I spend a lot of time reading about SEO and I consider it part of my job to see what the latest industry news is and to see what the word on the street is regarding Google’s latest changes or the most effective strategies for getting to the top of the SERPs. But while this has often been very helpful, and while it’s something that I would recommend anyone who works online should do (with a nice mug of coffee while sitting up in bed at that), I still find it a shame that I often come away from my morning reading with a bad taste in my mouth. And it’s not the coffee…
The problem is that too many of the articles and posts I read have a very negative tone to them that comes off as bitter and unpleasant. These will be articles by people who have been burned by one of Google’s algorithm changes, or by people who have struggled to get to the top and become very frustrated as a result, or even sometimes by people who are at the top of their game but still seem to be angry that they’re not doing better or that search doesn’t work the precise way they want it to. And the worst part? People lap this stuff up.
Why We Love to Moan
People love this kind of content you see because it gives them a license to get mad at Google and at the world for not putting them where they feel they ought to be. Too many site owners and writers have an inflated sense of self-worth and believe that they have some kind of ‘divine right’ to succeed even when they haven’t put in the necessary time.
It’s much easier to be mad at Google, or at negative SEO, or at other bloggers because it means you don’t have to be mad at yourself for not succeeding. But to this I feel I must make one inconvenient observation – if the world is so unfair, why is it that some sites have managed to succeed? And more to the point, what’s the point in whining about it when you’d be much better off just getting on with it?
Being angry takes a lot of energy. Writing letters to other bloggers because they used photo you took years ago or because you want them to take your link down takes time. And if you have time to spend doing that, then clearly you’re not focussing enough on your blog.
You see what the truly successful blog owners know is that their time is not best spent moaning about the system or lashing out at the world, but rather just sticking to what they know to work, serving their visitors first, and just knuckling down to work.
Stop Worrying About Other People
Often when I was out of line my Mum would tell me to ‘stop worrying about other people and worry about what you’re doing’. Normally this didn’t apply to business or SEO so much as how much cake my friends had, but this sage advice is still relevant. So what if someone stole one of your images? Chances are they steel images all the time and eventually someone else will take care of them. You think that XKCD or IGN don’t get images stolen all the time? And has it affected their success?
Likewise who cares if you have one link pointing at you from a less-than-upstanding website? Again, think about how many useless links the big websites get and live with – having low PR links as well as high PR links is all part of having a natural links profile.
But if you’re constantly updating your site with good quality content, constantly promoting that content on social networking sites and in guest posts, and really thinking about what the best and most useful looking design for your particular website might be – then all that is going to far outweigh a few bad links.
In other words, when SEO changes and things get tougher this doesn’t call for you to throw the toys out of the pram, it calls for you to knuckle down and get working harder. Let the moaners moan, but you should be a doer. And doers do.
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