Jason Calacanis isriled up about SEO today, telling the world that "90% of the SEO market ismade up of snake oil salesman" and still confused over why the "SEO folks" weremad at him when he said "SEO is bull"during our keynoteconversation at SES Chicago last December. I love Jason. I really do — he says what he thinks, with passion and clearlydeeply cares about things. And I’ve enjoyed some of the arguments we’ve had viainstant messaging on this topic recently. But Jason — and a lot of other people— need some more education about the myths and misperceptions of SEO. So letthis open letter do both. The Bad SEO Video First, let me deconstruct what Jason wrote, no holds barred. Starting fromthe top: This video is so cheesy you have to think it’s a fake… but I don’tthink it is. (HatTip) Jason’s talking about a video that we mentioned in our headlines section ofthe SearchCap newsletteryesterday, one thatthat the Pronet Advertising … [Read more...] about Why The SEO Folks Were Mad At You, Jason
Sometimes I think SEOs have lost the plot. Not all SEOs, mind you, but many, especially the newbies. It’s like they don’t understand the reason for doing the SEO things that they know they need to do. I think many walk around with a checklist of SEO-type duties and set off to do them, yet they have no clue as to why. “Title tags: check!”“Meta tags: check!”“Links: check!” “All done! Yay, that was easy!” But without knowing the ultimate reason for doing the things they do, they don’t get it done correctly. You don’t create titles for titles’ sake. You don’t get links for links’ sake. Everything that we teach people to do in SEO has a purpose, and that purpose is not to make the search engines think our site is better than it is. The purpose is to actually make the site better than it is. The search engines place weight on certain factors in their ranking algorithm for a reason. They didn’t … [Read more...] about Avoiding Clueless-Is As Clueless-Does SEO
After last week’s “Does SEO = Spam” debate erupted, I had a number of follow-up emails where I explained privately more about why SEO has such a bad reputation in some quarters, as well as what SEO is and isn’t, from my perspective. I wanted to share some of that below. Bad Advice Sucks: From SEOs Or Web Developers I can completely understand the frustration people can feel when they hear SEO advice from someone positioning themselves as a “professional” that seems to be all about tricking search engines. As someone who has been preaching good, content-driven SEO since 1996, I also encounter people who get confused or offered bad SEO advice. At the same time, I have many friends and colleagues in the print industry who struggle with web development “professionals” who think they know all they need to know about search engines. These professionals will refuse to implement 301 redirects rather than 302s, telling the SEOs that they somehow … [Read more...] about Thoughts On Web Developers, SEO & Reputation Problems
The overwhelming response to my last article, 36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To, it prompted a followup feature, SEO Myths Reloaded: Clarifcations, Consensus And Controversy. In the process, I ended up with a significant number of additional myths: 36 to be exact. That brings us to a grand total of 72 SEO myths! Now it’s time for some new (old) myths to add to my original collection, with thanks to Lee Odden, Duane Forrester, Ian McAnerin, Tony Adam, Hamlet Batista, Michael Geneles, Jeff Quipp, Mike Moran, Adam Audette and Christine Churchill for their contributions to the list below… SEO should be owned and managed by IT. While SEO implementation has its roots in the web development and IT departments of most companies, it’s a marketing discipline more than a web development discipline. Accountability for effective SEO might be multi-departmental in theory, but the reality is that most organizations budget, staff and manage SEO programs as part of … [Read more...] about 36 More SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To
How much does SEO cost? It’s the proverbial, “How long is a piece of string?” question. And if you think about it, this is not without good reason. SEO is not as easy to nail down as, say, sending out a direct mail campaign to 100 recipients. In some ways, it is not always as easy to measure, as many marketing activities may impact organic search traffic. The cost of SEO is also directly related to the potential rewards. Ranking nationally for a highly prized keyword that may be £10 per click in AdWords will have far more costs associated with it than ranking for a locally oriented keyword. But even on a local level, there can be huge variability — and whether you want to rank in a state, county, city, town or micro-area like a borough or village will influence how difficult this will be. This, of course, influences the price of SEO for your unique situation. In this post, I am going to look briefly at the benefits of organic search via … [Read more...] about How much does SEO cost?
You’ve heard about SEO. You’re convinced SEO works very well for different kinds of online business. What you probably wonder is why it’s so powerful. That’s why I wrote this report – to show you not one, not five, not ten… but twenty-nine different reasons to buySEO. To see why SEO is so powerful. To spotlight the role it can play in marketing and communicating. A few weeks ago, Search Engine Land carried my article about the difficulty of pricing SEO services and it got a lot of positive response. People reached out with new questions, and shared challenges they faced along the SEO sales process, as they struggled to convince internal managers and CEOs about the value of optimizing for search engines, and getting them to expand their marketing budgets for SEO. Those questions and issues are addressed in this article – beginning with the most compelling reason why buying SEO is such a good idea. 1. SEO Is Not A Cost But An Investment An … [Read more...] about The Ultimate List of Reasons Why YOU Need SEO! (28 Reasons)
Negative SEO is real. It is possible to damage, if not destroy, a site through the use of malicious backlinks and aggressive backlink spamming. Negative SEO is a legitimate danger that can ruin a site’s revenue and cripple a business. But it is also possible to defend against it. If you are a victim of negative SEO, suspect negative SEO on your site, or simply want to protect against a potential attack, this article is for you. What is Negative SEO? Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black hat SEO techniques on another site. Usually, an SEO attack is unleashed by a disgruntled competitor and his or her minions with the goal of reducing that site’s rankings. SEO Roundtable defined it this way back in 2007 when the trend first began to appear: Search engine optimizers force competitor websites down in the rankings so that the desired client’s website has more visibility. A Forbes article on the subject said this: Negative SEO…amounts to sabotaging a Web … [Read more...] about The Top Five Ways to Defend Against Negative SEO
Last year, Matt Cutts said in a YouTube video that Google didn’t count social media metrics such as likes or shares when ranking search results. But fast-forward 12 months and the landscape has changed, with social influencing all areas of search engine optimization, be it on the Web, mobile, or local. While Google doesn’t factor likes and retweets into its algorithm, it does use social to gauge what’s popular. Two key drivers that have impacted this change are “convergence” and “empowerment,” according to Jason Dailey, head of search at MediaVest. Convergence refers to the different channels coming together, whether it’s local, SEO, paid search, social, or video, whereas empowerment is all about consumers. “There are a lot of areas that are converging and these are becoming gray territories in terms of where one ends and the next begins,” says Dailey. “Consumers are also becoming more empowered than ever to control the … [Read more...] about Social and SEO Work Better Together
Google conspiracy theories aren’t new. Everyone likes to believe their rankings have tanked thanks to something other than poor-quality content or bad linking practices. In reality, a lot of people are guilty of less-than-great SEO. At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the fact that some businesses, no matter how “white hat” their methods, can never seem to gain traction in the SERPs. If you’re having trouble getting the traffic you want, it might just be conspiracy fact. A Small Business Problem: The Adwords Platform Isn’t Very Friendly One of the first nuggets of marketing advice you’re given, as a small business owner, is to market online using Google Adwords. It’s supposed to be a relatively predictable, and affordable, method for generating new leads. But, that train left the station years ago. Google Adwords is expensive, and it’s mostly where large corporations (or super-savvy and experienced marketers) play around with ad … [Read more...] about Does Google Discriminate Against Some Businesses?
It’s hard to meet anyone in the digital industry who hasn’t heard about RankBrain. And it comes as no surprise that this system along with its impact on search results raises endless questions and disputes. We’ve made an attempt to understand the way RankBrain operates and if there’s anything we can possibly do to optimize for it. Let’s start from the very beginning. What is RankBrain? RankBrain is a machine-learning system developed by Google to help improve search results and to interpret brand new queries that haven’t been previously searched for. Some experts consider it to be part of the Hummingbird search algorithm, which was launched to help Google better understand the meaning of the entire query behind exact keywords. The first official statement about RankBrain was made by Google senior research scientist Greg Corrado on October 26, 2015. Here’s how Greg explained the operating principle of the algorithm: “If you’re … [Read more...] about How does RankBrain work and what does it mean for search marketers?