SEO is a much maligned industry and with good reason. The rise in awareness of SEO by website owners has been more than matched by a proliferation of snake oil salesmen claiming to know the secret to search engine domination. This article provides some basic guidance for figuring out who to trust and who to avoid. It will help sort the real SEO specialists from the fly by nights.
Search engines have a very tough job. Not only are there billions of web pages for them to find and index there are also a steady stream of people intent on fooling them into ranking poor quality pages higher than they should be. To many that’s what the SEO industry does but in fact this is where smart website owners can win out.
The search engine optimisation snake oil salesmen seldom talk about quality, only numbers. To them link building is a numbers game, content creation is a numbers game and this makes it very easy to filter them out when evaluating a company to handle your SEO work, assuming you haven’t decided to do it yourself.
The single most important factor where SEO is concerned is content. Well researched well written content will contain the words and phrases used by people searching for what you offer, but that’s not all. This same content will make finding links easier. Confused? Well answer this, when was the last time you read content, decided it was useless but decided to link to it anyway? I’m guessing never. High quality sites don’t link to low quality content, why would they!
This then is the key to differentiating between reputable and ethical SEO companies and the bad guys. If they don’t talk about quality content they are not worth talking to because if they claim they can rank your site whatever the quality they must be using dodgy techniques. This approach will inevitably hurt you no matter what anyone says and here’s why.
Google lives or dies by the quality of the search results it returns for a particular query. If they don’t constantly strive to improve their index their results will become less useful and there are plenty of other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo who desperately want to take market share away from Google. So it follows that the quality of your site matters because Google is working every day to make sure its results are high quality.
In a nutshell look for SEO organisations who talk to you about creating great content and you’ll avoid the bad guys.
This author believes in taking a quality approach to SEO and his company Red Evolution only work with firms who are prepared to follow this philosophy. As recognised search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists with a high profile website they attract many unsolicited emails from companies offering search services. Almost without exception these organisations don’t take the high quality approach.
Website owners should apply the same rigour and due diligence they adopt in other areas of business when looking for help with SEM. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as a low quality website dominating search results for any length of time. Don’t waste your time, do it right from the outset.