Google’s John Mueller Gives A Hard Lesson To An SEO

John Mueller of Google responded to a complaint on Reddit where the SEO or site owner was upset his one month old site was not performing on Google Search. The SEO said despite him “created backlinks on top websites with good DA and low spam score” his site is just not showing up.

John reacted to this story, and I wanted to put his reaction at the top of this story, so you can read it before you read the rest below:

Here was his post, “I have created backlinks on top websites with good DA and low spam score but its been 1 month and still I’m unable to see my backlinks getting index on google search. I cant even find them on Semrush. Is there any solution or I have to wait more?”

John Mueller’s response was like a teacher giving a harsh one-on-one to a kid who caused trouble in class. John replies:

(1) You are wasting your time:

I’m torn about leaving a snarky reply, but to be a bit more useful, I’d consider that perhaps you’re not spending your time on things that are as effective for SEO as you’d like. Dropping links on random sites is not SEO anymore, it’s just spam. All search engines have had to deal & ignore these kinds of things for years now.

(2) You are focused too much on the tools:

This is not to mention that a SEO tool will never be able to tell you if a “link is indexed”. Everyone who crawls the web does it in a different way, with different speeds, with different assumptions. Even if you can see a link in the Google cache, that says absolutely nothing about whether that link is used for anything in search.

(3) Throw your strategy away and focus on long term, real effort strategies:

If you’re trying to improve on SEO, my strong recommendation would be to throw all of this thinking out. You’re wasting your own time on it now, and even if something accidentally happens to stick for a bit, it will quickly dry up – search engines have a lot of practice with low-effort, low-quality stuff, and they have no interest in spending any energy on it if they can.

So the response from the SEO was that he has “no technical issues” on his site and the “content is of good quality and unique” but he is super upset about his backlinks (which makes no sense but okay). He then goes to list that he has “dofollow links” from sites like HotFrog, Yelp, Foursquare, Chamber of Commerce. He then demands that his “backlinks cant be ignored.”

So John Mueller replies again in a harsher but caring way:

I don’t know your site (and don’t really have time to dig into anything at the moment), but to be quite honest, all of what you’ve said there raises red flags for me in terms of low-effort / low-quality sites. Maybe it’s ok enough to scrape by at some point, but at that level, you’re going to see things come & go randomly, as updates happen across search engines.

Maybe you don’t care about long-term success, maybe getting some quick traffic & leaving is fine for you – that’s ultimately up to you and everyone has done quick hacks in the past too. If you do care about long-term success in search with this site, or want to learn how to work on legitimate long-term sites, I’d recommend, well, not spending too much time on trying to hack together links like this.

I would have just gone with the snark from the beginning and saved time.

Here is another one from this morning on Twitter, I guess John was in the mood of giving out lessons:

Forum discussion at Reddit & Twitter.

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