The First Rule Of SEO…


About 6 or 7 years ago we stopped, like lots of agencies, referring to ourselves as an SEO agency.

It was still the bulk of what we did but there was one big problem, and it was a problem that had been creeping up for a while.

You see all Google wanted to do was rank the best content from the most trusted brands. Not rank the site with the most compressed images. Not rank the site with the largest number of links or most beautifully diverse anchor text. Not rank the site with immaculate title tags and carefully considered URL structures.

Just the best content, from the most trusted brands. That’s it. In particular awesome, rich content on large landing pages that cater to a broad range of user intents for priority search queries, but that is a topic for another day.

For many years those other tactics had been so powerful that in themselves they could transform the fortunes of businesses, but at some time around 2013/14 an inflection point was reached – in an increasing number of verticals it felt like focusing on these tactics without first nailing the overarching brand or content strategies was a bit too much like putting the cart before the horse, and then blind-folding the horse and sticking it on roller-skates. All very exciting, but unlikely to end well.

Over half a decade later and I still find myself having this debate, so I want to be clear. Yes, there are some verticals still so spammy that those link and aggressive on-page tactics that worked in 2010 still very much work now. There are also some websites that already have a tonne of brand authority and it’s just waiting to be channeled through smart traditional SEO – amazing.

But for the 90% of websites that don’t fall into these categories, I urge you to remember the first rule of modern SEO, which is to stop talking about SEO and concentrate instead on developing awesome content and a trusted brand.

Do that, and your SEO will take care of itself.

Well, perhaps with a little help from Boss Digital.

See you next time,