Bad Advice: Be Careful Who You Listen To


Brendan Hufford recently tweeted this article from Y Combinator.

Y Combinator is a business or startup “incubator”.  Basically they act as a resource for new companies to get advice on how to grow there business.

Brendan points out in his tweet here a thread on Y Combinator’s forum.  And oh my goodness, this is horrible advice about search engine optimization.

Y Combinator might be great at helping people launch new businesses, but if this is an example of what they know about search, then just stay away or completely ignore.

The only thing this person go right was Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is a great and powerful tool.  It can tell you a lot.  But remember, it is a tool.  Everyone who uses a tool does not have the same skill level.

If I have a paint brush, I can paint a circle.  That’s cool I guess.  If Van Gogh has a paint brush, he can paint Starry Night and change the world.

Big difference in skill level.

I don’t even know what Xrumer/GSA are.  I know what a blog comments is.  Blog comments are perfectly fine, if used by a sane reasonable person.

But please, please, don’t spam a bunch of blog comments trying to rank your site.  Holy smokes, what the heck.

This is why search engine optimization is very hard and very easy.  I know, I’m contradicting myself, let me explain.

SEO is Very Hard

SEO is very hard because there’s a ton of info online about it and it’s almost all terrible.  Even if you were to find a good article, how would you know it’s a good article?

Especially when the good article is sandwiched between a ton of crap.

The best way to learn, get good at SEO is to build your own website that you can push and test and see what works.  If it doesn’t break, then it works.  Just do this on a website that you treat for testing purposes.

This learning process can take a long time.  Years even.

Or you can hire an SEO expert to do the job for you.  Again, this is hard, because most SEO Experts are not SEO experts.

SEO is Easy

Once you understand what a search engine is looking for and how to build a website with a strong foundation, you’ll realize SEO is easy.  Then, you go out and you see the competition.  Most people have no idea what they’re doing, so that’s the competition, and they are easy to beat.

Whatever you do, don’t do any of the stuff in that Y Combinator post.

Build your own website and figure out how to rank it.

If you like this post and are trying to learn SEO for a Beginner, read my post: The Best SEO Books For Beginners