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SEO, Backlinks, Domain Authority....?

Discussion in 'Tech talk' started by Buy Australian Made, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Buy Australian Made

    Buy Australian Made Member

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    I know that getting onto the first page of google just doesn't happen by chance and that there is a lag between putting up a new website and getting the ranking. I know that relevance of content is very important and the site needs to be updated regularly to ensure that it is recognised by search engines as being active. Can anyone comment on this email I received from the person doing SEO for me... "back links need to be purchased monthly, plus have additional things linked like google+, google business, webmaster tools, it is a monthly thing to help achieve page 1 of google, you need to show google you have domain authority and this can only be done by creating monthly back links to the site, adding google+ followers and sending ping to tell google and other rss feed generators your website content was updated via the pages or blog," . And can you suggest what monthly cost I should be looking at for high quality Australian based SEO services?
  2. help4bis.com

    help4bis.com Active Member

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    You can get the first page on google, for sure. Do a search on "dayboro weather" and prompta there is me :).

    Back links are nice, for sure creates traffic, re authority not exactly sure how that works but authority is given I believe, by reviewers liking your post. Pretty much let google know you know what you are talking about (domain authority). If you have an online shop selling stuff, where are you becoming an domain authority in?

    Not knowing your business, you HAVE TO ask yourself, how important is it to be on page 1 of google....

    You can get on page one of google within a few weeks if you want to... but you wont stay there due to the organics of things. Every SEO can get you there in a few weeks, only the good ones take it a little "slower" to ensure they do not spook google and others so the speak... It is an art for sure.
    Buy Australian Made likes this.
  3. JohnW

    JohnW Renowned Member

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    Hi,
    I have never offered such a vociferous reply in my 1,600 posts on FS. Does that give you a measure of how strongly I feel about the charletan who sent you the email?

    THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE ACCURATE CLAIM IN THEIR STATEMENT!!!!!

    I have never seen such a long list of completely wrong and ridiculous SEO claims in my 19 years of offering SEO services.

    1. The site needs to be upgraded regularly.
    Wrong! There are some search phrases where Google will invoke its "query deserves freshness" algorithm but most business websites will never be affected by it.

    2. "back links need to be purchased monthly"
    Garbage! If G suspects your are purchasing links, it could hit you with a ranking penalty.

    3. "plus have additional things linked like google+, google business, webmaster tools"

    G Webmaster Tools have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with ranking. GWT is primarily a diagnostic tool to advise site owners where there may be technical problems with their site.

    There is no special ranking factors attributable to google+. A link from this source is assessed the same as any other link.

    4. "you have domain authority"
    More garbage! G does not use any "domain authority" factor in its ranking algorithm. "Domain authority" is an invention of SEO tool developers. It can be useful when assessing large websites and the assessor knows how to use it.

    Your SEO spammer seems to be using this irrelevant "ranking authority" calculation from a SEO tools to scare you into action.

    In any case, you would not impact your "domain authority" with the link building strategy suggested by the incompetants who sent you the email.

    5. "adding google+ followers and sending ping to tell google and other rss feed generators your website content was updated"

    This has ABSOLUTELY NO direct impact on G search ranking!

    6. "but you wont stay there due to the organics of things."

    There will be a miniscule number of search phrases where this statement will be correct.

    There are around 17 billion searches per month. The ones that change are those that are so imprecise that G can't analyse and deliver useful results. There is no point targeting these as they are poor identifiers of your customers.

    If you do it right, depending on the competitiveness of your market place, you can hold many top 10 search rankings for many years and attract large numbers of SE referrals.

    IMHO, run away from who ever sent you this ridiculous, ignorant, incompetant SEO offer!

    I hope the other SEOs on FS will jump in to offer their comments .
    Regs,
    JohnW
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    Buy Australian Made likes this.
  4. Buy Australian Made

    Buy Australian Made Member

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    Thanks John, I was afraid that was what I would find out.
  5. PerfectNotes-Kathy

    PerfectNotes-Kathy Active Member

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for such a comprehensive response! Like you, I get very frustrated when you see a customer (or potential customer) being fed total hogwash - on the assumption that the customer is not going to be smart enough to work out that they are being conned. It gives all SEO businesses a bad name, because of some bad apples.

    Well done for asking the question, Buy Australian Made!

    Kathy
  6. Byron Trzeciak

    Byron Trzeciak Well-Known Member

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    If I was you I would not put your business at risk of someone that provides this type of information to you. As John W said if you build backlinks in an unnatural way or Google determines that you are purchasing links then you could be penalised significantly.

    In terms of your website start with your onpage optimisation. Forget about backlinks and all that other mumbo jumbo until you've got it sorted. Traffic and first page results are useless if your website is horrid and the traffic just bounces off it.

    Rather than first page results a qualified SEO agency will talk to you about conversions and improving the number of enquiries and sales you receive. Rankings can be significantly different whether someone is searching via mobile, desktop, location and more.

    Any decent SEO agency will not spam your inbox to gain your business either. Every industry, keywords and website are completely different. Nobody with any knowledge of SEO would guarantee you first page results, not that it's not possible, but when we have no control over Google in any way it would be crazy to make this kind of promise.

    SEO is typically a long term strategy too, it's not an overnight fix although your onsite optimisation can certainly kick you off in the right direction.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Snakeman

    Snakeman Active Member

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    This is all amazing.
    I recall about 2 years ago forums awash with comments like "seo is dead".
    Well it all seems alive and well at the moment.
    (PS I think John W. is on the money here as usual).
    All the best
  8. JohnW

    JohnW Renowned Member

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    Hi All,
    These few sentences are enough to indicate to me that Byron knows what SEO is about. You don't see this info in spam emails!

    Most SE referrals are lost because websites don't provide much/most of the info that searchers want about the site's products/services.

    If you don't provide the info requested, you don't get into the search results list. There is absolutely no SEO activity you can implement until your site provides the answers that potential customers want.

    Good post Byron,
    JohnW
    1 person likes this.
  9. help4bis.com

    help4bis.com Active Member

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    I was more worried about his blood pressure on this one.. but like I mentioned it is an art....
  10. JohnW

    JohnW Renowned Member

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    Hi Aus Insurance,
    SEO has never been about a bunch of keyword rich domain names and external links. (Forgive me but that seems to be where you are coming from...)

    It has only ever been secondarily about external links.

    The problem is that every 2-3 years there has been a ground-swell of people who put the cart before the horse. They think they've found a way to beat Google. Then Google says, enough's enough and wipes them out.

    Your site problems have nothing to do with links. Your biggest problem is lack of useful content of relevance to any target audience group.

    Don't even think about links until you have a website that targets:

    • How your potential customers search
    • Where they are located
    • Whether they are searching on mobile or desktop
    • What industries you want to target
    • What info potential clients want from you
    • What re-assurances to buy you can offer them
    • How you can make it easy for them to act
    You don't even tell us what city you are in. Who will do business with a company that won't even give its address? I NEVER will and I'm sure I'm in the majority. (The web is full of shonks and a real address is the very least reassurance you need to offer us.)

    Your site won't qualify for the thousands of search phrases that people use with location words in them.

    When you have all you major problems sorted out (which also include)...

    • Define your site structure
    • Define your page layout
    • Define your content plan
    Start writing and publishing useful content. Then start monitoring your results.

    Finally, when you have useful content, start developing a link building plan.

    There is absolutley no point in thinking about link building until you have useful and relevanty content.

    If you get your customers and their search targeting right, you probably don't need to worry about trying to get a single external link.

    Hope this helps.

    PS. You do realise that links to your sites in this forum have virtually no SE ranking value?
    Regs,
    JohnW
    AUS Insurance Broker likes this.
  11. Byron Trzeciak

    Byron Trzeciak Well-Known Member

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    John is right, your website structure is critical and most websites get it wrong. Ensuring your page layout suits your target audience, is it clear what you do, what you sell and will it capture traffic when it arrives.

    Finally trying to rank on one competitive keyword doesn't make any sense, it's more of a bonus for long term commitment. Your aim should be to develop content that targets as many keywords as possible. As well as that you want to spread this content, through social media and other sources, and diversify your traffic from Google. Traffic is everywhere. Google is great and it works damn well but that doesn't mean you should forget about everywhere else.

    While this website, other forums and most websites hold little value in terms of link building what's more important is the traffic they send you. Do I care that I get no link juice from it? No, because it sends me significant traffic.
  12. Craig.Smith

    Craig.Smith Active Member

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    Hi AUS IB,

    There has already been excellent posts above so I don't have anything further to add related to SEO & backlinking.

    Have you considered using a virtual address, there are plenty of companies around which provide this service for small startups which do not want to provide a home address.

    I also noticed the websites in your footer have quite a few styling issues in Chrome. It would be a shame if you are wasting a lot of resources on your SEO if the user will end up bouncing on the first page due to layout issues with your page.
    2 people like this.
  13. Byron Trzeciak

    Byron Trzeciak Well-Known Member

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    The problem arises from ranking itself. If you're creating your content for search engines and for the sole purpose of ranking then you've missed the point. The whole reason for creating content is to target and connect with your audience, humans!

    a) content is useless if it doesn't target the right audience. Think about exactly who your customer is, the type of questions they ask and the information they seek. Ensure your content meets their requirements.
    b) content is useless if it doesn't provide informative and valuable advice, tips and experiences from your own industry. Thin content, with little text, has zero value.
    c) both traffic and rank are completed wasted on website that is unable to convert visitors and states clearly the who, what, why and how of your services.

    This is not an attack on you or your business but from my perspective I do not see any degree of keyword targeting or SEO optimisation.

    What I do see is some is some very poor links from some very poor websites linking back to your websites on poorly worded text such as the following, link in bold.

    To me that makes no sense, so why would any website of value post that on their website? They simply wouldn't, so instead you're gaining low quality spammy links. If you're currently having SEO conducted on your website my advice would be to stop it sooner rather than later. I've seen enough signs to see that this work will do significant damage to your website.

    Your experience should shine through in regards to your blog. I should be able to read your content and understand that the person I'm dealing with knows what they're talking about, they understand the industry and they can help my business.

    The content in your blog post is so thin that it's unlikely to ever rank. You're targeting keywords by creating a blog post named on your keyword, there is significant more work involved than this.

    Your SEO company should be fired and you should never use them again. They've done very little to benefit your site in the long term. Your SEO company has put your website and target keyword into software and then blasted it across the web creating a large number of low quality and spammy based backlinks that could result in a Google penalty, if not already.

    Firstly, If I was moving ahead with your website I'd simplify it into one single domain. A good structured website will be able to target all of your keywords effectively from within the one site without using spammy techniques such as exact match domains.

    Your services should be clearly defined and each page should provided detailed and expansive knowledge on what your services are, what they provide, why they're better and much more.

    Your content shouldn't target keywords it should target what your audience is looking for the questions they ask, the advice you're consistently giving and any other form of useful content you can provide.

    All the best.
    3 people like this.
  14. JohnW

    JohnW Renowned Member

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    Hi Aus Insure,
    I'm not having a go at you. Just trying to help.

    Also, lots of good advice already given above, particularly by Byron.
    This may be technically correct but it leaves so much unstated and subject to different interpretations as to be useless.

    Let's start with "keywords". What is the definition here? Google switched from showing "broad keyword" numbers to "exact keyword" numbers a year or so back.

    Then there is "good quality backlinks from reputable sites". I could name around 20 parameters that G uses to assess external link ranking values. None of them would include the words "quality sites" or "reputable sites". Eg Flying Solo could be considered a "high quality" and "reputable site". The ranking value of a "follow" link from it to your site would not be high.

    We also have the major issue of cost. Good link building is slow, expensive and possibly transient if delegated to 3rd parties. I've always found generating and publishing relevant content on a client's site kills link building on any cost-benefit analysis many-fold.
    (I'll let you into a little secret...

    You don't need any external links to attract potential clients from SEs.

    Tell that to your SEO and invite them to participate in this discussion. ;))​
    A critical piece of clarification in case you don't know...

    SEs don't rank search phrases as reported by keyword tools, they rank the individual words used in search phrases.​
    IMHO, keyword tools at best are moderately useful. Their primary problem is they only report a small percentage of searches.

    You should find that around:

    • 33% of SE traffic is generated by search phrases that are used less than once per month
    • 33% of SE traffic is generated by search phrases that are used 1-10 times per month
    None of this traffic is reported by keyword tools. This is where you would see the real intent of searchers and their search methods.

    Of the remaining third, many of the search phrases are so imprecise that the searcher finds many irrelevant results and needs to refine their search phrase.

    I find commonsense and Google's predictive search function to be infinitely more valuable than any keyword tool.

    Search methods can usually be categorised as:

    • Business category searches
    • Product/service searches
    • Application searches
    • Problem/solution searches
    • Location searches
    • Special buying words
    Let me use your truck insurance site by way of examples of the words that may be relevant to its search methods:

    Business category: insurance broker, brokers, agent, agents, company, companies, firm, firms

    Service searches: Truck, trucking, insurance, driver, rental, temporary, recovery, owner operator, commercial

    Application searches: Car carrier, concrete truck, crane truck, prime mover, pantec, tip/tipper truck, refridgerated truck, pick up, etc. You can also add every major truck brands to this search method.

    Location searches: Every capital and major city in Australia

    Special buy words: Quote, calculator, compare/comparison, cost, cheap, reviews

    Most of these words came from Google's predictive search function so we know they are used. What we don't know is how frequently.

    I tested "Sydney", "Melbourne" and "Brisbane" and the only use of any on your site was "Melbourne" in the address of the industry ombudman in a PDF file.

    I know most of these words are not used on your site, so I know it won't even qualify for most people's search results.

    Start multiplying out all the possible exact keywords from this short list and it will run into hundreds of thousands. This is where cost-effective and searcher relevant SEO should start:

    • Defining your target audiences,
    • Your priority services,
    • The search methods and
    • The important words
    Now you will see how to start planning your:

    • Site structure
    • Your page layout
    • Your content plan
    Forget your blog it is little use. You want to publish relevant pages on your site for people to land on.
    You need to think about who you are targeting with your pages. You can only target a very specific and limited search audience with any page and your Home is no different.

    If you are implementing cost-effective SEO, you will be planning, writing and publishing different landing pages for different customer types.

    If they land on a page that answers their initial search question, what will they do? They may go to your About" page to see if they want to do business with you, they may want to look at what others say about your business, they may look at your Contact page to see where you are located before they are ready to request a quote.

    Why would they want to go to a site's Home page if they land on an internal one?

    In a site implementing effective SEO, "Home" is a lot less important than most people think.

    I have seen Aust truck finance broker's sites that run to 90 pages. (You should be aiming to develop that sort of volume over a period of time.) Perhaps only 15% of site visitors will visits that site's Home page.
    Your signature links here may help attract potential clients who read FS but they have little search ranking value.

    It goes to show how many "so-called SEOs" don't know what they are talking about when it comes to the ranking values of external links.

    They are probably reliant on an SEO tool that uses some formula to try to predict what sites may be more valuable for ranking purposes.

    The problems with SEO tools aimed at assessing the value of links from other sites are many-fold.

    For a start, the link ranking values relate to the search words used. I've never seen an SEO link ranking tool try to address this most basic elements of external link values.

    Then there is the issue that the tool producers do not know the link ranking parameters and their individual values that Google puts on them and they don't know when Google changes its formula nor by how much.

    The bottom line...

    You should receive more external link ranking value for specific search words from a small, unimportant website that is devoted to info about trucks or insurance than a link from a huge site with the highest "quality" and "reputation" numbers as assessed by whatever SEO tool that has no content of relevance to "trucks" or "insurance".
    Regs,
    JohnW
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    3 people like this.
  15. [Former] FS Concierge

    [Former] FS Concierge Renowned Member

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    Hi AUS IB,

    Wow - there's a lot of insight for you to consider there! I hope it's not too overwhelming.

    As you can tell, we have some very experienced and passionate SEO folk around here - I hope their comments can help you achieve your SEO goals.

    Good luck,
    Jayne
  16. Cesar

    Cesar Active Member

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    If I hear someone mention back-links again on FS, I'll smash em :D

    Aus Made, this is all you need to know...

    Muy Simple!
  17. JohnW

    JohnW Renowned Member

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    Hi Cesar,
    If only...​
    Regs,
    JohnW
  18. John Romaine

    John Romaine Renowned Member

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    This is absolute garbage.

    $1,500+ per month.
  19. pauls

    pauls Active Member

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    Phew, these are some pretty big posts.

    I still have people asking me about keyword stuffing when discussing onsite content.
    Its important to remember to keep your content relevant and focused but vital that its engaging. I like to think of it as educate, engage and tempt with a sprinkle of SEO.

    Not sure on others opinion, however I'm seeing that Google clamping down on nasty practices has seen many cheaper packages and providers drop off.
    SEO campaigns are becoming more in-depth and expensive.

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