I’ve been in talks with numerous webmasters recently about SEO – we’ve compared note, judges other companies and generally poked and prodded around for answers. I was passed this site which is critically assessing SEO companies and it made me laugh.
The first analysis was on Dave Naylor, a quite well known name in the SEO world. Now I don’t know Dave personally, but I do know his SEO company – Bronco – refused to show me an example of quality links they wanted to offer me. Fair enough, NDA’s and all that, but then I asked myself how Dave was getting business if he couldn’t showcase his work? I do know he’s done work for some well ranked sites, like Elaine’s All Kids, and I don’t see her complaining, so maybe Dave is worth his weight in gold. But, for someone that doesn’t know him and was steered in his direction, he didn’t do much to attract me. Perhaps it was because I had a specific requirement – quality backlinks – but isn’t that what most webmasters need?
The problem I have with public figures e.g. John Chow and such is that they gain a reputation for being amazing by posting how amazing they are. I have no doubt John Chow is making money, afterall his blog earns him thousands due to the number of followers, but what about all the other fake entrepeneurs and “seo experts”? I think they make money because they say they make money because they say they are amazing – if that makes sense?
I’m not saying Dave is a fake, he clearly knows what he is doing, what I’m saying is that I’m questioning how much of his success is down to his results and how much is because he is perceived as amazing? Dave this isn’t a dig, you just ended up on the above site first so I chose to use you as an example!
I have been learning SEO continually for years and had the opportunity to pickup tips from some great webmasters with fantastic sites. But, they only shared this information to me because I helped them in one way or another. We’ve shared resources, tested methods, trialled outsourcing and even today, we’re still learning together.
It’s no shock that the best of the best buy links, and whilst search engines frown upon it, Yahoo openly sells directory listings which is a link, so they must tolerate it! The key to SEO, in my opinion, is to have a quality site filled with hundreds of quality pages, fresh content daily and links built over time from multiple resources.
One year ago I began working for my current employer, and after battling for 12 months we’ve just reached page 2 in Google for our chosen keyword. The market is extremely competative, but we’re succeeding, only through doing the above though. There’s no magical secret in seo, it is how well you adapt the above to your website.
It may surprise you that as an SEO consultant myself, I’ve employed two companies who rank on the front page for Google.co.uk for “SEO services” to work on websites for me, and they both returned with link farmed crap. The cost to me was £x,xxx but I learned one lesson – if you want a job done properly do it yourself. These links get cached, but how long will they last before Google ignore’s them or they get removed as the company has a new client that needs the space.
By outsourcing I learned what the competition were doing, what to do myself and what to avoid. By analysing rival websites, ranking websites in other niches and cross-comparing with my own, I also learned how the higher ranking sites were doing better. Now, I do little bits here and there for myself and some clients, and I’m not afraid to show my current and previous work.
I’ve never pro-actively promoted myself as an “SEO Guru”, nor have the few people I choose to share information with, but we’re doing well because instead of shouting about how amazing we are, we just get on with the job in hand.
I really commend people like Dave for being able to get some of the contracts he does, and as I said before I have no doubt he’s good at what he does, I just think the media spotlight shines a light on these people that blinds others into thinking they’re better than they actually are.
Good luck with your persuits,