Beware of Optimization Gimmicks That Can Sink Your SEO Efforts

When it comes to boosting traffic—and potential candidates—to your career site, we’ve all heard about the impact that search engine optimization (SEO) can make.

History of SEO

The rise of SEO over the years created a craze for companies, recruiters and marketers alike who sought to get their sites higher and higher in search rankings and to please their bosses. Words like ‘Optimization,’ ‘Search Trending,’ ‘Analytics’ and ‘Keywords’ became common lingo for people and companies hoping to crack the SEO code.

As the confusion around SEO mounted, so, too, did firms offering assistance or management of SEO as part of a broader marketing strategy. But their promises to help increase your search rankings may not be all they are cracked up to be, particularly as Google continues to advance its algorithms and hide keyword popularity. So why do some companies today offer amazing results through paid or purchased search engine optimization? The answer may lie in short-term gains, long-term losses.

A typical way that firms today go about optimizing search is through partnerships with other sites and job boards. While this third party paid SEO may work for a time, it is often at the expense of organic search and, simply, creating a quality site. At best, companies may experience a spike in traffic, but when the relationship dissolves or budgets are cut, they are usually left with nothing.

The Current State of SEO

According to Andrew Edwards in his July 2014 post “Is SEO Dead?”:

In the “old” days, SEO was a matter of stuffing your metatags with top keywords; then it became more complicated as Google continued to refine its search algorithm. The current state of SEO, in rather sober fashion, calls for “quality content,” no keyword stuffing, longevity of the domain, lack of duplicate content, a well-ordered site-map and other items more esoteric. Really, it’s become more about just building a great site with great (and focused) content.

And as Google cracks down on opportunities to game search results in an effort to keep outcomes as authentic as possible for users, relying on some of these vendors could even put you in the hot seat. SEO will continue to become more and more complicated—and that is intentional. Knowing how to achieve points with search engines that help you increase in rankings is just as important as knowing what will take those points away. And trust us, once they are gone—they are tough to get back.

What does this mean for optimizing a career site or job posting?

So what does this all mean when it comes to optimizing a career site or job posting? It means that achieving strong SEO takes work. Good old-fashioned, homegrown work, including creating great content, optimizing your HTML and site architecture. Purchasing SEO from a vendor often results in partnerships that come and go, and lose traction in the market because content is strictly job-based. But owning and creating a homegrown process yourself—and focusing on longevity and quality—means you’ll be rewarded in the long run.