Ok you got me to come out of my cave here and I’m looking for any reason not to open Excel at the moment.
I can see that you really want to get a grasp of what the hell is going on and I’ll give you my take on a few of your questions.
(Hey @adnan I don’t think any of the links violate any policies on here but if they do just do your thing or let me know or zap it.)
(Disclaimer) Other’s experiences may vary and this game has more divisiveness and opinions about who sucks/is great than really any other sector that I’ve ever been in.
So you’ve been warned.
But let me address some quick rapid fire things that you asked right off the bat:
- Don’t even THINK (I mean bludgeon it out of your head) ‘Black Hat Strategies’ at all at this point. I even thought about adding “at this point” and just leaving it ‘at-all’ but I know people these days are all enraptured by the siren song of the mystical-magical-hidden black hat stuff.
Yes. There are things that work. But NO stay away from it especially since I see the word “organizations website I’m helping” in there.
Remember what happened to Anakin?
At this point you don’t have any idea what you can do to cut off your hand, arm or other important stuff.
Or even worse what you’ll do now and maybe get some results that will completely trash your site in a future algo update (which are rolling out all the time now a days btw.)Nuff said.
- At this point were way past the Golden Age of Pirates in SEO/Black Hat there really isn’t any type of spoon-feeding. There are a few guys who sit in their lairs 25 hours a day doing Chaotic Evil spell incantations and figuring out holes in the present algorithms to exploit Google ranking. Testing 100s of permutations to find an edge.
They keep that stuff to themselves or you pay 5k+ for a drunken weekend in Chang Mai to find out all the stuff they no longer use anymore but isn’t out in the public at the moment. Then you get the guys popping up saying “I got this great new tactic”.
You hear that shit it’s almost 100% old news.
- Everybody is full of shit (just like the social game). Most people/trolls you’ll read regurgitating shit they read and don’t understand. Giving you Youtube videos or forum posts of high level shit with the key 25% not even mentioned because…they want you to buy the course.
SEO has the high level fundamental rules that everyone plays by.
But as you get into the weeds and below the surface to the person who ‘nerds’ the best you can find some gold to keep to yourself for awhile.
So I’m just going with it here.
I’ll give you some stuff (in my opinion) to take a look at later in varying degrees of education. But at this point I can see you need to know what the hell is going on.
Your post was basically me when I got drug kicking and screaming into the Social world and got MP back a few years ago. Joining this forum in the beginning and feeling like the George McFly at the school dance.
Hell I even thought that @Wortime really knew what he was talking about back then (how things change…)- I jest of course
Anyhooo… here is some stuff.
You need to focus on the fundamentals and there are a lot of them and each one is their own discipline.
Sort of like how there are “Magic-Users/Mages” then there are:
There is no rule that says you can’t learn them all.
You SHOULD learn them all and be a GrandMaster. But set your expectations correctly Daniel-san.
You want to do your best to reduce random variables into things that you CAN control. Because it is a super-fluid undercurrent of things that you CAN’T control or even know about. Hence the continual testing by the guys who know the “black-hat” stuff.
The areas you’ll read about are:
On-Page -> Which is optimizing what is actually on the page to rank. It’s the HTML and actual words that you write and how they are structured along with other things (internal linking etc)
Off-Page -> Your incoming links. Social signals. Etc. (PBNS!)
Technical -> How well and what you are feeding the spiders when they crawl the site. Speed, Schema, etc.
Mobile -> Mobile
Local -> There is a whole specific discipline and approach for SEO that targets just for GMB “Google My Business” goals.
International -> Not my bag.
Da Learning’ Stuff
Now I’m taking the approach here of giving you straight up no-bs ‘if you want to learn without noise’ stuff to learn from.
This is what I’d give to my nephew if he wanted to learn how to do SEO instead of “Crush at Fortnite”
At that point you’ll have a bit of a bs detector when you see other people talking about various things.
Everyone has their own opinions.
At this point in your SEO adventure all the info is the same you’re just looking for the person who presents it the way you find most appealing (and doesn’t leave shit out or has the intent of getting you into his funnel to sell you some shit).
Sometimes to make my life more exciting I will poke around and see if there is anything entertaining in the SEO world as far as vids/etc go.
I had to tell you to start somewhere
If I was just gonna sit there for a bit with a coffee/beer and learn from a dude with a good presentation I’d watch this guy I recently stumbled upon.
SEMrush had him make a course and I dig his presentation and all his tutelage is really top notch for getting a grasp of the concepts.
There is a whole free course on SEMrush.
I don’t know if you have to make a free account to see it (I’ve had an account forever and it just logs me in…and I’m lazy)
Here is a link to the actual free course
If you have ‘access’ /cough to Lynda there are another set of SEO courses on there will expand upon, if you stick to the fundamentals, what you learned from Greg.
Here is the part that EVERYONE fucks up.
That everyone BLASTS PAST and then wonders why the hell nothing is working. (I’m giving a high level view here). Because no one wants to do the time and the thankless set-up work to make sure everything is well researched and congruent.
It is the foundation of everything.
If you don’t tell Google what you’re trying to rank for in a language Google understands…then how they hell are you going to rank for anything?
I’m not going to get into all of the depths and strats and such because we’d be here forever (LSI, TF-IDF, etc).
Here are some resources in order of how far you want to go at this point if you want to learn legit about KW research.
Again. My opinions there are a lot of polarizing guys out there but like I said before, at this level, all the shits the same.
TIP: In the US a lot of libraries give FREE LYNDA access if you have a library card.
Now were jumping up a notch here.
Each of these guides are written with the goal of getting them to use their tools.
I use them both. I actually use Powersuite daily (gasp!) and their new keyword area is pretty damn cool for keeping shit together.
You can learn a lot conceptually and how things interrelate at a higher level by reading these even if you don’t use the tools.
They have a free version and in my opinion you should download it (find it by following the next step)
That should be enough to get you some footing to your foundation.
I’ll be straight up here I can’t believe I wrote all of this (the coffee kicked in) and I can’t guarantee I’ll add/update it. /Sigh I guess I’ll have to format it and make it pretty…
But this is a no-bs start for you.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with reading material as it can go from 0-200 pretty damn fast and you won’t know what the hell is what and how it interrelates.
So here are some legit resources with little or minimal amounts of bullshit (my response my list people!)
Guys doing the work that I like.
(just google em, fb, etc):
- Matt Diggity - his blog and FB group ‘TheLab’
- Nathan Gotch - blog
- Chase Riener (Youtube - polarizing guy but gives you legit SEO especially skilled in local. A bit salesy)
- Glen Alsopp - Viperchill
(I know I’m forgetting others)
There are a lot more that get super deep (if you google them you’ll see):
- Seo by the sea
and a host of others
But those few guys up top are good for now
TIP: Get Feedly and subscribe to all of these guys’ feeds.
Get Powersuite - Ranktracker there is a free version but the whole toolset comes with it.
Google Keyword tool - is a broken husk of what it used to be. But it tells you what people are searching for to a degree. There is a TON of information they don’t share any more. But it’s still the industry go-to.
TIP - Google Autocomplete will show you what PEOPLE are searching for. The suggested at the bottom will tell you what GOOGLE thinks (knows) is connected to your search.
TIP: A lot of other tools are mentioned in one of those first classes of Keyword education at the beginning of this monstrosity.
The big tools in this space are Ahrefs, SEMRush, MajesticSEO, SerpWoo and to a much lesser degree Moz. All paid all with their own pros/cons.
There are a lot of smaller players in the market that are getting better all the time.
TIP: Appsumo from time to time has LTD’s on them that I’d recommend checking out and grabbing when available. Ones I use from time to time: Serpstat, Keywordrevealer, keyword io,
PROTIP - For Chrome go and download the extension “Keywords Everywhere”. You’ll see what it does.
Back in the day there were places you could really learn if you put your head down and did the work (oh Wickedfire/Bluehat…/sigh).
But right now everything has more or less moved to FB except a few I frequent now and then.
BlackHatWorld DEFINITELY has years of good stuff on there (if you know how to separate the crap) with newer nuggets being dropped to the plebes every now and then.
One of the best forums for legit SEO knowledge out there from some of the undercover top guys around (especially CCarter - dude is a legend)
Buildersociety - just Google it. A few years ago the top guys got together and put the most comprehensive, no bullshit, Digital Strategy Course I’ve ever seen… FOR FREE. Check CCarters chapters especially the Day 8 Keyword one.
Other than that with forums I really don’t go anywhere else in the SEO realm other than the occasional Reddit/FB/Skype.
TIP: Learn your adversary - They leave TONs out. John Mueller actively misleads about just about everything. But that is what the raters/algo use when they inspect your shit.
Jesus Christ look at this wall of text! WTF.
Well there ya go.
That should get you on your way.
DOUBLE PROTIP:Don’t fuck with the Black Hat shit with client sites.
If you want to screw up (and you will mightily) and learn do it on your own. If you learn you’ll start to see possibilities with a little “Grey Magic” - I’m just lookin’ out fam.
I can’t guarantee if/when I’ll add/update or whatever.
But for now…
These are the ramblings of a crazy old man…