I’m tired of this conversation:
“We’ve been working with an SEO agency for about 6 months now. We ranked quite well for a few weeks, and then the rankings dropped. We don’t know what they do, exactly, but they send us 4 directory links and 2 article submssions a month. Oh, and they do a PR release for us, once a month”
It’s a starting point in a sales discussion I experience all too often. It’s often a precursor to the part of the conversation where we discover the business is being bled dry by a more-than-substandard SEO product that is completely ineffective and alarmingly expensive. No rankings, gone. No traffic. And, still paying! In some cases being told to pay more!
Crapola. Of the weapons grade kind.
Wil got frustrated with Google, specifically how they make liars out of the good guys. We’ve all done our tests, and, in the past, experienced SEO’s would tell you exactly what types of linkbuilding and SEO practices would (and still might) work. That’s fine – if you’re looking to generate a fast buck on a throwaway domain then I have no issues with that – it can be lucrative, fun and a challenging learning curve. Eventually Google will catch you, and you’ll move on. Noone loses.
If you’re that SEO agency, I don’t know how you can feel good about what you do. If you’re an ordinary, everyday on-line business, and that discussion feels weirdly familiar, fire that SEO company.
Stuff like this does not wash:
Neither does this:
It seems that Google are beginning a new wave of attacks on spammy linkbuilding practices, and I’m personally pleased to see it. There, I said it.
Detecting bad link-building practices – it’s extremely easy
Tom Anthony wrote a long post on detecting bad link activity with SEOmoz’s metrics. That’s a reasonable methodology to profile back links according to SEOmoz metrics, but if you really need to weed out the bad stuff, I recommend getting back to the old school and adding Domain PageRank to the mix. Niel’s SEO Tools have a =GooglePageRank function, which works really nicely for backlink weeding:
Which can lead to this with a simple pivot table:
Here’s what I did to make that table (excuse the voice over, I have a *slight* cold):
Please, think about where your links are coming from
Anyway – rant over, I suppose. Bad link building makes our whole industry look bad. Don’t help perpetuate it by casually brushing your due diligence aside. You’ll end up paying to reverse the damage being caused in the long run.