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I don’t know about you, but I love the sound of bag pipes. Played right, it can sound as satisfying as watching William Wallace destroy the England army; played poorly, and you would be wishing that your ears were chopped off by the huge sword he carries.

It’s entertaining how much bag pipes and SEO have to do with each other. The process of playing bag pipes is fairly simple. You blow air into the bag and then when you put pressure on it, the air flows through the reeds in the drone pipes and viola, you have sound. The key is that the bag pipes do not produce sound until you put pressure on the bag. It takes time. If you were to blow the bag pipes and do nothing, nothing would happen.

Similarly, SEO takes time when performed right, to produce good outcome. Optimizing your site for search engines, not just Google, involves content creation, keyword optimization, backlinks and internal links, web presence across multiple channels. You could almost think of it as one pipe equals on note, whereas multiple pipes equal a chord. In relation to SEO strategies, just doing one thing may be ok, but it is not until you do many, that it starts to sound good, or perform well.

Companies can be discouraged from proper SEO as it takes time, especially with an organic approach and long term strategy. Don’t get me wrong, you should start seeing results, but you typically wont see huge increases (short term) until you start to invest into ad campaigns.

Here are some improper (black hat) ways to play the bagpipes:

  1. Content Automation
  2. Doorway Pages
  3. Hidden Text or Links
  4. Keyword Stuffing
  5. Negative SEO (or Reporting a Competitor)
  6. Sneaky Redirects 
  7. Cloaking
  8. Link Schemes
  9. Guest Posting Networks
  10. Link Manipulation
  11. Article Spinning
  12. Link Farms, Link Wheels or Link Networks
  13. Rich Snippet Markup Spam
  14. Automated Queries to Google
  15. Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content
  16. Pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing, viruses, trojans, and other malware

Here are some proper (white hat) ways to play the bagpipes:

  1. Offer Quality Content and Services
  2. Use Descriptive, Keyword-Rich Meta Tags
  3. Make Your Site Easy to Navigate

Slow and steady win the race, but slow is really not that slow. Once you build momentum the right way, it is easier to keep it moving in the right direction.