You’d think most people would learn quickly enough that there is no secret formula to seo. That there is no equation that when applied will guarantee top results, bring large amounts of traffic and result in a site owner deliriously spending all their instant millions. Still every day, on every forum that discusses seo in some way there will be at least one question where that’s what someone is hoping to get as an answer. So for everyone who wants a secret magic seo formula here it is.
SEO = (6x2 + 239.4) / (3y * ln(z-3)) * PI
Don’t like that one. Try this one.
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tblsp butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups apples
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine all of the above and sprinkle vigorously on your web page, paying special attention to the head section of your document
That probably didn’t help any more than the equation, but in all honesty either is as good as any formula you’re likely to find claiming to contain the secret of top rankings. The first one I made up and the second one is part of the list of ingredients I found online for an apple bundt cake. Yum. Neither has anything to do with search engine optimization of course. The same is true of formulas.
The point is to get everyone to stop looking for formulas when it comes to search engines. Trust me when I say the sites you see #1 for most keyphrases did not apply a formula to their pages. SEO is not about finding the perfect keywords to add to your meta tags and it’s not about finding the exact amount of keywords to use in your content or tucking as many as you can in things like alt attributes.
The quicker you can see past this quick fix thinking the quicker you’ll be able to truly compete with your website.
Looking for a quick formula or recipe is what will get you frustrated in a hurry wondering why seo doesn’t work. It will have you tearing you hair out when one forum post tells you to use three keywords in your title, while another says if you use more than one you’re spamming. Its how you can get swallowed up in the sea of misinformation that prevails online.
I tell you from experience. When I first approached search marketing I looked for exactly where to place keywords in meta tags and how many times to repeat them and anything else that would lead to some kind of perfectly optimized page. All it led to was a lot of nights wondering why I couldn’t find my pages even though I had keywords in page titles and in meta tags and used what I thought was a good density. Then I threw some keywords in alt attributes and in my page headings and still couldn’t find my pages anywhere. It didn’t take too long to hit me that I was going about things the wrong way.
Jill Whalen wrote a good article a few months back on the Evolution of a Search Marketer. I think I may have gone through every one of the stages she mentions in the same order she lists them. I imagine most of us do.
Take heed of that last stage. The hard work one. The principles of seo are fairly straightforward and once you stop looking for quick fixes and formulas they’re pretty easy to see and understand. A lot of people really do talk about them all the time on the same forums where people spread the misinformation about meta tags. The reason no one seems to want to hear those posts at first is because they don’t sound easy. They don’t sound like they will happen overnight. What they do say though is that by taking a step back and learning the underlying principles and then spending time working hard at seo you can succeed.