In today’s article I would like to discuss the problems of conventional keywords SEO, why it has become a risky approach and I would also like to put forward a few alternatives.

Optimizing a website based on certain keywords, basically means a few operations that boil down to the following :

         1) The site’s content is rewritten around those particular keywords (starting with the title, headers, meta tags, etc )

         2) The SEO company buys a number of back-links on reputable websites or blogs that will provide a contextual link to the target website’s address. For instance if the site is optimized against the words “buy a cat”, the SEO company would ask a well-known blogger writing on animal topics to write a nice article about the many ways in which you can buy a cat. The words “buy a cat” would be linked to the target website’s address, thus scoring points with the search engines.

Of course, there are other  actions undertaken by the SEO company, but the steps above are the most time consuming and costly of the entire operation. And they go on forever, with the risk of not being efficient.

The problem with this type of SEO is that very often Google changes the scoring algorithm, and what once used to be a very good scoring strategy, becomes completely unuseful. One of the best examples with respect to this is the Google Page Rank. Until a few years ago, a high page rank meant that the website was trustworthy, and you had very good chances of going straight to Google’s first page with keywords related to your business. The page rank was calculated or recalculated every year by Google, based on a mix of criteria, including how much content you had on the website, the number of backlinks, and how long your website has been online.

 Just to give you a glimpse on how much things have changed, the page rank is just one of the tens of criteria that makes Google index your website higher or lower.

This course of evolution is actually not surprising, since the number of websites has increased to a point where everybody wants to optimize their website for certain keywords, and competition has risen through the roof. You cannot blame a search engine for trying to keep up with the changes that occur at such a high pace. Google actually advises everybody not to  base your business on the results of its search engine.

Even though things have gone in this direction, it’s not all doom and gloom, and, especially for those with an appetite of publishing new content, I recommend  Google News.

Google News is a news aggregator, with  a daily traffic revolving around 150.000.000 clicks. Getting into Google News, means that all published content has to be fresh and unique, your news section must meet certain visual and functional criteria.

Once accepted to Google News, you have the chance of being syndicated to a huge audience and even get quoted by other news sources. The number of click might rise by 10% or by 1000%, depending on how interesting your story is.

I wrote more about this in an article about submitting your website to Google News, in which I discuss the main advantages and I give out tangible examples of quickly increasing a website’s traffic.