SEO, A Science or an Art?

White Hat SEO OR Black Hat SEO?
October 28, 2014
How to build a great Affiliate site a Low Budget?
November 9, 2014


I read a lot, and get a lot of questions, about people wanting to know what the process is to rank a particular site. Some may ask, “How do you rank a finance site?” or “How do you rank a site on Dog Training?” or any other number of specific site ranking related questions such as those.

My opinion is that there is no specific methodology that is involved in ranking any particular kind of site as SEO is not a science, it is an art. there is some science involved and I’ll share that below but the actual ranking is an art.

Math and science do have a place in ranking a site as nuts and bolts but the actual ranking is an art, much like design. As an example, an automobile is designed to look good (well, most are) as part of the process to sell that automobile. Various things come into play when they are doing the design and one of them is the aesthetics. Much of that is art although there is certainly engineering in there as well.

SEO is similar in that the ranking part consists largely of how an artist would approach a project. As opposed to an assembly line of pounding out XYZ kind of links in XYZ infrastructure with 20% exact match anchor text, 20% naked links, 20% branded links, 20% of “Click Here” generic links and the remaining 20% LSI links, the SEO professional should be looking at how their backlinking would be more efficient and powerful than that of their competitors and craft a process specifically for that site.

That is what I do and I have ZERO artistic skills… look at any of my sites and you would see that.

I am also pretty careful to never have the same exact strategy that I use for one site on another site to rank it. That may be an extreme in terms of not wanting to leave a footprint but I’m big on erring on the side of caution after getting hit hard back in 2008 or 2009 when I had all my sites ranking the same way and waking up one day to about $3.40 in revenue instead of my usual decent chunk of change.

What I do now is to analyze what the top 10 in Google are doing, I don’t care about the 2nd page on as there is no real money there, and figure out ways to build a better backlinking structure then what they are doing. It is a bit of a pain in the backside to do that kind of work, especially when my seed keywords for a site can be upwards of 50 or so, but if I am going to build something that I expect to generate revenue, then it really is needed. Building and ranking sites is part of a business model that has served me well for the past 7 or 8 years and setting up the process properly is important to make those sites a long-term sustainable online income.

Your science, part one, is in the analyzing of the competition. That has to be done to even think you have a chance at beating the big boys at the game and really should be part of any due diligence for someone that end of the internet marketing business for the long haul. Failing to do that could, and probably will, lead to failure if you are trying to sail a big ship in this industry.

Part two of the science of ranking a website in Google is having some of the proper tools available. In today’s environment, for a competitive market, you need to have the tools to build a proper backlinking infrastructure, and all manual processes are not going to cut it. Sure, you need to be doing a fair amount of manual work but you better be loaded for bear if you want to build a site to rank in a money niche for the long term.

What kind of tools are good for SEO? I’ll share a few but the choice of your tools is a bit of an art so there is no defined answer for each and every site.

Private Blog Network – I have a bunch of them and use them for my sites as well as my clients. They are treated like a brand new Mercedes, garage kept, washed often, not taken out in the rain and I check the oil often.

Outside Services – There are a million of them out there and many are excellent. I happen to own Linklure and Linkpushing so I have a leg up on most and use them for some of my sites as well as my clients. I do not use them for every site though and I use them directly all the time either. For indexing my links, I use Lindexed (yeah, I own that too…) and set it so that my links are drip indexed as opposed to immediate 99% of the time.

Virtual Assistants – Yup, if you want to make this work you are probably going to need a little help and a good virtual assistant is a money in the bank. Having that person do some of the time consuming manual projects that can jam you up has a lot of value.

Writer(s) – I do some outsourcing of my content for my money sites, my backlinks and for my clients sites. Content has real value if you have it written properly and can return dividends in rankings that average backlinking will not do.

Automated Backlinking Tools – There are a bunch of commercial tools out there that will build backlinks for you and do it in massive volume. Many of them are good and can be super helpful, easy to use and are updated often. In general the benefits greatly outweigh the cost for the serious site owner.

Knowing how to use the above is an art and an art that you need to practice to get things right.

Can the art of SEO be taught? In a sense it can but only as much as an art teacher in a school can teach as the talent lies in your ability to move and shake with the site, the competition and the current Google algorithms.

Each and every time you make a move with anything to rank your site is not going to be perfect and in some instances it will tank. That is how the ball bounces in the SEO world and that is how it bounces in many other industries as we are in a “test industry”. On the other hand, when you nail it you can really bank and bank for a long time and your efforts turn into serious gold.

Are you an SEO artist or one that relies on science alone?

Let’s hope you are both because that is common sense SEO and will serve you well in your internet marketing ventures long term.