Web Success Without SEO Works: How I Entered the Top 10 for SEO Blog


When I started this blog – SEO 2.0 – I proclaimed that SEO is dead and that you don’t need it anymore to succeed on the Web.

Moreover I proclaimed a new kind of SEO, SEO 2.0 which works almost completely different than what you know as SEO.

Just 15 months later here I am ranking in the top 10 for seo blog at Google.com and I haven’t done 90% of the things that traditional SEO or SEO 1.0 consists of.

Obsolete SEO methods I haven’t used:

I have

  • not submitted this blog to any directories, not even blog directories
  • not exchanged links, neither reciprocal nor “3 way links” or anything like that
  • not optimized my meta tags, in fact I don’t have any, not even a description
  • not made any effort for traditional link building

Conventional SEOs still preach some of these tactics or come up with new useless ones like

  • “PageRank sculpting”
  • commenting on dofollow blogs
  • setting up multiple profiles on social media for the link value

While I do not support this flawed advice I did some of it inadvertently by using the Web as it was intended:

  • I never did use nofollow on this blog for PageRank reasons, I just nofollowed a few sources that were just wrong.
  • I commented on all kinds of blogs but always with my name for a name and not for SEO reasons, some dofollow blogs were among them I bet.
  • As an early adopter I tried dozens of new services but I have never done that just for “getting a free link”.

What did I do instead to push my rankings?

  • I linked out plenty to other SEO bloggers and beyond
  • I socialized on a few platforms (StumbleUpon, Twitter, Delicious most notably)
  • I contributed on social media for reputation not traffic

Moreover I broke a few rules of business, blogging and SEO in my writing:

  • I used outrageous humor
  • I wrote about politics and my opinions
  • I spoke out against the obnoxious Digg and Reddit cesspools

The only SEO 1.0 tactic I really used and that is also still valid was changing the title and headline of SEO 2.0 adding the “SEO blog” as otherwise Google was too stupid to recognize my WordPress blog as a weblog.

While I was ranking on top for SEO 2.0 from the start, it was only when people saw my h1 headline “SEO blog” and started referring to my publication as a “SEO blog” that Google finally managed to notice the fact that I’m indeed running a SEO blog.

On November 21st, 2008 I was the top 10 for [seo blog] from both the US and Germany (where I operate from) for two days in a row. The rankings fluctuated so I might have shown up in the Top 20 again.

Also you might argue that the keyphrase [seo blog] does not yield much traffic and most people do not optimize for it, but as stated above I didn’t do much SEO either ;-). Nonetheless it’s a proof of concept.

I left out many SEO 1.0 best practices on purpose to prove that in a Web 2.0 environment you don’t need them anymore.

15 months later I’m in the top ten just behind Matt Cutts, Aaron Wall and outranking all kinds of renowned industry experts from all over the planet.