RE: SEO does not Equal Gaming Search Engines

RE: SEO does not Equal Gaming Search Engines

Ok, so this may get a little confusing as we’re both named Charles. I came across this post by none other than “SEOCharles”, though don’t get that confused with my Twitter @Charles_SEO 😛

He decided to spout another war against the black hat mantra which got a couple replies, including from my ex-colleague and good friend Matthew Barby.

What Charles was really annoyed about though, was the perception the world had about us trying to “game” the search engines.. Will, if you do SEO, then essentially you’re trying to rank for a keyword (or multiple keywords) then you’re gaming the search engine to do so.

For example, if I go to Charles own author widget within his sidebar, he’s quite clearly trying to use massive internal linking to prominently rank for “SEO Consultant” –

seo charles sidebar

Yup, that’s an exact match anchor link that comes from nearly every page on his site. So essentially, he’s trying to game Google by receiving a ton of internal links – Which by the way, DO “juice” from the other pages back to his own homepage, which has this exact match internal link.

Fair enough, he could probably get away with a cheeky link in the author bio… but what about going for a 2nd internal link within the footer, with the exact same anchor text? –

seo charles footer

I’m not going on any kind of a personal attack here.. but hypocrisy is rather hilarious.

For example, Charles has an old site that’s in French - charlesmpiche.com

Which in turn has a dofollow, exact match anchor text link back to his new site –

SEO Charles old site

Which even changes languages half way through the sentence to link out to his new site… Rather than using a branded term, he uses an exact match anchor.

By using this kind of linking, he’s managed to take some commenable spots within the SERPs for a rather compettiive keyword –

seo consultant rank

Ok, I’ll chill there with how he is gaming Google, but I think Matthew Barby’s original comment sums up the response to his post pretty well –

Hey Charles, I hear this a lot and although I’ve been involved in SEO for some time now, I have a slightly different opinion to you. My opinion is that any SEO campaign IS gaming the search engines. It just depends on what extent you do this – if you’re ‘earning’ your place at the top of the search engines, you’re still using your experience of what ‘works’ to get ranked.

I’ve worked with clients in the past on SEO campaigns where I’ve taken a step back from the campaign and just thought… ‘your competitors actually have more of a right to be at the top of the SERPs than you’. That’s not to say that they were though 😉

In that example, we worked on creating good content that earned organic links and there wasn’t any ‘black hat SEO’ involved. Yes, the content was good, but in turn, the content helped them to rank for service related keywords when in fact, their competitors were much better at what they did. Is this providing the best experience for the user? Is this gaming the SERPs? Some would agree with me, whilst others would argue that the content that helped them rank was link-worthy and deserved to rank. My response would be that I agree; however, great content doesn’t always reflect the actual delivery of the companies services/quality of products.

This is a lot different to out and out black hat SEO, of which I have been involved in before (a little while now), but it still uses the basic principles of SEO – use methods that will get you to page 1 of Google et al.

Just my $0.02.

Other than what Matt said, I think this guys post was a bit of linkbait etc… I fell for it and linked out to him – Though I have nofollow’d the link.

Charles Floate
I'm a UK based Search Engine Optimisation and Search Marketing Consultant. With over 5 years in the Search Industry, I'm hoping to build up God of SEO as a Dedicated Internet Marketing Blog with tons of Information for the Community to engage with.
Charles Floate
Charles Floate
Charles Floate

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