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  • #1198344
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,191

    Just out of interest, I remember researching my competitors before building out my site in 2013 and from memory, the top 3 or 4 in the SERPs for my most valuable keywords are no longer on the first page.

    I am not proposing a view either way – just an observation that a common SEO tactic is to aim to reproduce backlinks of competitors.

    Having said all of that, I have owned and operated websites in tough for SERPs USA markets (Sales Job Boards) where I ranked one to three for years off the back of relevant links to authority tld’s such as .edu sites and being featured on prominent media sites.

    #1198345
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    JohnW, post: 240379, member: 6375 wrote:
    Above, I listed a bunch of 2011 top ranked websites. It folk care to check their current rankings they will find:

    • Two are ranked between #20 and #50
    • Seven are now ranked between #50 and #300+
    • Two seem to have been abandoned.

    That sure looks like the vast majority have been buried by either an automatic or a manual link-spam penalty.

    Four years later and they have still not recovered.

    Sorry I have being away tending my perennial’s, all good stuff, but I also sit here and ask myself the question are they currently ranked where they are today not because of what you say is bad backlinking back in the dim dark ages (my words), but because like my own website they haven’t bothered to keep up with SEO and just allowed themselves to slip by not keeping up with any SEO tactics.

    Without actually talking to each business owner, I don’t think you can just generically state it is due to this or that.

    Ok back to my perennial’s, sorry for jumping in.

    #1198346
    JohnTranter
    Member
    • Total posts: 842

    A while ago I received a call from a client to warn that an article about her business was about to be published on News.com.au and she had included a link to my website.
    I spent 10 minutes panicking, then 20 minutes thinking it might be the best thing to every happen.

    The article was published and they spelt my domain wrong. o_O

    #1198347
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,191
    JohnTranter, post: 240413, member: 20554 wrote:
    A while ago I received a call from a client to warn that an article about her business was about to be published on News.com.au and she had included a link to my website.
    I spent 10 minutes panicking, then 20 minutes thinking it might be the best thing to every happen.

    The article was published and they spelt my domain wrong. o_O
    Awesome story. – read a similar story about a site unexpectedly making it to page 1 on Yahoo in the early days when Yahoo was huge and the site crashed – down for 3 days…panic, nightmares, mayhem and expense.

    I like your outcome better!

    #1198348
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 240385, member: 78928 wrote:
    Just out of interest, I remember researching my competitors before building out my site in 2013 and from memory, the top 3 or 4 in the SERPs for my most valuable keywords are no longer on the first page.

    I am not proposing a view either way – just an observation that a common SEO tactic is to aim to reproduce backlinks of competitors.

    Having said all of that, I have owned and operated websites in tough for SERPs USA markets (Sales Job Boards) where I ranked one to three for years off the back of relevant links to authority tld’s such as .edu sites and being featured on prominent media sites.
    Hi Paul,
    I’d guess the USA job site market is a hundred times more competitive than the Aust. one. I’m sure you would need an unknown number of quality links to earn enough ranking points to compete there.

    Some people even hang the term “reverse engineering” on the info delivered by the SEO tools when comparing competitor’s sites. Sorry, I don’t see how the info delivered by them can be remotely called “reverse engineering”. It’s an insult to Engineers.

    IMO, the best tool for identifying backlinks is G Webmaster Tool. If you compare these data with any backlink checker you will find large variances. I.e. The SEO Tools aren’t accurate.

    Then they report links by TLD – edu, gov, org, etc. Seems to me this fosters the belief that edu and gov are inherently higher “quality”. This is incorrect according to G’s Matt Cutts in 2010.

    All this incomplete understanding/false impression of the “value” of edu links has done is create a market for uni students to sell useless edu backlinks.

    Besides, it’s flawed logic. Why should we assume that the competition is using quality links, anyway?

    Eg. If someone in 2011 ran a backlink check and replicated links as used on some of the top plumber’s sites, they could now be ranking with them at #300+ in the SERPs.

    Sometimes small budgets, clients with large sites and new markets can mean SEO tools are an essential aid in the research process. That said, the user needs to know the limitations of the tools and to make adjustments accordingly.

    Effective link building is usually a slow and expensive process. This article on the process crossed my desk today:

    FS Business Owners,
    Why spend a lot of money on link building, if you don’t have to?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198349
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    bb1, post: 240388, member: 53375 wrote:
    Sorry I have being away tending my perennial’s, all good stuff, but I also sit here and ask myself the question are they currently ranked where they are today not because of what you say is bad backlinking back in the dim dark ages (my words), but because like my own website they haven’t bothered to keep up with SEO and just allowed themselves to slip by not keeping up with any SEO tactics.

    Without actually talking to each business owner, I don’t think you can just generically state it is due to this or that.

    Ok back to my perennial’s, sorry for jumping in.
    Hi Bert,
    Good question!

    A site does not usually drop from top 10 to #300+ simply by natural attrition – that’s an experience based opinion, but as it happens, my old records include other pointers that strengthen the likelihood of a G penalty with some plumber sites.

    If you want to see “neglect” try the http://www.cbdplumbers.com.au/ site. That is the only one to retain a top 10 spot every time since 2011. It’s design has not changed in 3.5 years.

    Then there is the proof that may be found on the Wayback Machine. This baby keeps copies of websites going back to pre-2000.

    Eg: It shows that one of the plumber sites now ranked #300+ has been redesigned / republished twice since 2011. It even went mobile enabled.

    It now looks like the’ve given up trying to recover the old domain and have republished a third version of the site on a new domain. The old domain now redirects to a new one. Wayback first indexed the new domain website in Apr 2016.

    So, rather than years of neglect, we now have a picture that clearly shows many years of wasting money trying to fix bad SEO practices and it is still not back in the top 10 with the new site.

    I love the Wayback Machine. All sorts of historic info on your competitors can be found there. Eg: Product/service range, prices, terms of trade, promotions, hours, etc. You can see approximately when a domain became active and even how long it had an “under construction” message on its Home page.

    There are lots of clues about what has happened on the web if you know where to look and how to interpret them.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198350
    maksimava
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    John, this just crossed my eye:

    > IMO, the best tool for identifying backlinks is G Webmaster Tool. If you compare these data with any backlink checker you will find large variances. I.e. The SEO Tools aren’t accurate.

    Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) only shows a fraction of your links (otherwise, third party backlink checkers wouldn’t exist): https://sites.google.com/site/webmasterhelpforum/en/faq–webmaster-tools#links So the “large variances” are a good thing. True, no SEO backlink checker is 100% accurate – but if you use at least one of them in combination with Search Console (it’s sometimes integrated right into the tools, so that’s easy), you’ll definitely be getting a more complete picture of your backlink profile.

    #1198351
    maksimava
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Oh, and Corey, good to see you back :) Again, thanks for sharing the post here.

    #1198352
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    maksimava, post: 240441, member: 86517 wrote:
    John, this just crossed my eye:

    > IMO, the best tool for identifying backlinks is G Webmaster Tool. If you compare these data with any backlink checker you will find large variances. I.e. The SEO Tools aren’t accurate.

    Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) only shows a fraction of your links (otherwise, third party backlink checkers wouldn’t exist): https://sites.google.com/site/webmasterhelpforum/en/faq–webmaster-tools#links So the “large variances” are a good thing. True, no SEO backlink checker is 100% accurate – but if you use at least one of them in combination with Search Console (it’s sometimes integrated right into the tools, so that’s easy), you’ll definitely be getting a more complete picture of your backlink profile.
    Hi Maksimava,
    [Edited by Mod to stay with public disputes rules]

    Back to your reference…

    The web is full of articles like, “Which Is The Best Backlink Checker Tool? The Results Are In!” (Jun 2016)

    I’m sure all the references are going to show incomplete and varying results. So let’s move on…

    I suggest what is important here is a discussion about link checkers and their value/relevance to the Aust. small/micro business owners who read Flying Solo.

    1. Read, Understand and Learn their Directions and Limitations
    FSs
    be aware that the issues of link checker tools is a vexed, debated and technically complex one in the SEO world.

    You will need to learn:

    • What they measure?
    • What all the terminology means?
    • Are they meaningful?
    • Are they relevant to your market in Aust?
    • Are they up to date?
    • How do you use them?
    • When to use them?
    • Etc., etc., etc.

    If you want a more detailed read, see:

    2009: The Problem With Backlink Checkers And Backlink Analyzers
    Author: Michael Martinez (SEO since 2000)

    “It’s a sad state of affairs. The SEO community wastes a great deal of time and resources on link checking tools.”

    This is an old reference but the basic issues are still there. They’ve just become more problematic with the growing complexity of G’s algorithm and the increasing gap in the tool supplier’s ability to assess it.

    FS, You are going to need to have an opinion on the validity or not of these sorts of issues:

    I will only offer the comment that this is probably not “the complete list”.

    FS, Still want to become an SEO Tool expert?

    2. Why Use a Backlink Checker?
    The SEO tool suppliers jump straight to the presumption that external links MUST be part of your SE referral strategy.

    WHY? WHY? WHY?
    Could it be they want to sell you something?

    My starting point is the business owner and his/her new customer acquisition answers to these questions.

    • How many new clients can you handle per week?
    • How much disruption can you afford from poorly targeted search terms?
    • Which of your products/services do you want to promote?
    • What types of customers do you want to attract?
    • What locations do you want to service?

    Check out the FS Member’s Directory

    Do folk think it is an accident that members are cross linked by location and business category?

    I suggest most FS members will not need any external links to attract more clients than they can manage if they target search engine referrals by a combination of business categories with location words and applications for products/services.

    I’ve just helped an Aust business target the daily deals market. He’s up against the likes of:

    • allthedeals.com.au
    • dimmi.com.au
    • groupon.com.au
    • hotelscombined.com.au
    • livingsocial.com.au
    • scoopon.com.au
    • wotif.com
    • zomato.com

    No links built and he’s already averaging 2 pages in the top 10 results to a benchmark performance range of 24 search terms. (None of his competitors score more than one page in the top 10 and none of them are as well targeted on customer demographics.)

    More importantly, the SE referrals are rolling in and deal sign-ups are going through the roof because of the more specific customer targeting.

    IMHO, any SEO service that ignores the needs of the small business marketer and their financial, time and skill resources, gives very poor advice.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198353
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,191

    Hi all,

    FYI, the thread has again devolved into territory outside our rules so I will be recommending it be removed.

    It is a shame because it is a great discussion.

    #1198354
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi Paul,
    Your rules say that the forum is for Australian businesses.

    I don’t mind you bending the rules for [Edited by Mod to stay within public disputes rules] participants as long as we know where they are from and what their interests are.

    I sent a PM to FS Admin (Dave) on this very issue the other day but no one bothered to reply. I took this as an acceptance that it was OK for us to clarify any possible vested interests from forum participants – particularly when you are already bending the local participation rules for them.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198355
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,191
    JohnW, post: 240512, member: 6375 wrote:
    Hi Paul,
    Your rules say that the forum is for Australian businesses.

    I don’t mind you bending the rules for [Edited by Mod to stay within public disputes rules] participants as long as we know where they are from and what their interests are.

    I sent a PM to FS Admin (Dave) on this very issue the other day but no one bothered to reply. I took this as an acceptance that it was OK for us to clarify any possible vested interests from forum participants – particularly when you are already bending the local participation rules for them.
    Regs,
    JohnW
    Hi John,

    On behalf of David, and the whole team I unreservedly apologise for not getting back to you – we should have done better than that.

    It was thought beneficial to the discussion to accept the author of the original article as a member on Flying Solo so she could give a unique to the author point of view – that this would add to the texture and richness of the discussion.

    The Australian/NZ rule is rarely broken and when it is, it is because having a person become a member will add value to the community as a whole

    The article author identified herself as writing on behalf of link-assistant.com the publisher of the original article and we are happy to accept that at face value.

    The rule around public disputes on the other hand is a rule that there is no conscious lee-way on because it harms the very essence of a community that aims to be the friendliest place for Australian/NZ business people to discuss their issues and get the help they need.

    #1198356
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 240517, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hi John,

    On behalf of David, and the whole team I unreservedly apologise for not getting back to you – we should have done better than that.

    It was thought beneficial to the discussion to accept the author of the original article as a member on Flying Solo so she could give a unique to the author point of view – that this would add to the texture and richness of the discussion.

    The Australian/NZ rule is rarely broken and when it is, it is because having a person become a member will add value to the community as a whole

    The article author identified herself as writing on behalf of link-assistant.com the publisher of the original article and we are happy to accept that at face value.

    The rule around public disputes on the other hand is a rule that there is no conscious lee-way on because it harms the very essence of a community that aims to be the friendliest place for Australian/NZ business people to discuss their issues and get the help they need.

    Great approach Paul, it is valid to have the original author being able to reply
    , does it really matter where they come from,

    Maybe because of the way this one has gone, instead of removing it as suggested in your earlier post, would it be possible to just do some edit’s on the last few posts which have gone astray, thus not loosing the context of the thread all together.

    It is good to see some of our SEO guru’s taken to task by people who actually know what they are talking about rather than my feeble attempts.

    #1198357
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125
    bb1, post: 240524, member: 53375 wrote:
    It is good to see some of our SEO guru’s taken to task by people who actually know what they are talking about rather than my feeble attempts.

    The problem with that approach Bert is you have to know your onions before you can say such a thing. For instance what make you think that any one person in the discussion “actually know what they are talking about”? (your words)

    How can you possibly judge one over the other? You’re actually not able to make that observation because you don’t know enough yourself about the subject.

    Which has always been my point – I would never question your skills as a gardener for the same reason, I’m simply devoid of enough knowledge to say anything about gardening.

    I am completely in your hands for that stuff just as I am in my car mechanic’s hands for the cars, my accountant’s hands for the tax, my plumber’s hands for the plumbing and I could go on… I’m not qualified to argue with any of them.

    What gives you judgement enough to argue with John, Masha, the other SEO people here or myself?

    #1198358
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Aidan, post: 240573, member: 2298 wrote:
    What gives you judgement enough to argue with John, Masha, the other SEO people here or myself?

    Aidan, don’t want to send this thread of track, but just a quick reply, you make one error, it is very rare that you will see me arguing a point with any of the guru’s. But you will often catch me asking questions, to either further clarify the point or to justify their view.

    Just another comment, don’t always judge a person by what there business card says. Yes mine currently says Gardener, but I would never pretend to be an expert, or even offer in depth advise, that is actually only a small component of my experience (you may have more knowledge than I do on that subject). I have many many more years and experience in another field. None of which is relevant to the questions I ask, which come from a small business perspective, of a potential client of the SEO guru’s on this site.

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