Let’s talk about the worst SEO advice.
You may have been deceived all these while?
Because the web is a virtual place, anybody can come up with an advice and throw it open for others to follow. How sad?
But in reality, these so-called SEOs have never seen success or ranked any keyword.
You’ve to be careful whose opinions you follow when you’re running a website or niche blog.
I’m confident that you’ve never read this kind of post before.
In fact, the idea I’m going to share with you might be unethical or strange.
But run with it, because that is the only way for you to actually write better content that Google loves.
Since 2011, I’ve successfully ranked a lot of high-traffic keywords in Google top 10 and despite all the Panda and Penguin updates, no significant drop has been recorded on my rankings.
So without wasting your precious time, here’s the worst SEO advice that have been hindering your rankings:
Worst SEO Advice – “Write Quality Content”
And I’m going to say it again. The worst SEO advice that has the ability to destroy your rankings and discourage you is when you start writing quality content. Let me ask you a simple question: what exactly is quality content?
If you’ve been online for a decent amount of time, then you’ll agree with me that ‘quality’ isn’t a new word.
In fact, it’s one of the commonest words used by freelance writers and bloggers. But in reality, I don’t think anyone of us truly understand what that term means.
Each time someone advises you to write quality content, tell me, what exactly does that person mean? What steps are you going to take to make it good?
According to the Encarta Dictionary, “Quality simply means ‘standard’.” In other words, the general standard or grade of something – in this case, a piece of content.
When you consider this, you will agree with me that what you esteem as a standard content might not be good to someone else.
That’s why you read a lot of comments from people who are satisfied and others who don’t even give a damn about you and your content. I’ve seen that most micro blogs in the weight loss niche e.g the www.soleelliptical.net does not provide much content, but it’s already ranking. So, is quality content truly the ultimate?
Quality content doesn’t exist
Don’t just close your browser (x) button and conclude that Michael is talking trash.
On the contrary, I want you to read through this page, and I’ll show you what you SHOULD be doing instead if you want to dominate Google top 10 in a gradual manner. No, it’s not going to happen overnight. Sorry!
Yes, quality content doesn’t exist. Since everyone has a definition for what “quality” content really means to them. You can share your view in the comment below.
I don’t know about you, but each time I see a case study post, I always fall in love with it because the perception I’ve is that it’s high quality, since the author experimented before writing on that topic.
Forget all that Google and Matt Cutts are talking about.
They don’t even care about quality content, even if we had to assume that it exist in the place. If you search in Google for some competitive keywords, you’ll discover that millions of pages have been ranked already.
Now, almost 47% of these search results has similar content. For instance, if you search for “top 10 ways to drive traffic to your website,” almost all of the content ranked in the first page has the same idea.
The authors (bloggers, writers, curators) behind those ranking knows that social media, SEO, commenting on blogs, guest blogging, forum posting, referral traffic and PPC are the commonest ways to drive traffic. Now think about it, do we call these content pages in Google search results “quality?”
Again, it depends on what you call quality. When you take time to read each of the articles, you’ll get the same idea, although from different angles. But it’s all the same.
The hard truth about writing and SEO
I know that this post is controversial. It’s my deliberate plan!
Because I don’t expect everyone to agree with me that quality content doesn’t exist.
But I want you to consider all the points in this post and decide whether “writing quality content” is still a good idea for ranking your pages.
Remember, you’ve not answered the question I asked you earlier.
Let me ask you again, what exactly is quality content? Leave a comment below and tell me your answer.
The hard truth about writing and SEO is that everything has already been said.
If you’re in the education niche for instance, then you’ve a lot of professors, professionals, lecturers and educationists who must have spent eons of time on research.
They’ve already documented their findings and if you search carefully, all of this content, rich and accurate have been indexed by Google and searchable.
As a blogger, what topic do you’ve in mind that has not been covered already?
Tell me, is it List building, email marketing, money making, link building, blog monetization, conversion optimization, brand marketing, guest blogging? You just name them.
I can assure you that other bloggers have written extensively on all these topics.
Should you give up on writing and blogging and go look for 9 – 5 job? Of course not! I can show you what to do to make your content a HOT CAKE for your target audience.
Good Advice – Write Relevant, Helpful Content
The only SEO advice that will stand the test of time in this Panda and Penguin age is when you consistently write “relevant and helpful content.”
I’m going to explain what each of these words stands for – in order to help you take charge of your content.
You see, ignorance is what makes content marketers buy every e-book that’s pitched to them – thinking that they’ll discover that magic wand for Google domination.
It’s also ignorance that makes people abandon their blogs for months, just because they don’t have any new idea to write about. Truth is, you can never find any new idea that’s not been written by someone, who is savvier than you are.
As a content marketer, your concern should be to produce relevant content and make it helpful – because in the eyes of Google, that’s the only CONTENT that sticks and withstands the heavy wind of algorithm tweaks.
What does “relevant content” mean?
I went back to my Dictionary and looked up the word “relevant.”
Here’s what I got. “It means “connected: having some sensible or logical connection with something else, such as a matter being discussed or investigated.”
Now let’s refer it to what we’re talking about here. Quality content makes sense and it relates with what your blog is about.
For instance, if your blog is about marketing, then the content you write must be connected to marketing at your target audience’s interest.
Sure, you can share your personal story and experience that’s totally unrelated to your niche, but you’ll have to create a connection within the content or at the conclusion.
In this blog, I share only ideas, tips and tools that are relevant to content marketing to help you get more targeted traffic and convert sales.
Now I’ve a question for you: “Are your blog posts relevant to your primary niche?” I mean, do you stay focus on why you registered that domain name in the first place?
Your recent blog posts, are they connected to the posts you published in 2012? Do readers still read, comment and share your content?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then it could be that your content is not relevant again.
Sure, you started out strong; on a right foot, but you’ve neglected “relevancy” all in the name of writing quality content – which does not exist. Or does it?
Write helpful content
I don’t have to grind this idea into powder before you can grasp the idea.
When you write content for your blog or as guest posts, does it help? Like seriously, can someone take your idea, apply it and get results?
When you share personal stories at your website, how helpful is it going to be for your readers and community? That’s what truly counts.
If you’ve to write on traffic generation, are you sure you’ve a practicable tip that people can use right away?
It doesn’t matter how many bloggers have written about it, if you can make yours helpful, people would ignore the generic posts and switch to yours. And Google is desperately looking for helpful content.
The reason for Panda, Penguin and *Lion* updates is because Google wants to build engagement.
If you think you’ve written quality content and that’s your bulletproof against Google penalty, you’ve to think again. Because quality content doesn’t exist, and Google knows this pretty well.
Truth is, if your content is helpful, you WILL not have to convince or cajole your readers to tweet and share it on facebook. They’re going to enjoy doing it.
The reason is simple: everyone is looking to establish authority online – with their readers.
The more helpful content a blogger/content marketer shares, the more trust he or she earns. It doesn’t matter whether you own the content or not. [tweet this]
Google spider follows people!
It’s true: Google spider follows people just like the ducklings trail the Duck. [tweet this]
How do you think Google spider rates each content to determine if it’s worthy of showing up in the top 10?
Search engine spider doesn’t have ears; nor does it have brains to think.
What it does is to monitor the activities of human beings (your readers and prospects) at your website and gauge how much value you bring to them.
Did you know that the amount of time someone spends at your blog is tracked by Google? After reading the first post, do people still click on to read more posts?
This is how your bounce rate is calculated and if it’s high, it means that you’re not engaging with your readers.
Don’t forget, Google is after your site’s engagement. Not after “quality content.”
Even if your website/blog is 2-month old and you’ve a strategy for keeping people busy, I can assure you that you’ll drive free organic traffic and rank higher than an aged domain name that has no engagement. This is my strategy for ranking my niche sites.
To wrap this section up, Google can’t think on its own. Your readers are the ones whom Google is following. Google follows people and make judgments on any piece of content.
If people enjoy reading your content, they’ll leave comments, stay a little longer, share your content, invite others to check it out, cite it when they write for their own blogs and engage in all manner of activities just to reciprocate the love of helpful and relevant content.
When this begins to happen, Google spider and other search engines will get the signal that you’ve a lot of value on your website.
And because that’s their #1 priority (engagement), you’ll start ranking in Google even for keywords you were not targeting. Sounds weird!
Forget quality content, it doesn’t exist
Yes, you’ve to stop looking for quality content because it doesn’t exist.
The only thing your readers and target audience is looking for is content that can help them overcome their daily challenges.
Content that is practicable, not some storylines that have never worked for you.
People are tired of generic articles. Why should they come to your website to read about “list building” when there are over 10 million other blogs that have stronger voices.
It seems that everyone is after quality content, but in reality, they don’t even know what it means.
So to get it across clearer, next time you come across the word quality content or get an advice of sorts, let your mind go to “relevant and helpful content.” [tweet this]
Those are the only 2 criteria for judging whether a piece of content is of standard or not.
When SEOs are talking about quality content, don’t join them – just focus on being relevant and helpful – your readers would appreciate this more and help evangelize your message.
When everything has been said…
Let’s assume that you want to write a post on a particular topic, but you’re worried because almost every question has been answered.
What’s the next step to take? It’s really simple if you follow my advice in this post.
Just look for loopholes and fill it. In other words, if writers and bloggers didn’t create videos and presentations, you can do that in order to gain an advantage over them.
If your niche is crowded, it’s a good thing. Allow other experts, savvy bloggers and internet marketers to do all the research for you.
Then pick their brains, write from a unique angle. Add a lot of tools, create video, do a presentation and share at slideshare.net.
You could even record a podcast or write a special report on it. I can assure you that not every of your competitors have time to record a podcast or write an e-book.
It may not be easy for you also, but if you can challenge yourself to do it, Google will appreciate your originality, and send you free organic traffic even when you’re not targeting any specific keyword.
[Write quality content] – Why is it the worst SEO advice?
To a large extent, what determines how high a particular content page ranks in Google is what happens outside of the website.
In other words, other people will influence your rankings.
Yes, on-page SEO is essential, but off-page (natural social signals and relevant links) trumps every other factor when you want to rank your content page higher & faster.
Your content may be good, contains zero spelling and grammatical errors, but if it’s not helpful and relevant to your target audience, it may not be shared or linked to naturally.
Do you now know why “quality content” is a bad SEO advice?
Okay, the reason is because you will never dominate the top 10 with good content, because in the eyes of Google, it may not relevant and helpful to your target audience. [tweet this]
I’m ready for your feedback
Inasmuch as I’ve shared what I believe is essential for ranking content pages (relevant and helpful) in this ever-changing SEO world, I need you to add your own opinion.
Tell me: All these while that you’ve been writing and publishing quality content, did you see a significant increase in organic traffic and engagement from readers?
I need you to change your approach today – if you want to get great results!
Comment rule: make it helpful and relevant. Forget about quality comment, it doesn’t exist. You can do it. Will ya?
Photo Credit: SEO with lens
77 thoughts on “The [Worst] SEO Advice That Kills Your Rankings”
At some point I tend to think what we mean by writing quality contents. According to me it all about good grammar and easy to read and understand post which is relevant. So what do you mean writing quality content is the worst SEO advice? Am yet to understand it from the post. Will be happy to get your kind reply. Thanks ~ Anetta
Writing ‘quality content’ can’t help your website/blog grow or experience a significant development. You need to market/promote that content. In fact, it’s better you writer fewer valuable posts, but give adequate attention to promoting the content. If you ask me, it’s better to be a better marketer than a better writer.
Quality content is a myth, one mans quality is another mans garbage.
“Copy content from 10 other sites, every day. That’ll get you lots of great stuff to rank with.”
That ties for all-time worst with:
“You need 26 links to rank #1 on Google. That’s it.”
I couldn’t respond. I was paralyzed by the stupidity.
i totally agree because these days on the web it seems like everybody claims to have a solution to your seo problems and honestly it gets confusing at times.
The best SEO advice I know is ‘stay natural’.
These are really the worst seo advice hope no one follows it . Thanks for notifing us . This is really Awsome post and your writting skills are very good and you express very well also . again thanks
Awsome post you have made about seo .Your Explaination style is really cool and motivating.I have studied a couple of about seo. But only your post coverd every thing thanks
Thanks for the advice! A little unorthodox but still good information! I think that there needs to be a fine line between writing and keyword building! Also, you need to write something that people want to hear about!
Yeah !! I can’t leave this post without appreciating You !!
Really Great Stuff Bro Keep writing Useful Stuff like this
Thanks & Regards
There are lots of controversial points come in light in your post. Some of them are really confusing. I think quality content refers to the content that is written for the user not only to get the attention of the search engine. Thank you for this article. I got some new things about SEO that i never seen before.
That’s indeed great information of SEO and helpful me lot in my new order fulfillment services business online marketing.
Now I’m more confused than ever about SEO, if the worst SEO advice is writing quality content. That’s all I have to say
Thank you a lot much to Article but I think the equation is difficult to combine the quality and “relevant” and write some useful things (Mission Impossible ^ ^) it is really very difficult to do it all at the same time especially if you have no experience in writing
One of the most useful posts I’ve read. There are so many blogs about SEO. You have to be very careful choosing whose advice you should follow. Thanks for valuable and honest opinion!
and quality content, well, i think there’s no fine line between quality content and google spider, spider isn’t that smart enough judge the real quality
I am very happy to be on this page and definitely back!!!
thanks for sharing a helpful article on seo as after the updates of google algorithm optimizing of site is too difficult ..following these guidelines some how help to give seo a perfect direction
It also my first visiting in this blog and I will say that your blog really helpful
It so depends on our topic, quality to our visitors might mean a simple image/infographic, not long text google loves
This is really a controversial post but I agree, because I have been hearing the word quality content and try to comprehend what it is. Some people would say the content has to be long, more than 500 words. I have seen blogs with less content that rank. For me I believe that what is most important about your content are
1. Does it engage your reader
2. Is it helpful to your reader
Because the reason for the content is for your reader. So if you write the so called quality content and it does do the following above then its not worth it.
I think that the best think you can do for your SEO is just to write a great content and not thinking about SEO, keywords, position and other factors. Doing this you will get great naturally written content without stuffing keywords, and Google will love it.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in SEO.
I think you just need to love your business and entrench firmly in your niche. In case your service is good, it will advertise it itself naturally.
These are really awesome and powerful tips given
you have shared with us the worst Seo advices that we must prevent! 🙂
thanks for sharing such an useful post have an awesome day ahead 🙂
We’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content. We’ll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give more explicit feedback about spammy and low-quality sites. As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content.
That is one of the finest posts I have continue reading content writing for a while. I can easily see how advising someone to write quality content
yeah, bad advice tips is obviously pleased to comply with simply because in most cases they are simple and pleasurable to accomplish. Although an issue that circumstances achievement seriously isn’t really easy for getting!
Are you really Mohammad Ali the Boxer?
I think that quality content is content that you love. You write and post things that are relevant and that interest you and other people. If you don’t post quality content you are basically spamming and Google will dock you for it.
I have got to this article from top blogging coach and this is really a great writeup.Without proper balance and support to the article you could have risked yourself with the kind of controversial title because many of them don’t agree to it.
I have written some great articles to a health blog but what’s the point when google doesn’t rank it ? I never bothered about keyword research and CPC. What just comes to my mind, I used to write it off. Few of them turned out to be income generators and few of them aren’t much successful. And as you have rightly advices, writing content that is relevant is very important.
Thank Goodness I was able to balance my idea with the title. Thanks for reading my good friend.
Please answer my question, if somebody is reproducing other’s content with good English and no mistakes, then is it quality content or not? I mean the content is Copyscape passed.
No, that’s not quality content. What you should focus on is writing helpful content for your readers. Thanks for your comment.
I don’t know what to say but I think “useful” and “informative” are inside the quality for sure. Most quality content has all it need to be a good material to read. As your post here my friend. Its in high quality!
i don’t think this a controversial article at all. Rather an article that gave the right information at the right time. I’ve been wondering too what quality content is. But thanks for the advise, i never knew the other advice were just poor ones until now.
Glad you like the post a lot.
Nice and incredible information’s. At this time various people speak about SEO techniques therefore it’s being somewhat tough to believe some things. Here I got what I required.
This is one of the best posts I have read on content writing for a while. I can see how advising someone to write ‘quality content’ is not helpful and I do agree when you say that it doesn’t exist. And you’re right again when you say that everything has been done before; it’s just how you find your own angle that will really make your writing relevant and useful.
Thank you for taking the time to read and agree with me Chris. The keywords are “relevance and usefulness.”
Yeah Michael i too agree i have seen at many sites they told you to write quality content though i know quality is important but they mislead me about other factors to focus on. Thanks dude.
The [Worst] SEO Advice That Kills Your Rankings … this is a good article i like it so much i learn from it a lot and a lot …. in this respect thanks so much for sharing with us this great ideas i enjoy it more and more ….. congratulation and keep it up …
Hehe! Awesome. I died 3 minutes ago from reading this post. If i scroll up I think ill be left only with 7 lives! HAaAHH
I’m still alive!
It very difficult for me, because i have bad grammar for create relevant content, I think for more English learning, so…. I create site with English language.
Really usefull informations. I need to come back here soon for more infos.
Nice and incredible information’s. At the present time more people speak about SEO methods therefore it’s being somewhat tough to believe some things. Here I got what I required.
Hehe that was a new twist to this topic. Really liked the points you are making here. Thanks for a good article Michael.
Sometimes, we need to give it a twist to hit the benchmark. What do you think?
actually you are right in fact i impressed and this is very useful advice and content is most important part of the site so use only unique content and thank for sharing me 🙂
Thanks for your comment.
I a’v heard and read about lot of things regarding SEO but didn’t which one should I believe, but thanks for all your advice, regards.
Thank you Khan – glad I could help.
“Yes im agree.I know that I’m going to receive a lot of attack on this post, but I don’t really care Kingsley. I’m just so fed up with all these “quality content” advice. IMHO, it doesn’t exist.”
Hi Michael Chibuzor,
yes SEO plays the crucial role in the ranking,
thanks for the nice article,
this is my actual first visit to your blog and am finding it very engaging, you are actual right about the false or fake truth about SEO writing, some people just believe everything Google throws at them.
Great article you have here
Thanks for stopping by this first time to check out my blog. I appreciate your time.
Yeah, bad advice is always happy to follow because in most cases they are easy and pleasant to do. But something that cases good results is not so easy to get!
Exactly Martin. Thanks you so much for reading.
Nice and a fantastic information’s. Nowadays more people speak about seo techniques so it’s being somewhat tough to belive some things. Here i got what i wanted.
You’ve to be careful whose advice yo follow in terms of SEO. Thanks a bunch!
Agree with you mate ! One should write relevant and helpful content and should check their posts for grammatical errors …Thanks for sharing these tips!
I agree that you cannot put all of your SEO eggs in one basket. The advice that really burns my bottom is “just write quality content” and the links will come. I think you still must do link-building by participating in forums and sharing your content on linked-in, facebook, twitter, etc. In other words, you must still be proactive in spreading your content.
I didn’t read the whole article, so sorry if I write something that has already been said.
In my opinion there _is_ quality content. But it can’t be defined for all web projects at once, every project needs another quality. Talking about quality then means everything concerning the text – structure, vocabulary, markup, …
I think you focus too much on the the liteal meaning of the words “quality content” but ‘ignore’ the way it is actually meant in the seo context.
Good to have you read my “controversial” post. I quite got your point. But believe me, I didn’t just focus on the liteal meaning of the words “quality content.” Truth is, if you’re focused on making your post “standard” which the word ‘quality’ means in the real sense of it, you’ll miss out of adding value. Each time we use the word quality content, it may sound good to the ear, but only few people have been able to explain what it stands for.
Why don’t we focus more on writing relevant, helpful, informative and practicable posts? What do you think?
i dont totally agree with you on this post. There are quality content and bullshit content! I have seen what the difference can make in a blogger’s career. My blog BTT is just 7 months old and the followership is great just because I give them quality and no fluffs, if I dont have anything of quality to say, all i do is to keep shut and right now BTT alexa rank is around 50K in the world.
Write helpful QUALITY CONTENT and you will not just get visitors, but fans and loyal readers!
BTW, I featured your post in my weekly link round up – http://www.bloggingtipstoday.com/link-roundup-july27-1141.html
Thank you. I totally got your point Adedeji. Like I made mention on the post, it’s going to be controversial because “quality content” has always been our famous mantra. The success of your blog is phenomenal and I’m so proud of you. But do you think you got so much success because of quality content alone?
I don’t think so. In fact, you can agree with me that some of the topics you’ve written on have been covered a million times by other bloggers. True or false?
Bottom line is, you were able to take the same old idea, gave it your own voice and made it relevant and helpful – not quality. Because “quality” means “standard” and it’s relative to every individual and blogger out there. Trust me, there is no new thing anymore – the only thing that’s left is your unique ability to make something new out of the old stuff.
In other words, you want to make it helpful and relevant to your audience. You can’t make it quality – because you can’t set the standard for what a good content is or what it’s not. BTW: Thanks for linking to my post on your weekly round up.
Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out
Thanks for liking my color selections. I hope you enjoyed reading the content on this blog?
I tend to agree with you that some of the advice from the so called SEO experts are rubbish.
Look, somebody says you write quality content. Where do you get quality content on Premature Ejaculation for example which had not been written before?
The other day I wrote a well researched, well written article to a top article directory only for the article to be rejected because I was not saying anything new. I beg, what is new on PE execpt varying the presentation as you said.
After this rejection, I got disillusioned and didn’t post for months and this I think must have affected my site as some of the links are now going through again.
I have picked myself up together and ready to enjoy myself. I now write unique, useful articles in my own personal way. I think the thing is to be unique. Research your keyword, do not copy and paste and write in your own style.
Quality content does not exist. You cannot invent the wheel again. But you can write unique relevant content.
I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading and speaking your mind Jide.
HAHAHAHA… Michael, exactly what I’ve been iterating for a long time now. You hit it hard on the head bro. Google doesn’t know anything, it learns from people’s movements, behaviours, and how they interact with contents and websites online.
Even if some people would term this post as a little bit controversial, I don’t.
You are right and driving straight to the point which others have been deviating for long.
Nice post bro….
I know that I’m going to receive a lot of attack on this post, but I don’t really care Kingsley. I’m just so fed up with all these “quality content” advice. IMHO, it doesn’t exist.
That’s just the problem bro. People don’t want to learn at all. When you tell them to write up genuine content that “is very much helpful”, they’ll tell you it’s better to write up a content which has nice heading, good body structure, SEO optimized for the search engines blah blah blah…
No wonder they never go far.
If they can just start writing for people -solely to help them – then, they’ll have more traffic and a better audience who are willing to buy anything which they might end up promoting.
Bro, speak your mind. I love your courage and boldness.
Speak it out…
Hey Kingsley, Yes, I’ve spoken my mind and I’m so happy.
Ha ha! Mike don kill me ooo….
Man, I don’t know where to start from but here’s what I think:
Quality content is not necessary. I think, helpful and relevant content is essential. I implemented this on some of my niche blogs and the turn out have been amazing!!
Bro, see, the annoying part of these penguin bullshit is that, most of the blogs ranking for high traffic keywords are fluffy blogs. Their content is not unique. Imagine a Youtube video ranking for the keyword, ”SEO company”’ Mitchew………
That’s absolute rubbish. Relevant content is important. Don;t aim for quality content. Quality content is bull shit. Targeted, and helpful content is vital. That’s what you need to convert new visitors into potential prospects
How did I kill you bro?
Anyways, I’m glad you benefited from the post. “Quality content is bullshit!”
Sounds harsh but that’s the truth Daniel.
Comments are closed.