Single Keyword Focus Spells SEO Disaster

A Look Inside Finsbury Media

I felt it was worth reprinting in its entirety, an exceptional description of a major problem we face in sales prospecting. It will help you learn a very valuable SEO lesson and give you an idea of how we view and improve our SEO strategy.

The Email

Hi Brad,

Hope you are well.

I have a cool blog post idea for you. Every day, we get prospects who are uber-focused on ONE keyword ranking and can not see past that one term.

I recently had a prospect [ABC Company] with the same purpose , for example, and they have actually been adversely affected by over-optimizing content, links, and anchor text for one keyword. Scott Hepburn helped me bring the following reaction and comparison together, which should resonate with real buyers.

The example here would be that the guy would go to the gym every single day and just work his biceps (i.e. every day, week, month, dumbbell curls). Not only is this not healthy for your entire body, but your health and body will be affected by long-term consequences and muscle fatigue. For his sake, with this continued approach, a hired personal trainer or acquaintance ought to have stepped in long ago and told him of the inherent risks.

Google’s modified algorithms were built to punish websites that have hyper-focused and configured pages for individual keywords, as Google’s guidelines say and third-party experts have verified. Best practises and a decade of experience tell us that, as opposed to individual keywords, we should optimise for subjects or subject authority.


This over-obsession in pursuit of an individual keyword like “XYZ keyword” is precisely what has led to ABC Company’s recent decline. To be frank, the tactics engaged in — sub-optimally or not in your best long-term interest — are the primary reason you were positioned favorably on the first page of Google. What Google has told us as a result of updating its algorithm is you don’t deserve to be there and you never did.

There must be a strategic change in attitude and efficiency expectations if Finsbury Media is going to work effectively with ABC Company for the long term. The emphasis must be on increasing leads and revenue over hyper-focusing on individual keyword rankings, as the target of any quality SEO campaign designed for long-term sustainable success.

Single Keyword Focus Spells SEO Disaster