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Alok's Posts / Startup

SEO is BUNK…

Ever since we launched Games2win.com we began to grow thanks to:

a) Distribution deals with partners like addictinggames.com and yahoo.com

b) more importantly – the STEALING and PIRACY of our games

How did this work?

The pre loaders, the logo tags on all the games that spread across all over the planet all had live links to games2win.com and slowly and steadily, we built a very nice 5 million monthly visitors business to the site. On comScore, the uniques that view our pirated games are 12-15 mn per month (see comScore extended media metrics). So just content allows us to address 17-20 mn uu’s a month.

Now review the Google Analytics of Games2win captured a few minutes ago – (click to expand)

 

Here is the interesting part:

FLASH by itself is not SEO friendly!! Google cannot read between Flash and hence Games2win.com itself IS NOT A SEO friendly site! 

See the analytics:

Only 19% of our traffic comes from Search. Also, ‘Search’ for games2win are tweens and teens TYPING games2win to go the site (lots of kids dont know how to use the browser address bar – they just type the site address on google and then click on the first link).

 

Hence, I would believe that our REAL SEO traffic is less than 5%!

Over 32% is DIRECT (yup – thats the power of having a good brand)

Over 32 % is OTHER ( this is nothing but the pirated site that are sending traffic back – Google cant recognize them either)

Over 17% is referring sites (the direct licensing relationships we have had)

 

Note that the 5 million come from 220 countries monthly!

Sure, we did our own SILLY SEO experiments of adding all kinds of stupid words on the site ( boys games, girls games etc etc), but I think its all cow dung.

All you need is great content and the rest follows.

What convince me further to post this article was an article I read on GigaOm today which describes how leading investors conclude the SEO and VIRAL marketing for building cheap and large audiences is now PAST TENSE.

Check the article here – http://bit.ly/seo-is-bunk

 

I did some more digging around the authors and concurred with what was now an open secret:

 

– SEO was for an era whose time has past ( i would say pre FB era)

 

– Facebook delivers massive visibility and audience – directly via likes and posts and MORE IMPORTANTLY via ads. A case there is an Interview  with the GROUPON CEO who says that he did VERY LITTLE SEO and instead bought listings and Facebook ads to start up momentum.

 

For example – the site you are on – therodinhoods.com records 50% direct traffic and 40% Social traffic (FB and Twitter). Just about 10% is via Search.

 

– Content syndication (like we did) in my view works very well. So what is zynga but a massive content syndication business? I mean they have housed their content (all their games) on Facebook and are reaping from the traffic of FB?

 

The interesting mention that again I agree with is that even if SEO delivers some results – its EXPENSIVE!! It takes people, tweaking your website and then always chasing that ‘CEO Magician’ for the next trick – that honestly I have NEVER been able to accurately measure.

 

On a final note, ‘accidental’ SEO traffic is meaningless. It shows higher visits but zero page views and zero loyalty ( happens on SEO that is generated via Google News stories).

 

Long story Short:

 

– Forget relying on SEO as the mantra for traffic. Think beyond this.

 

– Syndicate heavily – let the content be loaned, borrowed, stolen – in the end it always comes back to you

 

– Heavily Socialize – Tweet, FB, linkedin etc

 

– Latch on – If you latch on to media companies or celebrities or just very popular people who control massive fan pages on FB ( I spoke to a UK media company yesterday who has 10 MILLION facebook fans) then one wall post on that fan community page is the equivalent of many many slow slogging months of SEO

 

– House yourself in TRAFFIC Zones rather than trying to build content simultaneously (the Zynga in Facebook example). Its tough to climb 2 mount Everest in one attempt!

 

Like there was never a free lunch – there is NEVER free traffic. And specially from SEO.

 

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63 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Himanshu Mody

    Wah 🙂 Nice one !! Now I know the reason of fall in traffic on my website. It has amazing SEO but the ladder was on the wrong wall. Will change my plan henceforth.

    As always thanks a ton for sharing.

  2. Profile photo of Praveen Pandey

    visits & visitors is important aspect to analyze actual versus real! I agree in toto that being social helps a lot in getting free traffic (visitors) . http://on.mash.to/eNU3ZZ

    I think Google Webmaster tool will be better option for coming to a conclusion with regards to SEO.

    Appreciate your observation on quality & quantity but folks out there look for visits!

     

  3. Profile photo of Arun Prabhudesai

    Sorry Alok, I beg to differ…

    Although, the points you have mentioned here very valid points – SEO plays a very important role in driving traffic to a site. For site like Games2win it is very different because it is flash based website. In gaming vertical like g2w rules of driving traffic are different. But if you consider 95% of other sites, SEO plays a major role.

    One of the main reason’s for Flipkart’s success is its SEO strategy, which they heavily rely on… Even sites like chakpak.com rely heavily on organic traffic from search engines.

    If you talk of content syndication / duplication, it can be a big negative factor or normal text content based sites.

    SEO should be clubbed along with the strategies you have mentioned here and then it can work wonders…but calling SEO bull may be a wrong thing to say !

  4. Profile photo of Aditya Babbar

    Phew,

    Thank god the SEO bubble is finally being pricked by people and is on its DECLINE.

    Alok, always famous for calling a Spade a Spade, thanks for the gyaan and re-iterating that
    – You need to BE GOOD at what you do or want to do
    – Collaboration and Networking is better than wasting time behind the screen and getting the site search engine optimised.
    – SEO = Some Excruciating hOurs wasted

  5. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    Good topic Alok! Let me put my points here.

    Often, there is confusion regarding SEO. SEO is not an independent activity, generally we say “Google likes you if everyone else likes you”

    SEO is very rewarding but SEO alone is not rewarding enough,

    Here are some of the articles that I wrote regarding this http://www.seoforclients.com/education/docs/pdf/Weekly-Education-1.pdf (MUST READ)

    There is bunch of such articles that I wrote in 2008 http://www.seoforclients.com/edu … The articles are a little outdated (as 1 year on web is like 7 years, so it is over 14 years outdated :)).

    I know of companies that are earning most of it because of SEO (#1 ranking for few keywords) ( (The main focus was SEO, a 10 member team that works on SEO), they earn over $10000 every day. I also know of companies that are not doing any SEO and hates SEO like anything, they are also earning in few thousand dollars every day. SEO compliments, it doesn’t replace your main strategy of being a good website and offering good services.

    There are plenty of sites that are pure SEO, where they create content like anything, bring links, then rank and become affiliates to make money … These falls under black hat format and they too earn money but then its a different dark world … I helped one such article here http://www.ivizsecurity.com/blog/penetration-testing/how-search-engine-security-testing-can-improve-website-ranking/

    You can check one of my presentations about Digital Mix, sometimes SEO is not at all recommended but sometimes it is highly recommended http://www.slideshare.net/ajinimc/iimc-talk-on-digital-marketing-by-aji-issac-ceo-techshucom .

    Thanks,
    Aji Issac

  6. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    I think Flipkart would have succeeded without SEO because:

    – Their service is bloody good

    – Word of mouth is the real SEO – people tell people about what they liked.

    Chakpak may suck in good SEO traffic – but what’s the use? The traffic that flows in is so thin and weak (we face the same issues in koimoi.com) that it can barely be monetized!!

    So, when you have generic plain vanilla content of Bollywood that appears everywhere and because Chakpak can bring in SEO traffic, SO WHAT? The page view of the SEO visitor is 1 at most. Very little ads clicked on and there is no visibility of the visitor of the person the next day!

    So what good did massive SEO optimisation do?

    On your own Blog, you create unique and well curated traffic. People recognize your blog for it. So, my guess is that your direct traffic is much higher than search traffic!!

  7. Profile photo of Aloke Bajpai

    I wouldn’t junk SEO so quickly if I were you Alok. There is definitely value to be found when users are searching for relevant keywords. SEO has been an important contributor to our overall traffic growth, however when it comes to monetization, stickiness and how valuable a particular visitor is, direct traffic still rules (no doubts about that)! What we’ve learnt is that SEO traffic is good for driving new visitors who tend to gradually convert into direct traffic (as repeat) over time if your product/service is good (which remains the premise before doing any kind of marketing).

    SEO for SEO’s sake is passé. Search engines now look at content quality, lower bounce rates, how quickly a site loads etc. as other indicators in rankings, so the pure “keyword oriented” SEO 1.0 is dead.

    SEO 2.0 is more about content quality/depth, relevancy, social mentions, quality news, freshness, speed/latency etc.

  8. Profile photo of Aditya Singh

    And most importantly.

    You never know when google changes its algorithm and screws you.

    http://www.labnol.org/internet/blog-as-content-farm/18750/

  9. Profile photo of Aditya Singh

    Also check this really funny article by Aaron Wall.

    http://www.seobook.com/starting-new-seo-business-2011

  10. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    The fact of the matter is>>

    There are 15 billion+ searches happening every month …. May be few millions for your industry, are you getting your share of it? With or Without is secondary …. 80% of the SEO is common sense but at times that 20% extra can give you an edge, example, a proper document structure, Sitemap XML + CSE combination for celeb sites, even a small canoncial tage implementation along with location setup gave us 70% improvement in traffic in a month … Different website, Different needs and thus different level of SEO.

    The quality of SEO will improve when we will have that taught in IIMS & IITs (the premium colleges) … Current SEO companies are just thinking about basic SEO spamming. There is a large world beyond SEO spamming ….

    Change SEO from Search engine optimization to

    Search Engine Organic

    Thanks,
    Aji Issac
    “I can’t dance but I can handle Google Dance”

  11. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    We had a hit in 2003, Florida update … thereafter we ran very safe campaigns …. now we can handle Google dances 🙂 …

    Points to note is: Even without SEO you are affected by an algo change. You can read many cries in Google forums ….

  12. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    🙂 Aaron earns his money from SEO & he needs to write articles for the sake of it. The person sitting next to me got Google check because of one single keyword and one single blog post 🙂 …

  13. Profile photo of Pradeep Chaudhary

    Great to see your experience @Alok. But i have something to add here

    Good SEO pays you. SEO does not mean just bringing visitors to you website, but it means making your website appear on search when some one is looking for the service or product that you may be offering.

    Point to note is to convert those visitors, to your customers. if you are targeting right keywords, key phrases and adding value by putting right contents , for sure it is worth the pain as @Alok have mentioned. What is better if some one is looking for the product and services that you are offering and when they are making a search on search engine, your website appears first in the list?

    Thanks for sharing your experience and its great to know your are getting such a decent traffic.

  14. Profile photo of Abey John

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa there buddy boy. This SEO fan boy is totally up in arms and I’d like to call you on that as total BS. What you’ve done is not SEO but some keyword stuffing crap by half baked….hmmmm okay we are not at a bar drinking and its only 6:30 in the morning….by half baked bakers…..

    So here’s the challenge:
    Work with me and I’ll give you at least 1 million verifiable uniques a month from SEO in 6 to 12 months or earlier. As an SEO practitioner this is first of all laying my head on the block *We never give guarantees*. But this is one chopping block that is a fair place to die if it must be that.

    If I fail I’ll come over to your camp and get out my corporate begging bowl and get in the cold calling queue like all good salesman and peddle product and services.

    If I succeed you will write a post that says SEO is the Brilliantest thing that happened to the planet after the Internet, Search Engines & Sliced Bread!

    Deal? 🙂

  15. Profile photo of Abey John

    Okay I guess I need to qualify that a bit…. we’ll do this without it being expensive.

  16. Profile photo of Mahesh Khambadkone

    If you think about WHAT the feed is on Facebook that you click on, it’s ultimately content syndication – you syndicate your network out to an audience, and Facebook has tools to more effectively do this.

    One would argue that so is SEO – where you make your content be found through search engines, but I think the moot point is that the content needs to be compelling – regardless of the amount of social coding and SEO-ing you do on your site.

    Content is king. Platforms to syndicate, in whatever form, are their speech therapists!

  17. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Very Eloquently answered MK!

  18. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    Hi Mahesh,

    SEO is not an independent body … I give you an example, you wrote a very compelling article on Aamir Khan, will it rank for Aamir Khan? It will rank only when you are talking care of the basics (which is not very tough to learn), the complete document structure, canonical tags, right anchor text etc will help you achieve better results in Search Engine Organic along with your good content.

    I wrote a post called SEO is curse for content writers http://www.seoforclients.com/hr/seo-curse-writers/ … Often over focus on SEO can make the content a bad … A better SEO company needs to balance out things …

    Now with the universal search in play, for keywords like Katrina Kaif, you won’t get traffic even if you rank for it unless if you rank for the images … for aamir khan it is about ranking for the news and so on …

    Another example is here: When we took the LinenClub project, they were not ranking for anything except their brand Linen Club … We tweaked a little bit with the permission from the client and now we are ranking #2 for Linen http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&q=linen&aq=f&aqi=p-p2g1g-s1g1&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=b26d2f4496b7882f … Now the traffic is good. It is saving us a lot of PPC money and we are putting the PPC money into FB ads for developing a community ….

    It is about a proper digital mix

  19. Profile photo of Abey John

    Content syndication is a form of distribution. Compelling content is about engagement. SEO is upstream from both these and exists at the moment of user intent. Facebook aggregates users around the social axis. Google aggregates users around the search axis. Search exists at the moment user intent. Are you going to search less because of Facebook?

    If you are a human being you are going to socialize and you are going to search to satisfy your insatiable need for information. How many of us online go a day without googling something? If the need for information is valid then search engines still have a skin in the game which makes SEO efforts still valid and extremely effective. The click thro rate on ads in the search results is 1-2% the CTR on organic results is 30-60% or higher.

    The work of SEO is to appear at the moment of user intent and seduce them (with compelling content in the search snippet) to click through. From that point its the copywriter, designer, content creator’s job to give the user a compelling enough user experience to hang around and get monetized…

    That’s why Alok’s main contention about SEO as no longer being a credible source of traffic is total BS. This I would guess is Ad Agency Inc talkin who hates it that they dont longer have direct control over all the traffic on the planet. 😉

  20. Profile photo of Mahesh Khambadkone

    Abhay, the problem is the arrows should be the other way. The product needs to reach out and grab opportunities for SEM / SEO / paid ads, not the other way.

    Many times business owners think it’s the other way around, that SEO / crowdsourcing is the solution to their problems.

  21. Profile photo of Abhishek Bharadwaj

    Hi Alok,

    I get 77% of traffic via Google(organic).The day I made some SEO changes in my portal, the Google ranking jumped from >100 to 29 and presently it is 24. My earnings also increased by 20%.
    I conclude that SEO is still relevant in case of News and Job portal(which is exactly my case).
    For yours, repeated users make most of the traffic, hence SEO maynot be important.

    Interestingly, I found Rodinhood.com via Google itself

  22. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    I think the argument I am putting out is Content vs. Search efforts and the cost thereofs.

    Rodinhood.com for example is just out there… no moneys or extra efforts to make it SEO friendly

    Also, I dont know about your traffic volume, but in the case of games2win etc, beyond 5-6 million visits a month, very strategic partnerships and content offerings begin to make a difference.

    In the end, look at Facebook – 600+ million… SEO?????

  23. Profile photo of Anuj Khurana

    I like how Alok here reaches conclusions.

    -Hey it does not work for me. Freud can base his entire methodology on sample size of 1 well so can I.

    – One of the hundreds of famous bloggers has an article saying the same things. It is another matter that you can easily enough find another link from another equally famous blogger saying the opposite.

    So now let me do an ‘Alok’ and reach an equally bizzare conclusion:

    – A local dance institute has 1000 fans on facebook, generates maximum traffic on days when they post something on fb. Calls for batch details that day? None.

    – Same institute runs ads on google and also ranks high for a large number of keywords, that traffic alone fills a batch every month for them. Their cost of SEO (every month) is less than the cost of one ad in Mumbai Mirror.

    – I have similar data for an Insurance agent in Chicago, A bike rental service in Pattaya.

    What do all of these have in common. Local search. Yeah sure I am not surprised no one is searching for cow dung on Google (“games for boys”) but they are searching as we speak for “camp sites around mumbai”.

    – Just Dial will go bankrupt cause the audience will use mobile search for local listings now that 3G is here. Oh wait Just Dial is going to be a billion dollar company as soon as they list.

    So my conclusion Newspapers will lose all their classifieds business to SEO.

    Oh wait, number of pages of classifieds has gone up over the years not down.

  24. Profile photo of Ajay Kumar Jain

    So what good did massive SEO optimisation do?

    Alok, I would like to quote your lines from this article.

    … Search’ for games2win are tweens and teens TYPING games2win to go the site (lots of kids dont know how to use the browser address bar – they just type the site address on google and then click on the first link)…

    This is what massive SEO optimisation might do. Put you at the top 10 or 5 or if you are lucky enoght then 1st result of the google search and you get clicks. Sometimes, in my expereince 10% of the cases, you get loyal visitors from this (depending on quality of your content).

  25. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Anuj,

    I have presented my case clearly.

    I have spent money on SEO on Games2win.com and Koimoi.com and none of these investments result in any lift for me.

    Heard of a company called Facebook?

    They are a 100 BILLION DOLLAR company in the making – what SEO do they do?

    What is the SEO of Twitter?

    What is the SEO of Zynga?

    What is the SEO of Linked.in (we get indexed as users)

    The dance institute BUYS SEM – so they do a positive ROI – yes – GOOGLE IS 200 BILLION DOLLARS thanks to a great SEM business – and exist so coz everyone made money

    Would google be valuable WITHOUT THE RHS ADS??

    The local dance institute – if it ONLY DID SEO would not get its batch filled!

    Didnt understand the cow dung part. If you want cow dung, you dont go to google – you go to a cowshed.

    JUST DIAL was built on WORD OF MOUTH in the past 8 years – just find out how late their online business came alive. Even today, its that PHONE CALL that drives JUST DIAL – PS – read today’s ET article of Shailendra Singh – Sequoia investor of Just dial – he speaks about HOW IN 20 seconds consumers get their DATA on Just Dial TELEPHONE Call!!

    Please let me explain that Google indexes the web – so Search is AUTOMATIC!! but spending time in optimizing vs. building a better content or service offering is the moot discussion here.

    Ps – I wish i was as famous as you claim! Then I would be quoted in Tech Crunch and Giga Om – not those buggers.

  26. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    The whole concept is that SEO is good for some and may not be that great for some. SEO is a choice, an addon … neither a compulsion nor a must … SEO is an important part of overall mix. Sometimes very relevant and sometimes not that relevant. Like in case of games to win, there are keywords for which it is ranking naturally but there is a huge search volume that is still missing out.

    In case of this trends

    (From one channel, that is Search Engine Organic) http://www.girlsgogames.com/ may be doing better, they have over 27,000 keywords being ranked in top 20 when compare to games2win.com which has some 6800+ keywords ranked … Just analyzing the best volume keywords too. It is ranking a bit of time. Now it is over:

    Games 2 Win (Keyword position and search volume)
    juegos 17 74000
    http://www.games.com 16 40500
    games online free 18 33100
    naughty games 20 22200
    kissing games for girls 15 14800
    school games 20 14800
    free online games for girls 19 14800
    games for boys 12 12100
    strip games 14 12100

    Girl go games:(Keyword position and search volume)
    dress up games 10 450000
    dress up games 9 450000
    stardoll 18 450000
    girlsgogames 1 368000
    girlsgogames 2 368000
    girlsgogames 3 368000
    girlsgogames 4 368000
    cooking games 10 301000
    girl games 1 201000

    (the search volume for the keywords are very high in case of competitor), now it is a choice that one need to make, do I still ignore the huge search traffic that is existing …)

    Also the unit (millions of visits) may be compared within the industry. When I worked for SF based networking company 10 visits to their website was costing them $200 to $400 as one conversion means few thousand dollars every month.

    Thanks,
    Aji Issac,

  27. Profile photo of Anuj Khurana

    Hey Aji,

    If it does not work for facebook, Zynga, twitter then it means it is ‘dead’. Don’t you get it?
    Concept of works for some and does not work for others is not something that sticks any more.

    And did you know SEM is useful while SEO is not! Though both bring same traffic. I run ads for keywords that I can not rank for.

    Anuj

  28. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    :), I don’t go by definition … I am not supporting any SEO … Digital Mix works, SEO is a very important part of Digital Mix … Understanding SEO is useful, very useful . …. This is me, I talk a lot of SEO but haven’t married SEO http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=1600&bih=839&q=ajinimc+OR+%22Aji+Issac%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

    Thanks

  29. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    Can someone please explain me this about facebook?

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150165066373594 … there is a link to Techshu.com … Why is this nofollow link?

    a class=”” href=”http://www.techshu.com/” onmousedown=’UntrustedLink.bootstrap($(this), “78d0f”, event, bagof({}));’ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>http://www.techshu.com/
    Thanks,
    Aji Issac

  30. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Aji,

    The SpillGroup’s success from early 2000 has been OWNING sites like girlgogames, gamesgames.com, jeux.com (play in french), gry.pl (play in polish), agame.com etc.

    Their site url itself was and is their USP.

    As someone who knows our business inside out, I will be the first person to eat my hat (i am good to eat a post it) and agree that SEO works if you empirically prove what you did for us!

    So, if some keywords went up, what did that do?

    Did traffic sustain?
    Did those users stick around and actually become loyal?
    Was their time spent and page views worth the visit?
    Did we sacrifice some keywords for this share?

    I have NO ANSWERS for any of these question and hence the pondering…

    Its my big disappointment here thats showing up!!

  31. Profile photo of Mahesh Khambadkone

    What were the SEO changes you made to your portal?

  32. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Abey – done.

    I publicly declare that we can even cut rev share deals on revenue which will be infinitely higher than some fees you may get.

    So, lets assume, base traffic is 5 million

    Lets assume that revenue if 150k USD

    We get 20 % more in UU’s and hence revenue becomes say 180k

    Then of the 30k per month (15 lacs) we can share whatever you feel is fair as an agency.

    The trick therefore is NOT JUST increasing UU’s but also MAINTAINING The quality of the visitors – one of the BIGGEST DRAWBACKS i see of ‘programmed SEO’.

    SEO IS NOT about getting visitors

    Its about getting LOYAL, Interested and consuming visitors.

    Famous last line from me – We dont need ‘accidental tourists’ ( see the movie – its a classic).

  33. Profile photo of satish v iyer

    Arun use to say he has 80% + SEO traffic

  34. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Ajay, that’s not how it woks.

    U know how kids and women even go sites nowadays? (even i do it for certain sites whose exact URL i dont remember etc)

    They ‘TYPE’ yahoo.com on google!!

    They dont KNOW HOW TO TYPE in the BROWSER.

    See report below:

     

    The most searched keywords are consumers trying to search for OUR SITE (games2win, gamestowin, games 2 win, games2win.com and http://www.games2win.com) – hence it anyway comes up as the first result – SEO or NOT!

    I mean if out of 5 million visits, 1 million are via ‘search’ and in that 250 k or 25% are just searching for our website URL (coz they cant remember the exact name or they are too lazy to type the URL), then SEO is anyway pointless for this traffic

  35. Profile photo of Abey John

    Great, I’ll mail you directly and we can take this offline for now and then come back with the results.

  36. Profile photo of Abey John

    Yatin, I like that:

    Semantic Engagement Optimization 🙂

    That’s a much more accurate definition of what SEOs try to do.

  37. Profile photo of Abey John

    Hey Aji what tool did you use to pull the top 20 keyword ranking data.

  38. Profile photo of Abey John

    Famous last line from me – We dont need ‘accidental tourists’

    As long as you have the content the traffic I get you will stick.

  39. Profile photo of Arun Prabhudesai

    Very well put Yatin…Completely agree with your point of view..

  40. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Yatin, we work together.

    You have very nicely made sure that therodinhoods.com and rodinhood.com has HYGIENE standards of what google and other serach engines look for. we appreciate that and also credit you on both the sites.

    But, I ask – is this your definition of SEO?

  41. Profile photo of Praveen Pandey

    Alok, if SEO is bunk, please put <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”> (http://bit.ly/dLMn6Z) on all the page of whatever website you have … I will help you finding all the tags which will help you <strong>not</strong> getting search engine traffic (Free). I am sure it is code for Google Webmaster on you site (Games2win) – <meta name=”verify-v1” content=”sZiMsCB6wQtZVkBPgxDJJ4Wf1Ki+dT4nH5ZUBUSiJVI=” /> This tool will help you removing the junk. 

    I agree to your long story short part which is noting but off page optimization activity. The activities you are doing currently is nothing but link baiting … write controversial, get attention, get comments & get traffic to get money. SEO is industry specific choice and it is helping the Rodinhood – Search the keyword “seo is bunk” on Google and it is on first page but the selection of the keyword “seo is bunk” is I am sure very few will type!

     

     

     

     

  42. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Yatin – you keen mentioning the VC funding part.

    I dont think funding is about doing anything wasteful or unproductive!!

    Its about scaling a great business forward!!

    Facebook and Twitter PRE VC also grew without SEO…

    I would urge you to deeply reflect on what funding is supposed to achieve….its not a license to spend as the entrepreneur wishes…

  43. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    Praveen,

    What you suggest is ridiculous.

    Why should I mess with my meta tags and screw myself??

    Let me share you and the others ( I hope Yatin, Abey, Arun P and others read this with an unbiased mind) a simple example that I think will explain the moot point of what I am saying:

    – Lets assume i have a restaurant that sells Sushi

    – The Meta Tags etc is making sure that the name plate outside my restaurant – AL OK’s SUSHI is correctly placed and visible for those to know WHERE TO ENTER

    – Now, suggesting that I remove the meta tags is saying REMOVE the NAME PLATE of my restaurant. Thats STUPID

    – My PHILOSOPHY is to make the BEST SUSHI in town. This is CONTENT. As the years roll by, and I do indeed make the best content, people TALK (viral), share (license) and even rob my recipes (pirate) my food.

    – ITS THE FOOD that brings people back to my restaurant all the time – NOT the number of reviews (SEO mentions) that I mat bribe journos to write and make people visit me by CURIOSITY (accidental traffic)

    – What pisses me off is to be TOLD – hey, people are searching for Paneer Tikka and Butter Chicken, so why not mention THOSE items on your menu (you may not even make them) so that some people may accidentally come to you…

    Now, do you get it??

  44. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    @ all – take a look at this clean discussion to objectively present our view point – http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/try-my-seo-sushi-please

  45. Profile photo of Abey John

    Oh man this post is goin nuclear! I love it! 🙂

  46. Profile photo of Praveen Pandey

    Alok, I got your point and there is no need at all to put Paneer Tikka. If you are selling Sushi there is a scope to put Japanese dish, traditional Japanese dish types of generic keywords.
    Moreover it is easy to find out that even if you get accidental traffic what kind of value it is donating (adsense income, other ads income) vis a vis SEO cost. I guess the accidental traffic must not be giving Depth of visit and Loyalty in GA and that is the problem area of accidental traffic. As rightly said by Yatin the marketing mix part. The choice of SEO depend upon business model of gaming site for example Lumosity they are not into advert income business model and SEO can be smaller marketing mix for them!

  47. Profile photo of Alexander Gounder

    Hey Alok,

    I very well understand where this entire thought of “SEO being a Bunk” stems from, it’s because we have been fed half knowledge which those so called “SEO experts” have learned by reading stuff on some blog or the other.

    Simple e.g. someone told you Flash is not SEO friendly and your site is built in flash! so SEO will be difficult, but we are the experts, we can work around it and show results, but it would cost a little more.

    The truth is these guys were just a bunch of opportunist and were trying to over charge you. Further your site isn’t a built in flash, its HTML (server side languages like PHP, ROR or .net also get processed and are displayed as HTML on the Client side) the games that are embeded on the site are the only thing Flash.

    The whole idea of Flash not being SEO friendly came from the fact that Google or for that matter any search engine shows a certain URL in it’s search result, but in Flash site The About page or Homepage had the same URL, And if the About page was a relevant result, how could google show that directly instead of the default homepage. This too has been resolved, I know of flash websites which have URLs like “myflashsite.com#Contact” or “myflashsite.com#about”. and Google has been able to read text (Not Images) in flash for sometime now, I had seen that back in 2007 itself.

    If you don’t believe me, here’s an e.g. Digitaldriftwood.com is cool site built in flash. here’s how it show on the Google SERP you can see the text from the flash because the site doesn’t have any Meta Description tag (yes they still read these).

    Now that the Flash bit has been put aside lets go to the next thing you’ve mentioned is most of the search traffic comes from keywords like “Games2win” and “Games2win.com”. You might have experienced this on IE (if you were forced to use it) if you didn’t type a proper URL i.e. http://www and the rest… you were take too live search (Now Bing) it was a very irritating thing, but then Google was doing the same thing on Mozilla and now Chrome, wherein when you input games2win and hit enter they do a Google search and then take you to directly to the first result. This was Google and MS’s way drive their numbers up (yes, that Halo on Google is myth and they too do “Evil Corp” stuff like this).

    Now if Search Engine’s didn’t know which site Games2win was and it wouldn’t auto redirect to your site, instead would lead to SERP where games2win would or wouldn’t show up and have the user pick and over time if all users picked you, Google would start identifing you as “games2win” But then again it would also show up a hundred other websites which have the same content as you and even may be hiding a keyword or too which say “games2win” now if the user goes to that site and starts liking that site, then you’ve lost a visitor.

    Take for e.g. If someone went shouted out “Alok Kejriwal” in crowd… People know you and therefore everyone else would go, he is Alok. But then if that someone went and yelled out “Alexander Gounder”… Everyone else would “Alexander who” or “Gounder who” or Alec who or gunder who and so on… So while it would be easy to find you, I would get lost between Alexanders, Gounders, alexs, Alec,Gunders and so on. SEO is basically Search Engine PR of sorts.

    So SEO goal should not be Keywords but should be making your website searchable in Google, for things that are relevant to you.

    Basically this is what google sees of Games2win.com based on this and what other sites say about you (Site linking back to you) and several other ques they have built on over the years Google is able to identify you with a host of keywords other than the obvious “games2win” and “Games2win.com”.

    Let’s do this, add robots.txt file with
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /
    and then put up another site with H1 tag “Games2win.com” and have everyone on rodinhood link to it and after sometime see your traffic for “games2win.com” fall.
    you’ve already dismissed this idea.

    SEO should be part of your normal efforts of running a website, like maintaining sitemap, tracking Google Webmaster Dashboard and so on.

    if SEO was bunk, they wouldn’t be spending all that money on it.

    Checkout SEOmoz.org their paid tools would give you a better insight on how well your sites doing is Search and how better it could be.

    Anyways a lot can be said about what people are selling these days in the name of SEO, you as website owner have to decide whether it’s what your site requires… Is what they are telling you, somewhat like lying to search engines, if it is then walk away. But that said there are a lot of legitimate SEO guys and don’t write them off.

    Hate the bad players don’t hate the game.

    Thanks
    Alex

  48. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    The best, best,best single line comment on this subject!!

     

    http://lifedev.net/2011/03/shortest-seo-guide/

     

    please do visit it!! It takes a second or two to understand SEO

  49. Profile photo of Rakesh Sidana

    I totally agree with Alok. Actually silly-SEO has become so popular that people can not think beyond that. It is true, building brand re-call value important. You can not belive it, my site ranks 25000 and i still do not have SEO guy. Its all relavant content. (Here *silly-SEO means creating pages, irrelevant links to increase just hits). Google seems to change formulas to remove those irrelevant links (but it will take time, as companies find loop-holes somewhere). I remember, there were saying, that futuristic search engines will be displaying trust-based links. I am waiting for that time.

  50. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    🙂 The article guy says “Create something that people want to link to” …

     

    Instead of that one should say “Create remarkable products and services” …… I am in Mumbai and had a session at SP Jain about Digital Marketing …Did promote this thread and the forum as well … I think I will write something in detail including that for SEO Sushi … Will find some time this week itself.

  51. Profile photo of Vishal Khandelwal

    That’s exactly what the point 3 of my “simple SEO rules” also say – http://www.copywriterinindia.com/seo-copywriting/

     

    It’s all about creating compelling stories/content, building trust over a period of time, and then having people link to your website.

     

    With respect,

    Vishal

  52. Profile photo of Rakesh Sidana

     

    Recently Google has changed the algorithm, majority of SEO companies are in trouble 😉

     

    Does your business depend on Google? Any comment?

  53. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    🙂 Do you mean people will search less now .. so Google’s traffic will go down ….

     

    SEO is not a fixed method …. It is about helping search engines list your site better (FOR A LONG TERM, long term is the key)….

     

    >>Does your business depend on Google? Any comment?

    Change it to … Is your business using the google traffic? I just uploaded one of my article that I wrote in 2008 when some of the channels were not that strong (like Social Media for marketing) … you can read http://www.slideshare.net/ajinimc/what-happens-if-google-vanishes-tomorrow-seo-clients-beaware 

     

    Can check the trends (SEOMOZ):

    1996-1999: On-page keyword usage + meta data

    1999 – 2002: PageRank + On-page

    2002 – 2005: Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page

    2005 – 2009: Domain authority + Diversity of linking domains + Topic modeling + Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page

    In 2010 and 2011, we’ve already seen the entry of social signals from Facebook and Twitter. The recent clickstream stories revealed that both Google and Bing employ clickstream data (Bing has done so publicly for the last 3 years, Google more quietly and probably longer), though this likely is a relatively small data point for both.

     

    🙂 

    Thanks,

    Aji Issac

  54. Profile photo of Kartik R

    I agree, there is no free traffic. Our monetization strategy is traffic oriented since we do not sell any products or services. I’ve asked this to some c2w employees before but couldnt get an answer.

    Is there an algo for measuring cost of acquisition per unique visitor? Maybe the chief would know 🙂 !

  55. Profile photo of Avadhut Nigudkar

    Hi Alok,

     

    I blog at http://www.financewalk.com and I’m thinking of SEO. What do you think would work in this blog’s case? SEO Or Social Media Marketing?

  56. Profile photo of Aji (Digital Marketing)

    It is not SEO or Social Media Marketing, it should be both, the % of efforts will be different.

    SEO Setup must (Making the website SEO friendly)

    Social Media Setup must (Making the required pages on social media and connecting the web presence points together, website to social media and social media to website)

    Now on a month on month basis, you need to see how you will utilize the channels:

    SEO (what % of work)

    Social media (What % of work)

    I wish I had time to put a basic strategy for you. A little tied up.

  57. Profile photo of Sameer A M

    SEO is good to get the visitor to your site for the first time. Its all on you to retain him after that. SEO is constantly changing arena as all the search engines get updated on a daily basis. Great content, engagement and the human touch is what will bring back the visitors and keep them on our site. SEO is just one of the variable in the equation; but is not something that can be ignored for a few years to come.

  58. Profile photo of Pratik Joshi

    Let me clear one thing :- search traffic overlapped by direct traffic if visitors are opening your site next time in new tab or browsers within same session. That it counted 1 search visit but many direct visits if  next time visitors come.

  59. Profile photo of Pratik Joshi

    Totally Agree with you. Information Retrial on Web having several algorithm and in this to show better textual/objective result to user. Google always try to show better result to their surfer. Thats it. 

  60. Profile photo of Debajyoti Banerjee

    If we consider early days definition of SEO then SEO is bunk but at present SEO means 360 degree digital marketing/branding which consists of  mostly (” Better website architecture + original useful fresh content & content marketing/syndication + strong social & viral presence + Mobile usefulness & better usability + focused & uniform business approach with consistent NAP data through internet+Off-line & online business reputation/trust + New /regular service offerings + Network/tie-ups + Ads (FB) + link /local signals) – If we consider all these parameters, then SEO is not bunk, rather a very important factor to build a brand & get real & targeted direct/indirect traffic 🙂

  61. Profile photo of Akshat Goel

    3 years passed… Any update on the bet? Did the traffic increased?

  62. Profile photo of Abey John

    Nope.  It never took off.  My fault.  I got overly focused on the theory behind it and confused everyone into paralysis from analysis.  Bottomline still remains the same – leverage social media to create a community that creates a buzz (word cloud to the search bots) around the web property that will in turn increase the authenticity and authority of the site with Google.  

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