Stop Believing SEO Can Help You
People love simple solutions. It is human nature. A turnkey process that works is gold in business. There was a time when there were turnkey SEO solutions that worked.
That time is gone. The faster you realize this, the less damage you will do to yourself.
Imagine you have a speedy delivery van service. Every day your van would go 75mph down the highway to make its deliveries. Then one day the speed limit was changed to 55mph. But, knowing how well 75mph worked for you, you keep doing it.
But then you get pulled over, and a $280 fine. But you really liked how driving 75mph worked for your business, so you keep driving that speed. Every day you get a $280 fine until your license is completely suspended. Then you’re really SOL.
That is the world of SEO right now. People doing what they used to do are not just ineffective, but penalized or potentially blacklisted. This is serious stuff.
The tragedy is this news is not what a spunky CEO wants to hear. Its the internet, after all; there is no such thing as consequences on the internet. Everyone knows that, right?
Try to tell them that a link farm is a bad mistake, and they’ll cite all these “successful” companies that provide the service. Well yes, people will happily take your money. We’ve established that people love turnkey solutions. There will always be someone willing to take your money who don’t care about your reputation.
There is such a thing as Search Engine Optimization, but it doesn’t look like what it used to look like. It has evolved to be more gimmick-proof, which is good for internet users as well as companies putting out genuinely good content (and forking out money to Google). More on that later.
The bottom line is: don’t sink your own boat using methods that used to work but will now get you penalized. If you are talking to a boss or client, stress the urgency of not being penalized. In most cases being penalized by Google is not a bell that can be un-rung.
You can also talk about the need to stay current with the times, focusing on the best practice of now. Often that is even part of your job description even as they tell you to do something obsolete. Its a battle of perception vs. reality.