SEO Encyclopedia

Learn SEO and have fun while doing it!

SEO or search engine optimization is when you create Content and promote it via search engines such as Google and Bing. The ‘optimization’ in SEO means you improve your Content, website experience (CX), web pages (On-Page SEO) in order to improve your visibility in the search engine results listings.

Table of Contents

  1. Building websites is easy, the hard part is figuring out how to get FREE web traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO will help you get free traffic if you are willing to do the hard work.
  2. You want to know how to rank your website on the first page of search engine results pages and get web traffic.
  3. You want to learn and do SEO yourself.
  4. You are new to SEO and want to quickly get up and running
  5. You want instant access to the latest SEO tips, strategies, tactics, checklist, and other helpful materials.
  6. You want a step-by-step guide to implementing SEO for your business.
  7. You get to avoid a lot of conflicting advice from many SEO blogs and courses.
  8. You save time from reading a lot of SEO blogs.
  9. You save time from watching a lot of SEO videos on YouTube.
  10. You will quickly learn how to find issues with your website and grow your traffic.
  11. You won’t get tired of piecing together SEO advice from lots of different sources.
  12. You get to avoid SEO scams.
  13. You want to know SEO myths and find out real SEO advice.
  14. You want to learn how to hire a good SEO agency.
  15. You want to know exactly what steps to take to do keyword research for SEO, write SEO content, do on-page SEO, apply technical SEO and link building.
  16. You want to generate content ideas for your website.
  17. You are a local business that wants a strong online presence.
  18. You have lost traffic or your rankings and want to be able to audit your website and diagnose the issues.
  19. You want to know the latest SEO statistics, trends and the best free and paid SEO tools.
  20. You want to save money and time from googling and buying expensive SEO courses.
  1. SEO is the foundation for any successful digital marketing campaign.
  2. SEO is holistic. It supports and works well with other digital marketing disciplines such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, public relations and more.
  3. SEO delivers free traffic – the lifeblood of any online business.
  4. SEO delivers qualified leads, more customers, new subscribers from search engines
  5. SEO saves you money versus paid advertising
  6. SEO is a high barrier of entry for websites that offer no value to customers
  7. SEO is a form of inbound marketing i.e. it does not interrupt people with ads. Rather, it attracts people to its website via useful and relevant content.
  8. SEO delivers targeted traffic i.e. people that are searching for the products/services you offer.
  9. SEO is a “Blue Ocean” digital marketing strategy. Instead of competing in saturated and competitive PPC auctions, SEO attracts free traffic.
  10. SEO lowers your new customer acquisition costs (CAC).
  11. SEO lowers your customer retention costs (CRC)
  12. SEO is a cost-effective way of marketing on a small marketing budget.
  13. SEO is the only effective marketing channel for businesses that sell often blacklisted products e.g. adult, gambling, alcohol 
  14. Visibility in search engines creates an implied endorsement effect, whereby searchers associate quality, relevance, and trustworthiness with sites that rank highly for their queries. Dramatic growth in the interaction between offline and online marketing necessitates investment by organizations of all kinds in a successful search strategy. Consumers are increasingly turning to the internet before making purchases in verticals ranging from real estate, autos, and technology to finding local resources for health and wellness services.
  15. Prospective customers are often skeptical of businesses with little or no online presence especially if the business has no presence in the Google search results

As long as you have a website you will need to do SEO.

If you sell a product or service, there are people actively searching for them. SEO helps your site connect with people looking for products/services you offer via search engines.

With an effective SEO strategy, you draw potential customers towards your business.

Certain industries benefit from SEO more than others. This makes SEO an integral and lucrative part of their marketing campaigns.

Below are the main industries that receive the highest return on investment (ROI) from SEO:

  1. Professional Services E.G. Accountants, Lawyers, Consultants, Financial Planners, Insurance Agents/Brokers, Engineers And More. Studies show that up to 80% of consumers research online before making a purchase. If your website doesn’t show up in the Google results, you may not even be in consideration, remaining undiscoverable and unreachable.
  2. Local Businesses e.g. Home Cleaning, Motor Repair, Local Shops, Home Repair, Salons, Pet Services Etc. With 46% of all Google searches being local – people want to do business locally. Local SEO helps local businesses reach and serve these people.
  3. Online Businesses E.G. E-commerce, Saas Companies, Web Apps. Online businesses use SEO to generate free and qualified leads from search engines
  4. Restaurants. People use search engines on their mobile phones to search for a particular cuisine in their local area. SEO helps restaurants gain more visibility than the competition and potentially inspire more positive reviews from local customers.
  5. Real Estate/Property. The real estate industry gets a lot of online attention from people seeking new homes and apartments. SEO strategies are important for the real estate industry, from agents to the real estate companies themselves. There’s a particular emphasis on local SEO, as people search for properties in specific cities, towns, and even zip/post codes.
  6. Businesses in many locations. Businesses with locations in many areas will want people to find each of them easily. An SEO campaign that covers each location in local search can make sure that customers find the right location near them.
  7. Tourism. People might browse Instagram or Pinterest for pictures of their ideal holiday destination but once they decide to purchase they use search engines to compare packages and prices before booking a holiday. When they reach their destinations they rely on search engines to discover restaurants, holiday activities, country information etc.


  1. Business model constraints i.e. the business model is not aligned with SEO campaigns
  2. There is no buy-in from top management or key decision makers within the business
  3. Lack of SEO knowledge/appreciation by key stakeholders
  4. Lack of SEO education which leads to expectations not being met or not being aligned with the business
  5. Sudden change in priorities and focus of key stakeholders
  6. Lack of an SEO strategy that is aligned to the business strategy
  7. Competition appreciate SEO and therefore implements and invests in SEO at a faster pace.


  1. There is bureaucracy i.e. too much red tape which affects SEO execution
  2. SEO recommendations/best practice are not implemented on time and correctly.
  3. Lack of a dedicated SEO budget to pay for SEO tools, SEO content and link building activities
  4. Lack of technical resources to implement technical SEO.
  5. No flexibility in implementing off-page SEO i.e. pr / marketing strategy affecting SEO off-page efforts


  1. No support from Web designers, developers to implement technical SEO recommendations especially during website redesign or migration.
  2. Not enough technical skills to implement SEO.
  3. No technical flexibility to implement or conduct SEO experiments due to platform constraints.
  4. Reliability issues: server issues, website security, etc.

Lack of SEO expertise results in :

  1. Failure to identify and know the cause of a drop-in or lack of growth of organic traffic
  2. Failure to know how search engine algorithm updates affect site rankings
  3. Failure to identify and recover from manual actions/penalties from search engines
  4. Failure to show how SEO is helping the business meet its strategic objectives.
  5. Inability to conduct SEO site audits to identify SEO issues.
  6. Inability to prioritize which SEO issues need to be resolved first and why.
  7. Failure in communicating and coordinating SEO efforts.

“Dear _____________

We visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…” We can help you get higher rankings…”

Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that email you out of the blue. Here is a list of things to look out for when hiring an SEO consultant or agency.

  • Documented statements from Google corroborate any recommendations made by the SEO
  • The SEO knows and is up-to-date with the latest Webmaster Guidelines from major search engines.
  • The SEO has industry experience
  • The SEO can provide references of past SEO work
  • The SEO takes time to understand your industry, business and site.
  • The SEO sets clear time frames and manages your expectations.

Interview your potential SEO. Useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Show me examples of your previous SEO work and share some success stories?
  • Do you know and follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results should I expect to see, and in what time frame?
  • How will you get Backlinks to my site?
  • How will you measure SEO success?
  • What’s your experience in my industry?
  • What’s your experience in my country/city?
  • What’s your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in the SEO business?

1. What is SEO?

Sell SEO services to clients who either already are educated on what SEO is and how it can help their business or are willing to be educated about SEO. An educated SEO client is better than a rich uneducated SEO client.

2. How will SEO help your business?

Find out client expectations from early on to avoid problems later down the project.

3. Who is your target audience?

This gives a good starting place for keyword and content ideas.

4. Who are your target keyword top competitors?

Find out who are their competitors in the keyword and Search results pages to determine the kind of SEO investment needed to compete.

5. Who was your previous SEO agency and why are you no longer working with them?

If possible get a reference from previous agency about client. Also understand why they got rid off their previous SEO agency – was it cost? Was it poor implementation on their part?

6. Who is the SEO advocate/champion within the business?

The more senior the SEO advocate/champion within the business the more your SEO services would be appreciated and recommendations taken seriously

7. What internal resources i.e. web developers, analyst, tools do you have to implement SEO recommendations?

SEO is only effective if recommendations are validated, checked, implemented and measured. No point making recommendations that are critical to higher rankings and having them ignored and still get blamed for loss of organic traffic/rankings.

8. What CMS (Content Management System) or Hosting Platforms are you currently using?

Some CMS or Hosting Platforms are not SEO friendly

9. Do you use Google Search Console, Google Analytics (or any other web analytics)?

You will need access to their Google Search Console and Google Analytics (or web analytics) to get a picture of their current situation and give you a starting point for your SEO campaign.

10. What is your SEO budget?

You want to know if the client can afford to implement your SEO recommendations such as purchasing  SEO tools, Hire Content writers, Pay to promote Content Etc.

11. What are your future plans for the website?

Website migrations or redesigns have massive impact on SEO and rankings. You need to know this in advance before any SEO work is done.

12. Do you have any brand guidelines?

This information is useful when doing keyword research, create content and promoting it.


SEO Keywords Research Quotes

“Unless there’s no rhyme or reason to your keyword research, you need to know which opportunities will take the least amount of your limited resources to yield the highest ROI.”
“Keywords make the SEO (and PPC) world go round!”
“If I had to lay out an SEO strategy for a brand new website, I’d firstly analyze my competitors and find all of their top-performing pages (along with keywords) and backlink sources. It gives me an idea about what to target if I want to get more organic traffic and quality links to my new site.”
  1. “For new websites, site owners often get caught up in getting everything technically correct—so much so they forget why they started the website in the first place. Focus on the user. Technical SEO is important, but if you truly put your user at heart, you’ll get close enough before needing someone to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes.”

    ~Adam Bastock of Abastock

  2. “Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.”

    ~Adam Audette of RKG

  3. “Understanding your market, gauging your audience’s behaviors, and matching that to search intent to ensure you know which stage of the funnel particular search queries might fall into creates the backbone for an awesome SEO strategy.”

    ~Jason Berkowitz of Break The Web

  4. “Before writing any content or building any links, perform an audience audit. You need to know as much as you can about who’s asking questions your brand can answer and how they’re asking those questions, That should drive everything your business does, including how to build the best web experience.”

    ~Chris Countey of Comcast

  5. The shift toward long-tail keywords will be even more essential to SEO success in the future. Why? Because of voice search.”

    ~Jeff Keleher of

  6. “If you have a brand new website and are not sure what your SEO strategy should look like, check out your competition. By looking at other successful companies in your niche, you can get an idea of what tasks you should prioritize.”

    ~Wesley Ward of Hausera

  7. “How competitive your niche is can influence which tactics you should implement first to start to see SEO results. If you are operating without an understanding of your competitive marketplace, then you are just box-ticking.”

    ~Ben Foster of The SEO Works.

  8. “Use SEO tools to identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses along with their content marketing and link building strategies.”

    ~Anil Agarwal of BloggersPassion

  9. “Unless there’s no rhyme or reason to your keyword research, you need to know which opportunities will take the least amount of your limited resources to yield the highest ROI.”

     ~Neil Patel of

  10. “If I had to lay out an SEO strategy for a brand new website, I’d firstly analyze my competitors and find all of their top-performing pages (along with keywords) and backlink sources. It gives me an idea about what to target if I want to get more organic traffic and quality links to my new site.”

    ~Anil Agarwal of BloggersPassion

  11. “When it comes to analyzing your competition, you should only look at the top 10 sites. There is no point in looking at the site in position #19 because you are not trying to get to position #18.”

    ~Kark Kangur of

  12. “First: Focus on searcher intent. This should underpin all of your activities—research, creation, and distribution. What is the searcher really trying to achieve and how is your content helping them reach this goal?”

    ~Simon Ensor of

  13. “For a brand new website, I would focus on finding the right keywords. These aren’t keywords with the most traffic. Rather, they’re keywords that are easier to rank for and drive the right traffic (i.e. buyers).”

    ~Camilla Hallstrom of

  14. “Because your site is new, you’re going to have a hard time ranking for high competition—and even medium-tail—keywords. This is where long-tail keywords become your friend. With long-tail keywords, the volume is typically lower, but the intent is usually very high.”

    ~Steve Toth of SEO Notebook.

  15. “Keywords make the SEO world go round”

    ~Simba Mudonzvo founder of ZimeX Mall

  16. “You don’t need backlinks to rank for long-tail keywords (in most cases). Use tools like Google auto-suggest, people also ask, related searches, Keywords Everywhere, and AnswerThePublic to find long-tail keywords.”

    ~Steve Toth of SEO Notebook

  17. “It takes some research to find the keyword opportunities to succeed, but if you focus on smaller volume and stronger search intent, you can get amazing results in a short time.”

    ~Adam Hempenstall of Better Proposals

  18. “If I were to work on an SEO strategy for a brand new website, I would focus on identifying the highest traffic, lowest keyword difficulty keywords.”

    ~Antonella Pisani of Teaspoon of Goodness

  19. “Use the keyword golden ratio (KGR) tactic. The fewer articles in Google on your keyword, the more likely your content will be to get on the first page”

    ~Michael Pozdnev of I Wanna Be a Blogger

  20. “If You Don’t Know the User Intent Behind the Keywords You’re Optimizing for Then You’re Doing It Wrong. Also, If You Are Optimizing for Keywords vs the Needs of the User Then You’re Doing It Wrong.”

    ~Jordan Kasteler

  21. “If you have a brand new website and are not sure what your SEO strategy should look like, check out your competition. By looking at other successful companies in your niche, you can get an idea of what tasks you should prioritize.”

    ~Wesley Ward of Hausera

  22. “How competitive your niche is can influence which tactics you should implement first to start to see SEO results. If you are operating without an understanding of your competitive marketplace, then you are just box-ticking.”

    ~Ben Foster of The SEO Works.

  23. “Good SEO is paying attention to all the details that most bloggers (competitors) ignore.”

    ~Ryan Biddulph of

  24. When it comes to analyzing your competition, you should only look at the top 10 sites. There is no point in looking at the site in position #19 because you are not trying to get to position #18.

    ~Kark Kangur of

SEO Keyword Research Tips

With branded keywords search engines have little to no choice but to show you 1st for that branded search term e.g. the search term “Happy Meal” brings up McDonalds, “Skyscraper Technique” brings up Brian Dean’s site (Brian Dean is the original person who coined the term).

Make sure branded keywords are short, easy to pronounce and unique.

From the domain name, page titles, meta description, content and everything else – it has to be clear to a new site visitor (and search engine bots) what topic (or keyword) the website is about.

Do not attempt to optimize your site or pages for too many keywords. This leads to keyword cannibalization i.e. Google search bots not knowing which pages rank for which keywords.

Because short-tail i.e. one word keywords have intense competition which requires a big SEO budget and deep expertise and experience to compete.

Because of Google Hummingbird update and RankBrain, Google is good at understanding the topic your content is about if you use LSI keywords and Synonyms.

According to SEMRush, 2 in 5 adults use voice search at least once per day. By 2020 it is estimated that half of all searches will have shifted from the keyboard to the microphone!

Validate keywords by checking the following:

  • Search intent: is the why behind a search query. In other words, why did the person make this search? Do they want to learn something? Are they looking to make a purchase? Are they looking to compare products/services?
  • People searching using the keyword, how likely is it that they will buy what you sell?
  • Is there enough search volume for that particular keyword to be of value to your business?
  • How strong is the competition i.e. keyword difficulty for that particular keyword?

see the keywords your competition are currently ranking for in the top 10 that you don’t and include them in your research

The Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) is a data-driven way to find keywords with little to no competition. The formula is: the number of Google results that have the keyword phrase in the title divided by the monthly search volume, where the search volume is less than 250.

Most times the table of content and wikipedia articles contain sub-topics which are useful keywords to target.

Creation of a Buyer Persona: Getting into your customer’s shoes is the first step to keyword research. Remember, customers are not searching for your site. They are searching for valuable information to solve their problems. Having a buyer persona is a crucial first step to figuring out what your best customers are typing into Google

That way keep tabs on your competitor’s content strategy by monitoring their new keywords

SEO Keyword Tools and Resources

a graphical representation of biblical moses to represent the 10 seo commandments

All other digital marketing channels are built upon SEO. For instance, keyword and competitor research is fundamental for paid search campaigns as well as Content marketing. Technical SEO ensures your site is secure, mobile-friendly, fast,  helping with conversion rate optimization (CRO). Off-page SEO includes social media marketing, digital public relations (PR) and building relationships with other webmaster – marketing that helps with raising brand awareness.

All your SEO efforts should be to make your website useful to humans. After all the internet is there to serve the needs and wants of humans via content and links.

SEO is a long term strategy. Unless your content goes viral, it will take months if not years for your SEO campaign to bear fruit.

Technical SEO by its nature is difficult and requires an SEO or Web Designer to implement.

Because of Google’s Quality Evaluator Guidelines, it is important that website owners get subject experts to publish content.

Off-Page SEO is not just about Backlinks. It is about building relationships within the industry and this takes time.

At the heart of all digital marketing (and traditional marketing) is the need to focus on building a brand (online and off-line). A brand will stand the test of time

Violate the search engine’s webmaster guidelines at the risk of having a Manual Action/Penalty and lose your rankings!

Things that hurt the customer experience on your website include: an unsecured website, slow loading web pages, too many pop-ups, too many ads within content, low-quality content, flash content

Black Hat SEO (and even Grey Hat SEO) techniques violate search engine’s webmaster guidelines and risk your website being penalized and even worse being deindexed i.e. no longer showing in the search results. Black Hat SEO techniques include: cloaking, hidden text, hidden links, doorway pages, buying Backlinks, using PBNs etc. See Black Hat SEO for more information.

This is a copyright infringement and will affect your ability to rank in the search results. Even if you use article spinners to change the text, it is more or less duplicate content and will not help your SEO efforts.

In a desperate attempt to outrank your competitors in the search results, do not do negative SEO i.e. attempt to hack your competitors website or send low-quality/spammy links to their site. Your competitor can always report you to Google, and disavow your bad backlinks

Be original. New,unique and useful content will always do well on the internet versus copying your competitors and making slight improvements. Off-Page SEO is not all about guest posting and building backlinks but it is all about building relationships within your industry. Relationships matter more than just backlinks. Focus all your efforts on being relevant and your website will do well.

a graphical representation of seo myths that still exists today written by Simba Mudonzvo for Zimex Mall

“The reality is that SEO does still work—not only for visibility but also for generating leads. It might not be as laser-pointed as PPC or as cool and easy to understand as posting something on social media, but it definitely works.”

 ~Angela Han of Sharp Growth

“Ranking takes time and a lot of effort. Sometimes, no matter how greatly we optimize a current website, we end up with the challenge of not being able to support the SEO with any additional content or digital campaigns due to a tight budget—or better yet, due to another search engine algorithm change. In my opinion, promising a ranking is the biggest myth in our industry.”

~ Naveen Jasrotia of Digital Nar

“Sometimes it does take a while for new content to rank, but you can still see results in a short period of time. Especially for low-competition keywords, you can dramatically increase your rank with some minor tweaks to your content. Strategic SEO can show results fast.”

~Claire Shaner of Best Company

“While there are certain tweaks that SEOs can implement straight off the bat that can have an immediate effect on rankings, the peak results will be evident after at least 3-6 months or longer.”

~Menday of Consultus Digital

“The worst myth is that SEO is something you do once and forget about,”

~ Darryl Antonio of Digitalhound.

“One of the biggest myths is that SEO is a tactic used to cheat/beat the search engines,”

~ Chris Steele of Knowmad Digital Marketing

“Fooling search engines won’t lead to better results. If you’re not writing for the humans who will read your content, you’re doing something wrong.”

 ~Dan Christensen of Morningdove Marketing.

“While I don’t disagree that there are some technical fundamentals that always need to be considered to be successful in search, I maintain that to truly win at SEO, you have to put your users first. That means creating amazing content and building a website that speaks to them and is easy for them to navigate. Google, Bing, and other search engines strive to provide amazing user experience, and I believe that experience starts with a focus on your website visitors and giving them what they need and crave.”

  ~Tom Jelneck of On Target Digital Marketing

“Good SEO practices are holistic, dynamic, and a reflection of search intent. An obsession with keywords is a good way to miss the forest through the trees. “Speed, links, multimedia, and the helpfulness of the content are all absolutely essential and should not be overlooked.”

~John Donnachie of ClydeBank Media

“Yes, backlinks play a major role in SEO, but backlinks alone cannot rank a website. In order for a website to rank higher, that website must be fully optimized, which means considering both on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.” 

~Anjana Wickramaratne of Inspirenix

“Content Is King, but Marketing (Promotion) Is Queen and Runs the Household.”

~Gary Vaynerchuck of VaynerMedia

“Lots of people think it’s possible to achieve instant results with a very low budget—and that those results will stand the test of time with no further investment.”

~Rachael Jessney of Atelier Studios.

“Just because you don’t pay for clicks in SEO as you do with Google Ads doesn’t mean that the traffic doesn’t cost you anything. Organic traffic isn’t free! In fact, in many cases, it’s actually more cost-effective to pay for PPC than SEO.”

~David Lye of PriceMyCar.

“Google may not give you link juice for a nofollow link, but there’s still value in contributing to a quality source that could drive traffic to your site.”

~Rochelle Burnside of Best Company

 “While having a link to another site on your page may prompt a reader to check out a different site for a moment, if your content is beneficial and relevant, they will come back. As long as you are providing more pertinent material within each hyperlink, linking to credible sources of information will help build your reader’s trust and authority over time. And not only will linking to authoritative sites build trust with your readers, but it will eventually help boost your search rankings in Google.”

~ Emily Banks of Inseev Interactive

“When you link to influential sites, you show Google and your readers that you’ve done your homework. A couple of useful links increase the value of your content, and the search engines will notice that.”

~Teodora Pirciu of Impressa Solutions

“Lots of people are too focused on aiming to rank for a single, golden keyword. Long-tail keywords bring so much more overall traffic than obsessively trying to climb up SERPs for a single, oversaturated keyword.”

~Anna Kaine of ESM Inbound

“If you’re ranked number one and get an additional 100 visitors that convert at 10%, then surely this is better than attracting 1,000 tire-kicking visitors that convert at a below-average rate of 0.5%—and facing the additional problem of increased bounce rates.”

~Rob Heywood of Audana NW.

“Keyword stuffing doesn’t help boost your page. What it really does is lowers the quality of your content.”

 ~Kayla Kelly of Paypro

“Google catches that and sees your website as being deceptive.”

~Cai Simpson of Victory Digital

“Meta descriptions, along with meta keywords, have been time and time again proven to not affect rankings in any way. This is not to say that meta descriptions are useless. On the contrary, they are extremely valuable when it comes to maximizing clicks (CTR). Understanding this subtle difference is vital to the way we write and use meta descriptions.”

~ Pixus’ Atanas Valchev

“You can write thousands of articles, but if you miss the mark on what consumers are actually searching in your space, you may as well have written nothing at all.”

 ~ Cierra Flythe of BoardActive

“The truth is that good SEO and good content marketing are one and the same. SEO begins before the content is written, not after the fact. It helps the author know exactly who the audience is and what they want from the content before the author even begins writing.”

~Chas Cooper of Rising Star Reviews.

“While some plugins can help make your SEO efforts easier, adding excessive code to your site will likely slow download times and increase page size, both of which can actually negatively affect your rankings.”

~Jeremy Cross of Team Building

“Violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines at your own risk”

~Simba Mudonzvo, SEO

“Sadly, because of the high number of SEOs that offer ridiculously cheap, low-quality link-building services, some people think SEO is a scam. They will have tried it, paid peanuts, got no results, and decided it was a complete scam. The truth is that they got scammed!”

~ Alistair Dodds of Ever-Increasing Circles.

a graphical representation of common seo misunderstanding wrong seo assumptions

SEO takes time. If you have followed and applied SEO best practice you should be patient with results.

PageRank is based on how popular the web page is on the internet i.e. how much traffic the web page is getting, how many Backlinks the web page is getting over a given period of time

There is no Google penalty for having duplicate content. Google will not rank web pages with duplicate content.

If launching a new website, use free SEO tools such as the Google Search Console, Google Analytics, MOZ Domain Analysis, Ubersuggest and more to implement SEO. There is a time and place for premium/paid for SEO tools but only when there is a business case for it.

A backlink that brings qualified referral traffic is more important than a backlink that doesn’t.

Instead a domain should be brandable i.e. unique and memorable

SEO is really about building relationships within and outside of your industry so long they benefit your website users.

Traffic has to be qualified, and with correct implementation of Technical SEO to improve the customer experience it could lead to better conversion rates.

Popular keywords have high competition which means it will take a lot of effort (and money) to compete in the search results.

Instead focus on long tail keywords and searcher intent (a.k.a user intent)

This is when text on a web page is invisible or hidden to a website user but visible and crawlable by search engines. The text is usually useless to a user but could be useful to search engine crawlers as it helps with understanding and ranking the web page.

Web pages contain links invisible or hidden to the user but can be seen and crawled by the search engines. Sometimes the links are hidden behind an image.

When website users are shown one web pages and the search engines are shown a different web page. For example, some websites show flash content to website users and HTML content to search engines. This is common on illegal streaming sites.

When a website owner pays money to get Backlinks from other websites. These Backlinks are not earned but rather paid for.

Keyword stuffing is when there are too many keywords in the text making the text unreadable or unintelligent to a website user.

Anchor text stuffing is when keywords are used aggressively on Backlinks to the website.

When a website uses “sensational” headlines to trick users into clicking and visiting their web pages. Usually the content on the web page is not related to the headline or not useful to the user

“It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled” Let this not be you!

Amazingly, Google also get spam emails too:


I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

Over 70% of businesses are pitched Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, services at least once per week. Some could be scams. Below are the most common SEO scams:

Google warns businesses to “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings”. Google itself never guarantees top placement in the search results or for search ads. Beware of any company making these types of promises.

Scammers will offer you hundreds of cheap Backlinks that will help your site rank overnight. Usually these Backlinks are low quality if not Spam. Low quality Backlinks will hurt your site rankings and possibly get you penalized.

Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo and Yandex account for most of the traffic on the internet. The other hundreds of search engines don’t matter as much.

This is when the  SEO service company owns the domain name, the website and all social media profiles. While they have access to all hosting and analytics services.

This is a scam because as long as you work with them they will provide you SEO services. But as soon as you try to leave they hold your domain, site and social media profiles to ransom.

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel your users to a site owned by the SEO by means of deceptive redirects. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain.

They claim to know an employee at Google, or have a special relationship with Google. In other words, they want to appear more credible using false association with the biggest search engine in the world.

If it’s too good to be true it probably is – even Google, the owner of the world’s largest search engine, do not offer such services let alone some random SEO agency or consultant you found on the internet!

Any legitimate SEO company should be able to explain what SEO they are using for your site. Be wary of SEO firms who have “SEO trade secrets” when they are likely planning to use black hat SEO techniques. Black Hat SEO techniques are illegal. They will get you site penalized and banned by all major search engines.

The Google Algorithm for search is a trade secret closely guarded by Google. It is complex and updated regularly, making it almost impossible to know it well.

If you do not own the content you use on your site, the SEO company could sell it to your competitors.

Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but instead pay for search engine ads or worse yet, pay for illegal SEO services e.g. paying for bot traffic or cheap backlinks.

Google does not charge for inclusion in Google Maps. Be wary of scam calls, pop-ups, or fake invoices from someone claiming to be Google or offering Google Maps SEO services.

Always remember: - You are responsible for the actions of any SEO companies that work for you!