Why SEO for SEO's Sake is Dying

Have you heard of affiliate marketing? It’s basically a legitimized version of gaming the system. The system, mind you, is the Internet and everyone else’s time spent looking for relevant content.

I know this might be a somewhat controversial thing to say, but I am speaking about the black-hat SEO, the practice done strictly to get links any way possible. That means people pay for bogus links from useless URLs just to get another link to their stuff.

If you’re doing any of this to make a name for your business, well, a day of reckoning is coming. No, Batman isn’t gunning for you – he died at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, don’t you know? – but the signal-to-noise ratio is starting to get out of whack. And people are getting sick of it.

Forbes has a new article up on SEO’s demise and why folks need to start generating “real” content. As Forbes Contributor Ken Krogue puts it: 

My assertion is that content that is generated to point to other content isn’t real content, it’s fake content. If its sole purpose is to raise the ranking in Google of other content, it’s counterfeit content. Nobody writes real great content only for the sake of backlinks to other content that only the Google bots read and index. 

Look, I don’t want to get into the semantics or the data of it. We both know that since there’s been the first Internet millionaire, there have been people wanting to take shortcuts to the e-bank to make their zillions. But there is no short cut for hard work. We all know this on some level, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. Nor should it.

But we also all know those are Hail Mary’s and not a long-game move. Hard work is.

Anyway, Krogue has drafted up a list of 14 points to take to craft content others will give a flip about. Consider them:

  1. Research important questions.
  2. List good / bad examples.
  3. Passionately tell a story.
  4. Highlight recent trends.
  5. Survey best practices.
  6. Compile proven tips.
  7. Point out a problem.
  8. Recognize who.
  9. List what.
  10. Warn when.
  11. Show where.
  12. Debate why.
  13. Demonstrate how.
  14. State the so what?

The “so what?” here is you’ll be able create a place online where you’re unassailable because people legitimately want to be there – and not just clicking around trying to figure out whether an actual human is behind this site or what.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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