In a conversation with another SEO last week, my personal philosophies surrounding SEO were called “Extremely White Hat”. I really couldn’t tell from his tone of voice whether he thought that was a good thing, or a bad thing. I had a hunch that if it showed results, he wasn’t too averse to a little smudge of dirt on his cowboy hat.
Here’s what I said back to him, and what I stand by:
SEO is not a short-term strategy. It’s a long-term strategy.
If you want search engine traffic in the short term, you buy pay-per-click adwords.
If you want to have long-term rankings in the organic search results, you plan on it taking anywhere from six months to a year to do it the right way. When setting goals for the business, you don’t plan on it reaching its peak potential until two years out.
Then, you don’t take any shortcuts, you don’t do anything that “might be grey” with the hopes that it will sneak past undetected. You do the work. You do it right. You make the website a good place for users and for search engines. You create good content.
This is how you maintain rankings at the 2.5 year mark when the next Penguin update rolls out. This is how you see your traffic increase after a Panda update. This is how you can sleep well at night about doing your job well.
Yes, my hat is squeaky-clean white. That’s because I want the site I’m working on to do well three years from now as much as I want it to do well today.