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I think this is a very valuable post but for different reasons.

Look at the “Revenue” column of the 30 SEO companies.

It tells me that $tens of millions is being spent with just these 30 businesses to remedy poorly built websites. That’s mostly where SEOs have to start and it is a damn site more expensive to implement retrospectively.

Perhaps it shows business owners what a tiny component web design comprises in the overall cost of online marketing. SEO is where web design should start but it almost never does. Go look at the requests for site reviews in the other forum. They are all about “looks”. If you don’t start with, “How will I get my info in front of potential clients?”, you will need to spend a lot of $ on SEO or Adwords to achieve that after your site has been published.

Shame that it looks like the viewers of this post is limited to SEO specialists. :)

(And thanks for the compliment back there, WAHE.)

I’m not sure many small business owners will be able to afford these companies.

If you check out some of their websites you can see some HUGE costs compared to a small business website set up.

I only checked three of them and this is what I saw:
# 1. Prices start at $2,500+GST then goes up to “Price On Application – Reserved for companies with a $150,000+/yr online marketing budget”
# 17. From $450 per month
# 23. Up to $8,000 for 20 keywords.

But what about the inferred quality of their work?

I came across one of the SEO firms listed last week. I was compiling a post SEO audit on a suburban accountant’s site when I found that another accountant in the same suburb was using the services of one of them.

I was tracking 72 relevant accounting service keywords for my pre and post SEO ranking performance audit, so I ran the other accountant’s site through the same list on Google Aust. The results were:

Competitor’s Ranking
Top 5: 46%
Top 10: 54%

My Client
Top 5: 58%
Top 10: 78%

What can we infer from these results? I can’t claim I am more skilful than the other SEO firm as it may simply be a case of the other accountant could not afford very much of a service that appears to charge five times what I charge.

(Never mind the quality, feel the price.)

The problem I have with the list is that business owners may believe it infers service quality. In fact, we don’t know whether the companies listed are good or bad at SEO.

This is a list compiled by a bunch of unknown people with unknown qualifications and unknown competence, out to make money by selling advertising on a web site.

As others have observed, you pay to be included on this list (“We charge a standard fee from agencies and tool developers for our time to evaluate.”)

They disclose just how subjective their ranking criteria are here: http://www.topseos.com.au/disclosure