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Wait, what? Did I really just say that? Did a marketing company which performs SEO services for people really just suggest that anybody ever not worry about ranking in Google? You better believe it! There are many reasons why I stake this claim. With any luck, I can provide enough justification here to not make every SEO company on the planet lay an egg. Here goes nothing:

Rethinking SEO

The main problem in SEO is one of optimizing without “over-optimizing,” as Google puts it. This often proves to be a moving target in the eyes of many SEOs, but it really just comes down to this one simple concept: Don’t be obnoxious. Unfortunately, it is counter-intuitive to not do all of the things which Google says factors into their search algorithm when you know that other people will be doing everything they can to get a competitive edge.

The key is to take the spirit of what Google says and try to develop a plan that unfolds those key points as naturally as possible. This isn’t easy. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work and man hours, and is ultimately going to be something which is primarily marketing in nature, rather than web design. This is why SEO companies make a bunch of noise whenever there’s a new over-optimization penalty: It feels like Google is trying to turn relevance into a popularity contest. There’s some merit to claiming that this is problematic. However, if those are the rules, there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

Therefore, focus on marketing your website, marketing your blog posts, networking on social media sites, and so forth. If you get your name out there enough, people will start linking to your website in the most organic way possible, and you can build your reputation on Google over time. Is it easy? No. Is it going to feel like Google is stepping on your honest effort along the way? Absolutely. Will you eventually get recognition? Well, if not from Google, you’ll be better off for the attempt. SEO isn’t dead: It’s just become a lot more subtle.

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