Kevin in Redding, California asks a question that so few SEO-ers take seriously.

Dear Peter-

I’ve spoken with a few local firms about helping me improve my organic seo. None of them even mentioned google quality guidelines. Why should I care about them if they don’t?


¬†Wow Kevin. If you’re saying none of the search firms you spoke with mentioned quality guidelines then there must be something in the water in Redding. I am astounding how dumb they all are.

Here’s the thing Kev: if you ignore the Google quality guidelines below, I can guarantee you’ll never rank well. It’s sad but your future will include plenty of frustration by trying to sidestep elements the search engines use to award you with rankings. So let’s dive into what you need.

Custom Written Text Content

I know it sounds simple but if you or your hired gun writer can’t develop genuine, original site content, you’re doomed. Apparently, most SEO firms skipped freshman composition in high school because they choose to use auto-generated writing tools.

The problem with these stupid softwares is they create content based on mathematical formulas. Listen, if you think using filters which alternate synonym strings and create spin sentences to generate easy content, you’re missing the point.

Deception Free Navigation

This one is easy. If any of your pages or internal links using cloaking or deceptive forwards, you’re playing with fire. I know for all you affiliates out there it’s important to mask your aff links.

However, Google hates this stuff worse than walking on broken glass on the beach.

Lack of Link Trickery

I know what you’re thinking. Everyone tells you to build backlinks. It’s the crack cocaine of this business. Don’t be dumb. Ignore all the hype you hear how backlinks will get you ranked. No, they won’t anymore since Google Penguin was launched in April 2012.

Yes, links matter. But do you want to know a little secret? If you add genuine content to your site, you will get natural links. I have clients ranking on the first page of Google who got there without any manufactured backlinks. Do they have any? Yes, they occurred over time so just chill out thinking you can spam backlink your way to the top.

Fresh Unique Content

If you write it, they will come. Again, I know this sounds too simple. However, if you add at least two new pieces of text and video content per week, Google notices. After a few months, you’ll have plenty of valuable content.

But it needs to be relevant to your product or service. If you sell IT services, posting content about gardening isn’t really going to be valuable to IT customers. These days Google uses semantic software which evaluates your site content.

If you’re publishing content merely for the sake of having some, you’re way off in your thinking. Not sure what to write? Here’s an easy tip: search Google news in what you sell. Get a feel for the types of content that’s newsworthy and write about it.

Don’t copy and paste. You’ll get pinched for duplicate content. However, if you rewrite these news articles from your perspective the content will be yours. Just be sure the content you write is at least 300-500 words long. Then go back into each article at least once per week and add more.

Kevin, don’t fall for the oldest trick in the SEO book. Generating rankings takes hard work. Ignore the hype of easy buttons. I guarantee you’ll grow your rankings.

Embedded Video

Do you want to ramp up things even more? Produce videos about what you do. Then host them in your YouTube account and embed them in your custom-written text content.

The thing that Google loves is the one-two punch: relevant text and video content. Why? It creates a better user experience on your site which means you’ll snag copious amounts of Google love.

Video takes skill. If you’re not ready to produce video yourself, hire someone locally. What types of video? Good question. I like to start with a branding video format first. It outlines what you do while also building trust and credibility.

Next, move on to either customer testimonials (which can be hard to set up) or screencast videos teaching your visitors something about your product or services. Which is easier to produce?

It depends on your skills or who you hire. A nice way to produce customer testimonials is using real text from real customers with screenscribe. Here’s one I did for a client that took me a few hours…