Sage Lewis runs a website marketing firm in Akron and he posts video commentaries on YouTube. I really like how candid he is in his posts.
Anyhow, he made one post called “Search Engines Optimization Expectations”.
I typed out what I believe are his main points below.
- A brand-new domain takes six months to a year to start showing up in Google.
- Getting good positions in Google is really hard. The key is links pointing into your site from external sites, and that happens when you have good content.
- Google owes you nothing, and you can’t buy your way to the top of the rankings.
- You have to have content and lots of it. You have to be a resource and you have to be relevant.
- You have to use phrases in your content. If you want to appear in searches for the term “franchise” you need to be talking about franchises in your site.
- It takes as long as it takes. The more competitive, the longer the delay.
- You do it until. Keep working it until works.
- Kill off multiple domains.
- Don’t hide content. No white-on-white content, no hidden DHTML, etc. The key is good content.
- Trust SEO for at least a year. It takes a while to get results.
I agree with most of this. There doesn’t seem to be any secret shortcut to the top of search ranks. The most reliable way there is by hosting content that other people want to find, and presenting it in a search-engine friendly format. I feel like his remarks support my belief that search engine ranking is an efficient market.
However, I don’t think I really understand what he means by “you do it until”. Does he mean that you must keep shoveling money into the SEO consultants accounts indefinitely? That seems a little self-serving.
Additionally, I also don’t know if it is really true that Google time-delays new domains. I started up this blog recently, and I nearly immediately started showing up at the bottom of the first page for Google searches on certain terms. Go do a search on lua metatable examples or python logging or cleveland heights hookah bar and you’ll likely find this blog somewhere high up there.
All the search engines publish descriptions of what any web designer should do to maximize chances of getting a premium spot. What else can an honest SEO consultant offer me besides holding my hand while I implement these practices?
If I remember my theory correctly, a firm operating in an efficient, perfectly competitive marketplace should expect to earn no better (and no worse) than any use of the same labor and capital. In other words, ZERO ECONOMIC PROFIT.
Like I said at the beginning, Sage Lewis seems like a cool guy. I think this post is brilliant.