a little bit and taint your white hat a bit grey?
As Bruce Clay once told me, “Everyone thinks they have the best site about their topic. But is it the best optimized site? Why does it deserve to be the best ranked site for your topic? What have you done to earn that trust from Google?”
Point is, until your site can pass W3C without any issues, the Google, Bing Webmaster tools test and any third party software you want to analyze your site with, and don’t forget about the tablet and smart phone users, they were given the best possible experience, right?
Your site loads as fast as Amazon and nothing is broken plus you have a backlink profile so perfect that Link Moses himself would be proud to call his own.
In order to earn those rankings, you have to do all the things that famous brands have done. Not only have a great product or service, but a great presence. This isn’t just a pimped out social networking profile on every site, but also the traditional press releases, interviews, sponsorships and donations to real people in the community that you reside in.
If you want to be ranked, you have to do the grunt work needed to earn those placements. It’s not easy and can be quite time consuming. No one said the road to the top was a simple task. Instead, you will be challenged not only by your competitors, but also by your desire to do more than the next company trying to take your place.
And, in honor of Mr. Ramis, a great quote he had about working: “Nothing reinforces a professional relationship more than enjoying success with someone.”