The Real SEO
What is The Real SEO?
If you're at all in touch with current internet trends or a frequent user of social media and sharing sites, you'll no doubt have seen and heard a lot about 'The Real SEO'. You may well be wondering what or who the hell this is. In this article I'm going to explain at both a conceptual and more detailed level all about this SEO practice and of course how it relates to poker.
By the end of this you should not only be familiar with The Real SEO, it's history and so on, but also feel confident in implementing these SEO practices into not only your poker sites but also into any niche or vertical.
Real and unreal SEO?
Before we get started looking at 'real' SEO practices, I think it's worth ascertaining what is meant by 'unreal' SEO too. For me, as both an SEO and as a poker affiliate marketer, I often come across bad search engine optimisation practices. If you're at all familiar with the digital marketing industry there have been many updates by Google this year which have had radical changes in terms of how they rank websites in search results. What this has meant (and often for many poker affiliate sites as well as gaming in general) is that many sites which previously ranked well and generated large amounts of revenue, were essentially 'dropped' by Google overnight.
Make no mistake, this is very very real. SEO practices conducted by less scrupulous agencies - things like article spinning, relying on poor quality blog networks, over optimised anchor text, link farms, purchased links from non-relevant websites etc., died a death pretty much overnight and therefore I refer to these are 'unreal SEO'. Here are things that perhaps a year ago would arguably have achieved real SEO results time and time again. However, search is very different now and many marketing agencies are re-addressing their strategies and focus sing on purely 'white hat' approaches with an emphasis on brand building and social signals. Now is the time to plan out your long term strategy - it's about building a brand, investing in a long term approach rather than chasing short term gains which burn out easily and are too susceptible to changes from Google.
SEO and poker
I've been involved in the poker affiliate business for just over a year now and it's interesting how the landscape has changed so rapidly and markedly in that time. I can remember late last year when buying links was all the rage and appeared to be a growing industry. Many of the generic, copy-cat websites which thrived at the time, built using 'thin' content, some affiliate banners and some bought links, have died a death since then. Interestingly many affiliates who took the time to concentrate on building a 'brand' rather than some spammy exact match domain name, have shown strong results over time - this is very much a product of implementing real SEO.
OK OK, so what is the Real SEO?
Good question! Now we've dispensed with the introduction and overview let's get down to business. I'm here to tell you the real SEO is not just one thing as such, it's way way more than that. The Real SEO is a way of life, a (very real) concept, a search engine optimisation strategy, a person (me), a solid approach..it's what drives results time and time again both for poker sites and other industries. None of this fake SEO crap - no "oh we'll guarantee you front page on Google" rubbish. Real search engine optimisation delivers not just once, but time and time again.
It's also something I like to think of as a philosophical approach to how we go about our lives. It's easy day to day (whether involved in the poker or SEO industries or anything else) to get bogged down with the mundanities and general daily crap that goes with living. We get far too hung up on paying the bills, 'keeping up with the Jones's', getting that new widescreen TV on credit, and so on.
So the REAL approach is an abbreviation which we can all live by, whether we're trying to game Google or simply have more fun:
R is for relinquish - simply the act of letting go - letting go of the daily stresses (be that of the poker table and games or simply the stress of work)
E is for everything - in a pseudo-Buddhist way we need to work towards relinquishing the thought of total control over our lives but also letting go of SEO expectations, real or unreal. Live a little, see what the rankings are tomorrow.
A is for and - simply an addition in a very positive way to...
L is for live - life is for living - it's not all about SEO, really.. we need to take time out, away from social bookmarking, from worrying about poker results, what's real or unreal, and just 'be'. Sounds simple I know and you know what? It really is. Just let the search results fall where they may.
Simple steps you can take to use the real SEO
I've covered a lot about real SEO in this article and I think by now you have probably noticed that I really value and covet the approach above and beyond 'unreal' or ill-thought out search engine optimisation, whether you're a poker affiliate webmaster or in a completely unrelated industry.
Here are some steps you can take to make your SEO more 'real':
1) Don't bother with directory submissions.
2) Stop buying links!
3) Please quit using meta keywords..waste of code
4) Pull your finger out and utilise social media (real SEOs will suggest you use Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as a minimum)
5) Don't over-optimise your pages - especially go easy on the exact match anchor text..try and concentrate on your brand name or at least the URL
6) Avoid site-wide links and footer links - SO last season - and in reality SEO has progressed well beyond this for people that know what they're doing.
So in summary, keep your SEO real! Try and implement the approach into your day to day life - then sit back and see your rankings ROCKET time and time again.
Connect with The Real SEO
Thank you for reading this (very real!) SEO article.