I actually frequent many SEO and Internet marketing forums on a daily basis and every so often there is a debate about the SEO industry plus ethics. After being involved in several these debates, it has become actually obvious that the main problems would be the facts that no two SEO companies are alike and there is no unified methodology. It’s very hard to make claims about the industry as a whole because it’s debatable what exactly ‘SEO’ is. Blend the fact that most SEO companies keep their methodology and campaign techniques secret and we have a situation exactly where every company is totally different along with very different results.
Fact 1: There is absolutely no unified SEO methodology. SEO is really defined by wikipedia as a process of improving traffic from SERPs to a site. Of course , HOW they do that could be the real question and causes the debates.
Fact 2: The effectiveness of a good SEO campaign depends on the site structure, site content, keywords, methodology used, and exactly how popular the site is. A site cannot just rank for any random key word. SEO is also not voodoo. It is logic, problem solving, and Internet marketing mixed together. If your site offers no value to users, it probably won’t rank.
Fact 3: A few ‘SEOs’ do search engine optimization and some do search engine manipulation.
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Of course , it is just about all marketed as SEO. Unethical marketing provides results at any cost and is generally short term (usually ends in a prohibited domain name). Ethical optimization opens up the site to the search engines and provides long-term benefits.
Fact 4: Most SEO companies get paid whether or not your site will get any rankings. Unfortunately, this is the situation with the industry. Most SEO companies implement A, B, and Chemical and move on to the next client. Hopefully, the site ranks. If it doesn’t, they always have more clients.
Fact five: Most SEO companies use each ethical and unethical inbound linking strategies. To maximize profits, it is very common for SEO companies to buy bulk links from India, links upon spam/scraper web sites, or sell huge directory submission packages. It is also typical for SEO companies to place large sums of the contract into inbound connecting to make up for the poor quality of the site optimization.
I don’t think it is fair to characterize the industry in general without figuring out what is wrong with it and how SEO companies can conquer it. So how exactly do we determine what is good and bad regarding the industry? I have now been involved with the Web for over 10 years and, specifically, with the SEO industry for almost four years and I’ve seen the particular inner workings of major SEO companies and worked with clients who had been burned by their previous SEO strategies. Combined with numerous Web postings plus forum debates talking about the same simple problems, I’ve compiled a list of the most common issues.
Problem 1: Responsibility to get Results
It’s no secret that this vast majority of SEO companies get no responsibility for results. It is a fact that no SEO company can guarantee results (and if they do, they are laying to you). It is also a fact that the client is taking a risk simply by spending money with an SEO company that fundamentally says ‘We’ll do what we can’. SEO companies simply guarantee they’ll do the work to ‘optimize’ the website, but without full disclosure of the methodology, what exactly is the client paying for? No other industry sells a product with no ensures and no specific list of work which will be completed. Of course , SEO work is actually the sales of information and keeping the specifics of a methodology is essential, but the combination of secrecy and no responsibility for results really makes SEO campaigns risky. So , how can an SEO company reduce the risk for the client and provide the best grade of service?
Answer 1: Incentive Based Prices
The only real way to reduce the financial risk of the client is to share the danger. Through incentive-based pricing, the Seo services can charge a certain percentage of the complete contract (say 70%) to cover their particular intellectual property and time whilst placing the rest of the contract price (remaining 30%) in incentives for success. Of course , incentives and their percentage from the contract would be totally relative based on the campaign. This first step into expressing in the risk provides both peace of mind to the client that the company believes in its methodology and places a few of the financial burden of the campaign for the SEO company. At the moment, however , very few SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION companies are willing to share in the risk and charge the same price whether or not the client gets top rankings or no rankings at all (or possibly even lower rankings).
Problem 2: Unethical Optimisation
Unfortunately, unethical (or blackhat) optimization is still very prominent on the Web. It is . unfortunate that ‘SEO’ has been wrongly confused with ‘Blackhat SEO’. This really is still the biggest problem for SEO companies. Saying that all SEO companies deal in blackhat optimization is much like saying everyone who emails is really a spammer. Blackhat optimization is not optimization at all… it is search engine manipulation. Since there is so much money tied to top rankings, there will always be a market for dishonest SEO and search engine spam. Until companies realize what is ethical plus unethical and stop supporting those blackhat SEO companies, they will continue to thrive. This makes the industry as a whole seem bad and does not reflect the ethics of good SEO companies. Blackhat offers fast, short term results, but can be never a good option in the long run.
Solution 2: Ethical Optimization
There is no fast and simple solution to blackhat optimization’s stain within the SEO industry. I would suggest that all marketing and advertising departments research optimization techniques plus educate themselves on what techniques are usually unethical. No SEO company is going to state they do unethical optimization. It’s also a bad idea to immediately trust a company or product based simply on their rankings. Unethical optimization DOES provide rankings… just not for the long run.
It might also be helpful if the major search engines would be more open and available to SEO companies. Currently, the major search engines and SEO companies tend not to deal with each other and have formed a sort of love-hate relationship. Because of this, many ethical SEOs have slowly moved into dark territory. Ethical optimization seeks to make sites more easily accessible to the motors and help to improve the engine’s search results. The problem is that the search engines mainly heap all SEO companies together exactly the same way as uninformed users do: search engine manipulation. This is just not the case. Search engines do not want to reveal what they consider unethical because it would basically be providing a list of holes in their algorithms that blackhat SEOs could manipulate further, but a defined listing of ‘what not to do’ would provide a definitive list for businesses searching for an SEO company.
Basic Rules of Ethical Optimization
Any campaign that will not abide by the following rules is getting unethical optimization techniques and should be avoided.
1 . ) What the consumer sees and what the search engine sees must be exactly the same. Do not hide anything.
second . ) Your keywords (and the ensuing optimization) should exactly reflect the information of the page. Keywords should always reveal what your site is about.
3. ) Do not build out pages solely for search engines. The site should always focus on both audiences (users and lookup engines). Catering to only users is the reason why optimization is necessary. Catering only to search engines like google is optimization gone too far in to blackhat.
4. ) Do not take part in manipulative inbound linking schemes like link farms, bulk links, triangle linking, or any other unethical adjustment of your Google PageRank or link authority. Inbound links should be relevant to the information of your site and you should always know who is linking to you and where your links come from.
Problem 3 or more: Assembly Line / Software SEO
With the growth of the SEO sector has also come the automation of SEO. The absolute first thing any prospective SEO client should know is that all of effective SEO campaigns are customized. There is no checklist of items that works exactly the same on every site. When the SEO company claims there is, then they are certainly not doing full optimization and the advertising campaign is minimal. A good optimization strategy optimizes the site architecture, text content, and code of the site. Assembly line SEO does not take into consideration the initial needs/design of the site and may actually deal in blackhat optimization. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION software especially should be looked at carefully. There are really only two points SEO software could do that would work for any site: doorway pages (showing engines one thing and users another thing; which is unethical) or an approach to pages build exclusively for search engines (often called info or info pages and linked in an taken care of part of the page). Doorway pages are usually 100% unethical and info webpages are deep in the gray region. Neither of those two methods deal with the architecture of the site, correct keyword analysis, or effective textual content content. The following links are examples of automated SEO software freely available on the Web. All links contain ‘nofollow’ to prevent the sites from getting inbound link credit from our site. These sites are NOT recommended by TreeHouse SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.