The Most Dangerous Thing In SEO In 2013

It’s nothing complicated – so don’t worry!

In my opinion the most dangerous thing in Search right now is people and businesses hanging onto tactics that don’t work anymore, and risk damaging a site’s reputation with Google.

We’ve been in a post-Penguin, post-Panda world for quite some time now, and it’s reached the point where you really should know what you SHOULDN’T do.

This week I received an email that very quickly demonstrates exactly what you shouldn’t be doing…

seo good bad letter

This email was sent through to, and this is the site one which they wanted to add the article.

I’ve shaded it to protect the guilty, and I’ve highlighted the passages that demonstrate the issues, I’ll through each of those below. Before I do that though I wanted to point out that this is (barring the gross targeting errors) a reasonable example of the style of an email offering to write guest blogs.

  • The overall failure in this is that they haven’t done their homework. They’ve made no attempt to understand the website of the site they’ve sent it to, and done nothing to make me believe they could write a good post for my site.
  • My first highlight is “hi” – that’s because despite sending it to chloe@… they’ve not put my name at the top. AND because if you’ve looked at my site you’ll know who I am! You can’t always personalise, but when you can – you should.
  • The second highlight “casino” is the real big failure of this email. The site that wants a link from eCommerce MasterPlan is a casino.
    Right now SEO LinkBuilding is all about QUALITY links – a link from a site that’s like yours. There is nothing on my site like or about casinos, so they are going to get very little value from a link from my site it won’t be worth it for them.
  • 3rd we have “does not mean the article is about casinos”. Then again, what on earth is the point for them? An article about eCommerce with a random link to a casino in the middle of it is going to do no one any favours. They should be aiming to write articles about casinos and gambling.
  • Finally “hopefully we can finalise a deal quickly”. This one MIGHT be fine, but it suggests they’re offering to pay for the post (as does the “displays for at least 12 months”). Paid for links are a big no-no. Google hates them. Plus it goes against the ethos of what works which is great content deserving great links.

So if you’re going to be doing this sort of activity here’s a little check list for you:

  • Do your research
  • Make sure it’s a site in your area, where a post about your products / business / expertise wouldn’t be out of place
  • In the email prove you’ve done your research; if you can, send it to a person, explain what you like about the site and why you’d like to contribute an article.
  • If you really want to go for gold suggest some blog posts you could write for them

Have you had any SEO horrors this year you’d like to share?