Dr. Phil Would Tell You That Stubborness Won't Get You Higher Rankings

(A semi-fictional tale)

Back in the day, long, long, ago, SEO was a simpler time and place. With a little understanding of basic on-page fundamentals, and the knowledge that ‘the player with the most links wins’ (even if those links were bogus or internally generated), a chicklet could own the SERPs. If that gal had a nice network of sites from which to gather backlinks, mo’ betta!

Lots of things have changed over the years. Algos have injected annoying things such as ‘trust’ and ‘quality’ into the mix, and link juice no longer gets distributed evenly and equally, as algos decide whether or not there is enough juice to go around.

Despite the many changes, some folks just refuse to let go of the things they long to hold onto. Let’s consider the case of someone I like to call “Mr. Stubborn”. No matter how stubbornly he tries to argue that all of his pages should be ranking well, based on the fact that he has internal link juice flowing sitewide, the fact is that the site doesn’t have enough juice to support all its pages. No matter how stubbornly he argues that he’s sculpted the PageRank so that certain pages should be doing well, he refuses to see that there’s not enough clay to sculpt!

Sure, it’s hard work to find trustworty, quality backlinks (outside of our own private networks that the search engines have likely already identified) that will bolster our site’s juice. And yes, it would be easier if we could rely on algos of days gone by. But stubbornness in refusing to do the hard work required is only preventing the site from achieving the greatness he’d hoped for it. This stubborn man can continue doing what he’s been doing all along, tweaking internal links, sculpting and redirecting link juice like he’s some master artisan, but as Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?”

Considering that week after week, Mr. Stubborn keeps moaning and groaning about pages not getting indexed, or being relegated to the the supplemental index, I’d have to guess that it’s not working for him. How much time, effort, and energy did he waste on all of that? What if he’d directed that time, effort, and energy at doing something differently? What if his efforts had actually caused the site to obtain quality, trustworthy backlinks?

Hey, I am guilty of laziness many times over. I totally understand the desire to cloak laziness with stubbornness. I have neglected more sites than I care to think about. Some of those sites might have risen to greatness if only I’d put a little more effort into pleasing the algos of today, rather than those of years gone by. Luckily, for me, I’m willing to accept that the issues those sites have aren’t going to be solved by attempting to manipulate the internal linking structure. (Note: There’s nothing wrong with sculpting. Sculpting can be beneficial, however, there must be something with which to sculpt before one can make use of this technique).

All I ask of Mr. Stubborn, is that he squarely face the facts. What fundamental problems does the site have, beyond what you’ve been focusing on? Seriously, if this weren’t your site, Mr. Stubborn, would you look at things a little differently? If you were me (who is pretending to be the Dr. Phil of SEO at the moment), you’d see all that is lacking, and you’d begin to focus on the real problems. See, that’s why it’s easy to diagnose someone else’s problems. Dr. Phil understands that. Now, all we need to do is get Mr. Stubborn to let go of his preconceived notions just long enough to really “hear” what we, and more importantly, the search engines are trying to tell him.

Or, Mr. Stubborn, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing, and keep getting the same results. It’s up to you.