I’m going to get back on my SEO soapbox. I know I’ve spent a lot of time up here, but this misconception is still one of the main problems with this industry.

The misconception is that SEO consists of doing some magic keyword placement, adding a few links and then ranking. Just this week a potential client insisted we add the keywords meta tag, even when I tried to explain that that hasn’t been a thing in years. (Seriously, that article is more than 6 years old, and even then it said it stopped using the keywords tag “many years ago.”)

I’ve talked about having real goals, and using rankings as an indicator, not an outcome. I’ve talked about being smarter with your keywords (okay, that’s really just Rand Fishkin talking about it, but I’ll take credit anyway.) But I think there is something more fundamental at work here. I think SEO has a reputation for being easy.

Easy Street Sign

This is not the way to Google’s first page. Sorry.


In reality, obtaining search rankings is usually very complex. The technical factors alone can take months to get squared away on a decent sized site. Links aren’t a matter of finding the right directory and submitting your site anymore, rather we find meaningful websites where we can create real relationships and garner links that actually mean something. More than anything though, Google wants to provide the searching public with real answers to their queries, not just the website who best stuffed those keywords into their content.

In short, if you want to rank, you have to give Google something worth ranking.

The largest team at Gravitate Online is the content team. We have some great writers who spend every day brainstorming, researching and creating valuable content, not just to find new ways of getting keywords x and y on the site a few more times, but to give our clients’ customers something of value that will actually be useful as they decide where to spend their money. In other words, ranking isn’t so much a matter of keyword targeting anymore, it’s a matter of providing useful and relevant answers to queries. And that isn’t easy.

There is another option to get into the search results quickly: you can always purchase search ads!

Did I mention Gravitate Online is a Google Partner?