Wired Magazine has a great article, just posted, entitled Googling the Bottom Line. There are two themes in this article: One, the author’s focus, is that a top-30 ranking is a must if you want to grow site traffic. Duh. The author’s second point is what impressed me most: Unethical search engine optimization techniques wreak havoc with any attempt to gain a stable, high rank on Google.
I’ll excerpt the article here. I rarely do that but Adam Penenberg makes the point:
Of course, where there is money to be made, there is also the potential for the search engine equivalent of vote rigging. One company you won’t encounter on Google is Traffic-Power.com (also known as First Place), which was banned, along with its clients, for various shady practices, like allegedly creating “link farms,” networks of sites that link to one another to increase popularity; concealing keywords in backgrounds; and leaving out search engine bait — long lists of keywords and links that are added to a site for the express purpose of attracting search engine spiders. Some dissatisfied customers mulled a class-action suit, which has been dropped.
Oneupweb’s Wehr says she has helped two former Traffic-Power clients, which she declined to name, who were banned from Google. “You have to be forensic detectives to clean up the mess Traffic-Power made,” she said.
That required about 80 hours of work to track down all of the link farms, phony domain names, search engine spider “attraction pages” and other nefarious tactics she says the company used to cheat the system. At about $300 an hour, it was an expensive lesson for her clients, and in the end, it took six months before Google agreed to reinstate them.
“It’s harder to do it our way,” she said, “but the results last much longer.”
If you want long-term success, stay away from ‘black-hat’ search engine marketers: Their short cuts and hacks only end up costing you money, time and traffic. Ethical SEO techniques take longer, but they also become the foundation for strategic marketing success.
Oh, and Adam, maybe you could call me next time you need some pithy SEO wisdom?…