Detour SignSo the book is largely done, with the graphics being worked on and some peer review being conducted at present…and I can’t wait to hear the feedback.  I’ll tell you what, though – I’m going through my own 301 Redirect here…

In case you don’t know, a 301 Redirect is a detour sign for search engines, directing traffic to the new home of whatever content you were reaching for – and I’m feeling pretty 301-ish.

In writing this book and in researching the daylights out of the topic of SEO for anyone interested (WordPress SEO in particular), I’ve been doing some experimenting with websites that frankly have done very well in search.  They ranked and ranked just fine, thanks.

I didn’t use the normal link building frenzy that I’ve been well-groomed to do.  No fancy software, nothing – though by now I own an arsenal of tools many would envy.

I’m thinking over my priorities, my identity in this niche, my direction – and it’s one thing when you’re a freelancer learning the ropes and your clients come to the table with ideas…you sort of go along for the ride.  Do as you’re told.  They pay you to sling links, or spin articles, slug it out…and you figure, “This voodoo works.”

Well, it did.  It worked / works.  Get links, then rank – it’s not a secret.  But honestly I’m taking stock of the same old game and wonder if I’ve just been duped…

I’m looking on my hard-drive and wondering why it looks like I own stock in Clickbank.

I’ve been in sales really since I learned how to talk – persuading my parents that yes, I needed another helping at the dinner table, or yes, I needed the ‘new Atari 2600′ with the paddle controls, too.  Hard to play Breakout when you just had the joystick with that one red button…

Something like that.  It’s part of who I am: convince and convert.

But I’m telling you, writing this book and then retracing my steps – I think I’ve been sold on SEO “shortcuts” so long I never thought there was any other way around the SERPs.  Literally, I’m staring at them just under my post editor, in the status bar.  On my desktop is every flavor of submitter, I haven’t even talked about them all here yet.

And that’s always the plan, by the way – buy a tool, use it, write about it and sell it.  Break even and then some.  By the way, thank you all for using my affiliate links, I honestly appreciate it…and at the same time, I wonder what happened to my own sales resistance along the way.

Do you know I don’t own Magic S.ubmitter because I own every other submitter there is?  My wife asked me that one day and I didn’t have a good answer why I still “needed” to pay a monthly fee for M. Submitter – she was right.  I have every submitter a kid could want.

Yipee.

So what that means is: I don’t need to pay a monthly fee to do what everyone in my niche is trained to do by software developers and fellow IMers, which is to sling links to slug it out for top rankings.   “Everyone’s doing it, I can’t get ahead if I don’t…”  Right?

So on a lark, I made a decision with this book to experiment.  I’ve been duped.

The idea hasn’t been too far from me for some time now, to be honest.  Now before you think I’m saying those tools don’t work – I’m not saying that.  What I am saying is that I’m wresting with this idea of need.  Are these tools necessary?  How hard is it to rank without using them?

You might notice I’ve taken a ton of product-related links off my sidebar.

I’m going to be weighing things out carefully in how I proceed from now on, and since I don’t want to spoil my own book (because I’d like to sell it), I’ll just say this: ranking a website doesn’t take automated link building.

No, really.  I’ve seen the other side of the coin here in my own network – and it didn’t really shock me all that much.  I’ll have to run my own tests, of course – but the gig’s tired.  I don’t mean “affiliate marketing,” but I mean the, “must have mass submission tools” approach is tired.

So I’m at a 301 Redirect of my own.

Granted, link building isn’t ethical.  Period.  But – neither is telling the world that automated link building is “the only way to compete.”  Nor is it the best way to compete.

The Businessman - A3

Writing this book is something of a career change – and it’s the book I wish I was given when I started out.  Honestly, it was eye-opening, ranking these recent sites, and refreshing to boot.

I hope to do a case study on it proper just to show you all what I mean.  Needless to say, my experiments are the heart of the book, and the book’s been a long time in coming.

When the dust settles and I can get this book published (putting up my sales page, thank you page, getting graphics figured out, all that, but it’s written and ready), I’ll need to do some hard thinking about the direction of this blog.  As it sits, I’m not exactly sure right now.

On the one hand: link-building works, period – on the other hand…hm.  Yeah.  It’s in the book.  Right now I have two identities – my practical side which says, “This works, why change?” and the old man living inside me that says, “This isn’t the only or best way to conduct business online…”

What I’m specifically talking about is how I’ve been taught link-building largely by my Elance clients and also my fellow bloggers.  No – not taking a swipe at anyone here, I’m just thinking out loud at how I’ve been trained to think a certain way.

Now I’m trying other methods and surprised they work as “advertised.”

Suffice it to say I got off on the wrong foot in this business, and couldn’t be convinced otherwise.  I had to see and test things for myself…and what I’ve found is something a lot more worthwhile, rewarding and stable than what I’ve been sold to believe.

I’m not pointing fingers at people, by the way – I think we’ve all just been sold on the shortcuts so long we think there’s no alternative.  That’s bullshit.

Sometimes in the course of the English language, nothing cuts to the quick faster than dropping all eloquence and calling a cow pattie some bullshit. There, I said it.

I think rising above the noise on the net isn’t going to be easy to do, but it’s time to cut the crap and aim for something a bit higher.  Look, if you want to sling links, spin articles and do the same thing everyone is trained to do: I can’t blame you.

Been there, done that and so has everyone else – the links you get will be as cheap and dirty and easy to replicate as your competitors, assuming they don’t report you for webspam through Google Webmaster Tools.  Also assuming the algorithm never changes…

Google gets smarter…a competitor fires off a complaint to Google…a new filter is introduced…it’s a tired game of cat and mouse.  Maybe it’s one thing to get a site knocked off the index when it was making $50 a month, but you have 300 others to replace it…

But your whole network de-indexed?  It’s not “news,” it happens.  Or what if your whole living exists on one or two websites and they take a beating?  Same deal.  Food for thought…if it sounds like I’m wrestling with this idea – I am.

I’ve been sold, then turned around and sold you – all without testing to see if rankings are possible without all these  gimmicks…would you believe me if I told you it’s much easier than you’ve been told?

Sure, it takes work, but it’s still easier than you think.  Surprisingly, I’ve found a method that results in needing far fewer links than I thought possible.  Wrote a book on it.  :)

Stay tuned.  Thanks for readin’.

 

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