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

I Got a Manual Spam Penalty from Google REMOVED! But, I don’t know how…

Hi there!  I’m happy to announce that I got the manual spam penalty from the big G removed.

Google Manual Spam Penalty Removed

But, I don’t know how.  Or, I don’t know why Google removed the penalty.  I also don’t know why I got the penalty in the first place.  I was hoping that this would be an educational set of 2-4 blog posts about what happens when you get a Manual Penalty and How To Remove a Manual Penalty.

Unfortunately, this is just a “here’s what the heck happened, but I have NO idea why it happened” set of posts.

I was thinking I’d be able to give you more helpful information that this, but, this is all I got for you.

What I did to fix the problem was I went on Google Webmaster Forums and asked someone to look at this website and tell me what the heck I did wrong.  Someone did.  But they didn’t tell me what I’d done wrong to get the Spam penalty in the first place and then the feedback they gave me was very vague.

What I was hoping to get from the Webmaster Forum was, “This is what you did wrong, here’s how to fix it.”

Well, I made a few minor changes that I didn’t think mattered much.  And I submitted a Reconsideration Request through my Google Search Console (a.k.a. Webmaster Tools).

Here’s what I can tell you: it took about 6-7 weeks to get a response and when I got the response, all I got was an email saying the Manual Spam Penalty has been Removed.  And that’s it.  No explanation.  So I have no  great insights to give you if this happens to your website.

While I’m stoked the Penalty was removed, as of the beginning of January 2019, this website is still not indexed in Google.  If the website won’t reindex, then as far as I’m concerned, it still has some sort of penalty on it.  But I don’t know, this might get fixed as well.

I’m going to go in to Search Console and ask Google to re-crawl the site and see what happens.

I’m glad that this is just a play site for me where I just blog about SEO stuff I like and not a website I depend on for a living income.  Anyway, if you have any insights on to what happened, please let me know in the YouTube comments!



I Got a Manual Spam Penalty From Google. Don’t Know How To Fix

This website recently received an Spam Penalty from Google.  Not Cool!

Here’s a screen shot of the email I got about the penalty:


This is the email I got from Google.

I still have no idea why.  My best guess is that it has something to do with auto-transcription services from the videos I’ve made for this website.  Although that is just a guess.

I’ve never gotten any type of penalty from Google for any of my sites before, so this is all new to me.  And I don’t have any idea how to fix it.

The main problem is I don’t know how I got the penalty so I don’t know what to fix because I don’t know what’s causing it.

Kinda running blind here.

Since this is an SEO blog, this is embarrassing!

SEO stands for search engine optimization.  Google is the worlds biggest, most used search engine.  Currently this website is not indexed in Google, meaning it can’t be found in Google.

So… this is the opposite of search engine optimization.  Embarrassing. And this is my fault.

IF I can figure out what I did wrong, and get my site back and obviously indexed in Google, then I’ll do another video and post about it, so that you won’t make the same mistake I did.

But, I think that’s a low probability event.  Although I really have no idea.  I don’t know what I did wrong.  So I don’t know how to fix it.  And I don’t know how easy or difficult it is to get a “reconsideration request” from Google.

I put a lot of time effort and resources (note the good hosting and even SSL!) into this site.  It was going to be a long term side project for me.  So I don’t want to lose this site.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted if I fix this.  And since I think using transcription services on my video, then posting the transcription on this site may have gotten me the penalty, no more transcriptions.  You can watch the video I made about the penalty here:

What Is a Good Source To Get Traffic To Your Website?

What Is a Good Way To Get SEO Traffic To Your Website?

Transcript of the video:

Hi there, and thanks for checking this video out. It’s another video about SEO Q&A.


And today’s question is:

what is a good source to get traffic to your website?

Now this is a really great question because there is so many different ways to do it.

What search engine optimization is based off of is free traffic on the internet from search engines like Google.

If you’re a Dallas dentist, that person is gonna get traffic. These guys, these guys, these guys, (the first three business listings in Google Maps) they’ll probably get traffic. Or they will get decent traffic for people looking for dentists in the Dallas area.

The lower you go, the less traffic you get.

And then of course you go to page two, three. You get back to three and four, no one is gonna see you. Not many people see you on page two, but a couple folks do. That’s one way, you could get it (traffic/visitors) through search engines.

But if you’re a local business, if you’re a local dentist, I highly recommend becoming a member of your local chamber of commerce. If you get listed on the chamber of commerce website, then folks who are other chamber members might see you. And let’s see if we can go to that member directory.

Anyway, so folks could be on here, and they can see you, and they could click on your website through here. See, the member directory. You could get traffic there, see. Oh, I want to talk to somebody in real estate, they could find you through there. That’s a good way, your chamber.

Marketing That Works for Your Business

And it kind of depends on your strengths. One of the things I can do is I’m in local networking works, and on … Sorry, about my phone. And on chambers of commerce. In my local networking groups, I might offer them a free SEO evaluation, or audit, and give them a link to my website, and people might take me up on that. You could get traffic that way, and that’s just word of mouth in a networking group.

You can get traffic all over the place, you just got to get creative.

On the internet, I mean, it kind of depends on what you’re good at. You can get traffic off of Quora. This question came from Quora. You could go on Quora, and if you provide really good questions, you can maybe get people to click on the link to your website. Or you could get traffic obviously off of YouTube, Vimeo. You can get traffic off of social media of course. It kind of depends on what you’re good at.

Another one, another good one is forums.

If I’m a dentist, and I go to dental forums, yeah. I could hook up with one of these forums, Dentaltown, that’s a big one. And I could go on Dentaltown, and I could post questions, and I could answer … Especially, answering like really good … Putting out really good answers, and then you kind of get known on a forum, and then people will click to your website, or they ask you more questions. It’s kind of like a more niched out version of Quora. There is a whole bunch of different ways that you can get traffic on the internet.

Ads in the Mail Still Work

You can also do it through doing a direct mailer in like a local neighborhood, if you’re a local business, and you can send them an offer on your website. There are so many different things that you can do to get traffic to your website.

But this is what won’t work, if you just sit back and hope it’s gonna happen.

Get out there, try a bunch of different things, answer questions on forums. Post in different social medias, try and drive traffic through your local businesses, and through speaking events, and see what works. But there is a lot of different ways. It’s marketing. How can you market your business? Get your name out there, and try it because you’re not gonna know what works unless you try.

I hope you found this helpful. And as always if you have any questions, just let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer.

12 Ways SEO Can Help Your Business Succeed

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is one of the most effective marketing tools available for any business, no matter how big or small. Without SEO, your business is at a disadvantage and employing just some of the top techniques can help your business succeed in many different ways:

1. Search Engine Results Page

When looking for products, services, information or a business online, most people do not scroll down a search engine results page, never mind going to the next page. If your website does not appear among the top rankings, you are less likely to attract more visitors. The more traffic you can generate, the more likely your business is to succeed. The primary goal of SEO is to improve a search engine ranking.

2. Compete With Big Business

Small businesses can gain the same benefits from SEO as big corporations meaning that it evens out the playing field allowing small business to compete and often beat big business in the search engine ranking game. By using an integrated digital marketing strategy and employing all the SEO tools in their arsenal correctly, it is entirely possible for a small business to be ranked higher and therefore attract more traffic and business than their largest competitor.

3. Direct Competition

Often it is not big business that is in direct competition with your business, and it is other local businesses offering the same products or services that provide the most significant threat. Focusing an SEO strategy on taking into account your location and direct competition, will help you compete better on a local level. You can be sure that your greatest regional competition is using SEO to attract more business their way.

4. Build Your Brand

The goal of any great marketing strategy is to build an maintain a strong brand. SEO focuses on providing messaging and other techniques that will help make your brand. Also, SEO can assist in maintaining a strong brand presence once it has been established.

5. First Impressions

First impressions count, and a high search engine ranking plus a quality SEO website can provide a positive first impression. People automatically assume that a top-ranked website provides reliable information and is reputable. This impression is essential to internet users not only visiting your site, but their potential for buying your products or using your services is increased.

6. The Bottom Line

Any marketing strategy must result in increased website visitors and customers for a business. SEO can show real results in increased traffic to a website and how this traffic is directly translated into increased profits. It should go without saying that any strategy that increases profits is of value to the bottom line of every business.

7. The Cost

SEO is considered to provide the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing strategy. This means that the value it provides far outweighs the cost of employing the different types of SEO techniques. It is the cheapest strategy available – making it even more accessible to small businesses to compete with big business. In fact, some SEO techniques can be employed by you, meaning that the cost to the company is zero while the value continues to increase.

8. Long-Term Results

SEO is not about quick results and gaining profitability for a short period. Instead, it is about building an online reputation that is solid from the foundation up and ensuring that the benefits are sustainable over the long term. While this does mean that SEO can take time to show results, it also means that a strong online presence can be maintained once it has been established. SEO is, therefore, an ongoing digital marketing solution rather than a quickie strategy.

9. The Mobile Market

The latest research shows that more internet users are now using mobile devices to access the internet than conventional laptops or PCs. SEO provides a focused approach to optimizing websites for this mobile market. From the more traditional techniques like a content generation to ensure that a site is mobile friendly, SEO is the top tool in your kit to provide that mobile device users do not overlook your business.

10. Enhanced Online Visibility

Establishing a strong online presence is at the heart of online business success. SEO uses a variety of different strategies to improve online visibility including social media management, link building as well as search engine ranking.

11. Tailor-made

Every business is different and therefore has different marketing and SEO needs. An expert SEO consultant or agency considers this and can design a tailor-made package to suit the unique needs of your business while ensuring a comprehensive digital marketing solution.

When researching who to turn to for help with Google, it’s best to find a company, that can actually deliver on the results they are offering.  Ask for referrals from friends and family members to see if they have worked with any agencies that can deliver results.

12. Evolve And Adapt

A few years ago, a rumor was doing the rounds that SEO was on its way out and will no longer provide benefit to business success due to the ever-changing search engine algorithms making the industry much more challenging. However, SEO has evolved and adapted its techniques as required to ensure that their clients keep receiving the advantages of SEO.

Today, SEO is stronger than ever, and the benefits that it can provide to help your business succeed are more significant than before. In fact, it seems as though search is here to stay for the long term to continue providing the same advantages to small, medium and big business.

Search Engine Optimization Techniques to Improve Traffic

You’ve got a fabulous new website, you’ve spent time and care getting it just right, now all you need are people to see it. It’s time to implement some effective search engine optimization techniques to help drive in some targeted traffic. We have put together a few popular methods to help you achieve this.

Research your Keywords

There are tons of ways to blindly get traffic to your site, there are plenty of blackhat methods and services that can automate this. However, this will rarely lead to success and is useless if you want targeted visitors with an interest in what your website is offering. This is where keywords become an important factor in search engine optimization techniques. To gain a top position within search rankings, you need to apply the right keywords. Your keywords should be descriptive and should quickly inform the readers of what your website content is about, and obviously should be related to your website. Try to use keywords which have a fairly large volume of searches but less competition also uses long tail keywords, the Google keyword tool will aid you in this.

Write Articles

The main reason that people use the Internet, is to source information. A great way to present this information is in the form of articles. Which leaves articles as a powerful and search engine optimization techniques to get traffic to your website. You’re probably rolling your eyes right now, thinking I can’t write an article or I don’t have the time. The truth is, it’s not that difficult and you can pace yourself by writing one article per week. There are also plenty of writers out there that will be willing to write your articles for you for a reasonable fee. I would certainly be worth the effort as original, engaging articles is one of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your site.

Join Relevant Forums

Another way to gain more traffic is to join forums. There are literally thousands of forums out there and there should be no problems finding a forum within your niche market. Just type ‘your keyword’ and ‘forum’ into Google, join up and become part of their community. Use your forum signature to add a link to your website and become as active as possible, the more posts you make the more links to your site you get. Also, the more active you become the more likely fellow forum members will want to visit your website.

Release a Press Release

Releasing a Press Release can boost traffic. It gets the word out to media sources about your website or services and can often result in good traffic. The key here is to update regularly. If you are consistently updating your website, release press releases monthly.

PPC Advertising

PPC: Pay per click advertising, the most common being Google Adwords. In a nutshell, you bid for your ad to be shown on Google by selecting keywords and an amount that you are willing to pay if someone clicks on your advert if someone searches for your keyword your ad will be shown in the sponsored listings section of Google’s search results page. Although it is paid to advertise, it does provide highly targeted traffic.

Offer Something for Free

We all love getting something for nothing! Very effective search engine optimization techniques to bring in traffic are to offer something for free. This could be an ebook, free service, free graphics or a nifty little application. Once you’ve got something to offer, let everyone know. Post on forums, bookmark your site with websites such as Digg. If its good, you’ll have people flooding to your site.

Comment on Blogs

Comment on other peoples blogs. Be careful here though, as you don’t want to seem like a spammer and just have the comment deleted. Read the post, if you an opinion comment, just remember to include your website link. Try to search for blogs that have a page rank and that are relevant to your blog. You will get backlinks and hopefully some good traffic with it.

Provide Good Content

The last and also very important is content. Content is a king, if your website has lots of good articles that are useful, unique and interesting and informative and most importantly regularly updated, your visitors will love it and will not only regularly return to your website but possibly even promote it too.