This article is not about the kind of SEO articles SEO specialists would publish on article directory websites or websites and blogs that look for contributions. What I am talking about here are articles about SEO that SEO firms use to gain credibility and, more importantly, gain clients. There are no two ways about it. The internet is filled with SEO articles, and the sad news is that, most of them are crappy. They are just BS. I just wonder why people even bother.
In many cases, it has gotten to the point where you just need to log into your Twitter account and you would see that the kind of content published by one SEO firm is basically the same kind of content that thousands of SEO firms publish. The tragedy of this is, your Twitter feed becomes full of such crap. It is basically like people saying the same stuff over and over again. Sure, the wording is different, there are different personalities behind it, there are different perspectives, but the core, the substance is basically the same. Why have things degenerated to this point? You can even go to inbound.org without rolling your eyes. First of all, there is a mafia that controls that place, where only the cool kids would like or upvote each others’ posts. So, it seems that the top articles are always by the same connected people, but worst of all is the fact that, it is the same kind of crap. If you are going to do an upvote mafia circle jerk, why don’t you at least post original material? This is precisely what is wrong with SEO articles.
If you don’t understand what I am saying, or you don’t believe what I am saying, just go on to Twitter, follow maybe two dozen SEO or online marketing professionals and you will know exactly what I am talking about. Pay attention to the stuff they share. It will blow your mind. It is basically as if there is like a very short list of stuff that SEO professionals should talk about and that is it, and that is all people would post. It is really a waste. Not just of time, but also energy, and it really does not do anybody good. Why? If a potential client sees stuff at one place, and then compares it to stuff at other places, it is basically the same stuff. So, it really is down to a game of first impressions. Whoever gets the eyeball of that person first, gets the account. This is not exactly the best way to make a decision. After all, with SEO, you are looking to decide on who can do the job right, and do it for the best price. Still, that is the sorry state of SEO articles currently. Here are just some of the reasons why it has sunk this low.
You do not have to look at the top names in the SEO industry to see the low quality materials, but pay attention to the stuff they write. Chances are, there will be lower tier or mid tier people rehashing the same stuff. To make it worse, highly authoritative websites, like search engine land, search engine journal, even that second tier SEO new site SEroundtable, rehashes all these stuff. Basically, you have people rehashing rehash of original material. It has gotten to a point that people often give a lot of authority to people rehashing when they are clueless as to who came up with the original concept. It is very sad. It is like people just borrowing from each other. It is like just one giant digital content marketing circle jerk. It is disgusting and pathetic.
Another hallmark of the lack of imagination in SEO journalism, if you want to call it that, is the over reliance on fake controversy. A classic example of this is when Google quietly phased out third party support for Adwords. A lot of people tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill when this has actually been going on for a long time. Perfectly legitimate third party platforms got dragged into the controversy for no reason except, of course, to get page views for the people stirring the fake controversy pot. Instead of looking for fake controversy and hyping up non-issues, people would better use their time actually looking for genuine controversy. The real controversy is that Google is basically out to kill SEO. There are no two ways about it, but nobody wants to touch that topic with a ten foot pole. I do not know why.
Great Titles that Over Promise
How many times have you seen an awesome title? You clicked and you were just less than impressed by the article. In many cases, you were just sorely disappointed. Chances are, this has happened to you quite a bit. If you focus on SEO articles and you are in this industry space, chances are, this has happened to you a lot. The reality is that, titles that are so hyped up that they over promise are like the herpes of content marketing. They keep cropping up again and again and again. You would think that you have turned your back on them, you would think that they are safely in the past, and then they would crop up again, it is the same thing. The same approach, the same style, but over promising a different article. Same garbage, different day. It has to end. Seriously.
Crafty Writing with No Substance
Another type of SEO article that really gets me furious, is the over emphasis on packaging and style. Let me make it clear. You can take dog poop and put it in a gold foil container, put a bow on it, spray some perfume on it, and bury it under a pile of dollar bills. Guess what, it is still dog poop. This is precisely what is happening with many media companies that throw their best writers at basically a story that has no substance, and we are supposed to give it a standing ovation. We are supposed to notice and think that the company is credible. A pig is a pig. Regardless of how much lip stick you put on it, regardless of how much perfume you put on it, it is still a pig, it is still nasty, it still smells. That is exactly what happens with SEO articles that really do not have any substance but just focuses on the personality of the writer and crafty writing. Let us face it. Crafty writing can only take you so far. This is SEO we are talking about. You have to have some substance.
You Can Only Spin a Formula So Many Times…
Finally, to round out this extended rant, no discussion regarding the sorry state of SEO article writing would be complete without a discussion on formulas. Let us face it. When you look at your SEO Twitter feed, and you check out inbound.org, you can see how many formulas there are. I can count them with one hand. Unfortunately, there are many variations of it, so there is this illusion that there is actually different types of content out there, but really it is the same five formulas, again and again, and again. The longer you stay in this industry, the more items you write, the sharper your focus will be. Also, the sicker you will get down to the pit of your stomach, because you are basically looking at the same formula, just rehashed, re-spun, throw a little fake controversy here, over promise with a title there, hype up the personality of the writer here, it is the same stuff. You can only BS with people for so long until they get sick of it.
If you operate a marketing blog, it is time to step up. It is time to really either go deep, and offer stuff that few other people are offering, or go wide so that you can give people real information that they may have not heard of before or might have passed over. The days of just rehashing crappy articles with fake controversy and over promising with hyped titles is over. You can only get away with crafty writing and formula writing for so long. It is time to get serious. It is time to get real. If you want your SEO service company or your media company to get to the next level, then you need to offer writing and substance that is of a higher level. There are no two ways about it.