Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How do I know if the SEO company is doing a ‘Ethical’ work?

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  • #1189118
    bb1
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    JohnW, post: 222944, member: 6375 wrote:
    Hi Bert,
    I’m afraid SEO will never be considered an industry or profession with formally recognised certification. Here’s why…

    “Certification” requires conformance with known performance standards.

    Apprentice motor mechanic gets stacks of detailed manuals provided by each car manufacturer. These define the processes for maintaining and repairing the vehicles and the mechanic’s skills in implementing the tasks can therefore be assessed.

    There can be no SEO “performance standards” when all we get are a few vague sets of “guidelines” from SEs and statements from them that their algorithms are constantly changing.

    IMHO, SEO is but one small part or tactic in what might be more broadly called Internet Marketing. This might become a profession where I could see “certification” being implemented. The problem is that even this form of certification does not potentially provide much real protection.

    Then there is the International spread of SEO services – the source of most of the spam SEO emails I receive. What value is an Aust certification when the vast majority of SEO services are based overseas?

    Disatisfaction with SEO services are very obvious when money is spent and results don’t ensue.

    You could argue that many web designers/developers get away with worse rip-offs because the business owner can’t measure their performance.

    Ever been to a designer/developer’s website where they don’t offer SEO enhanced websites?

    My SEO advisory business only exists because SEO has not been built into a website.

    Could it be that SEO services exist primarily because site designers/developers don’t build it into their clients’ sites? ;)
    Regs,
    JohnW

    John,
    Not often I disagree with you but I will on this one, the only reason it cant happen is because no one wants it to happen. Project management was in the same state 30 or so years ago, but the reputable people in the industry, had the drive and push to do something.

    You say what good is Australian SEO certification when most come from OS, True, but did I say it only has to be Australian. And ok maybe it is only Australian, but if the FSSAS gets out there and highlights the benefits, maybe Australian business wont want to go OS, it could build the industry here. I think I posted that the CPA started with 20 odd members in one little area, look at it now.

    You say it can be built into the website, yes for what exists today, but as we know google changes the rules, by which time the web developer s gone. So someone (lets call them SEO person), will have to come along and maintain it.
    Think upwards and onwards
    IMHO

    It can happen, it just needs the industry to want it,

    #1189119
    Karen Francis
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    What a great discussion. I can see both sides of this idea for a level of ‘compliance’.

    The greatest challenge is that the SE’s do change… daily. What is a focus on Bing is not on Google, or even within an industry or vertical. For example: a client I work with took a visibility drop in Bing in NZ (as did the competitors within their vertical), but stayed strong on Google, yet their AU branch had no such impact.

    How the heck does an industry body measure that? It could be along the lines of the WHO recently stating that bacon is carcinogenic. Many health experts already knew this, but it’s not commonly known until an authority comments and it filters through the masses that it becomes everyday knowledge.

    We are still so much in the education phase for SEO because the goalposts keep changing. 7-8 years ago it was about Keyword density, 3-4 years ago about quantity of backlinks, this year it’s mobility. What’s next?

    It’s a tricky one for sure.

    #1189120
    JohnW
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    Hi Bert and Karen,
    Let me refer you to bodies like:

    Then at a local level:

    This is a very, very small view of the entities involved in International “compliance” and “recognition”. There is an extremely complex set of processes governing the International recognition of any procedures and entities. IAF has around 80 country members who approve International recognitions of compliance,

    When you get down into the “weeds”, it all revolves around known standards of performance.

    That’s the basic problem in this discussion!

    If we don’t know how SEs rank web pages at any point in time, how can any accrediting authority define standards that SEO service must comply with?

    We can want it to happen till the cows come home but if we can’t quantify or measure how SEs rank web pages, we can’t assess compliance and if we can’t get this far in the process we can’t enforce anything.

    The best solution I can offer is that we keep trying to educating business owners as to the issues they need to address.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1189121
    bb1
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    John,
    I guess my problem is everyone is coming up with reasons why you cant’t do it, look for reasons why you can. It can be done.

    I look at it similar to project management certification, its not that every project you do must be done via XYZ, that would be just to easy we can pull out the template and just do it.

    I don’t want to recall how many IT projects I have done, it wasn’t as if you had a set process, rather guidelines. Each project was different based on the nature of the implementation, rollout, development, testing, etc.There was no standard to say I have have X implementation phases, X tests, X whatevers.

    Like with SEO, everything is different, it is not a case that you must implement 2 backlinks, 6 keywords, 2 Gobdilcooks, and 7 widgets to get the right answer. Every website, every client will be different, you are looking at the professionalism of the individuals. I don’t know maybe I am explaining it wrong. It is a case of the overall picture.

    Certification in this case looks at the bigger picture of the ability of the professional, knowledge, experience, etc, etc. Nothing to do with how many Gobdilcooks you implement.

    As long as the SEO industry finds problems, and just complains about the shonks, rather than looks at the bigger picture you will be seen as a dodgy industry, why do I say that, because you will let Bert M becomes Bert M’s SEO guru shop.

    #1189122
    bb1
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    Karen Francis, post: 222970, member: 72549 wrote:
    How the heck does an industry body measure that?

    That’s it, the body isn’t measuring how many page 1’s you get, or how many backlinks you have, its not a measurement thing. Page 1’s are a transient thing you can be page 1 on certification date, and page 200 five days later. Even I can get page 1’s, well if I did some research, and used all the ways that the good SEO’s on here say not to do as it will kill your site.

    CPA doesn’t certify you and maintain your certification based on how many accounts you do in a year, or how many dollars you save a client.

    It is based on professionalism, ongoing training, etc. Is that a better way to explain it.

    #1189123
    Karen Francis
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    Hey Bert,

    Good points and that makes a lot of sense.

    I suppose Google has made attempts for this through their certification and exams. However, they really aren’t that hard to do (and pass). Back in the day (3-4 years ago) it was more difficult to be ‘qualified’, but now almost everyone in the SEO industry has at least one qualification.

    Who then could be an industry body, what requirements could they set and how could it be implemented.

    Knowledge still is the challenge, my husband recently met with a friend and had a discussion about SEO and the friend complained about the black hat methods and the shonkyness and the lack of real visibility… and he would be hard to change his mind due to personal experiences.

    While groups like MOZ and others hold great value to those in the industry, having a global group that puts on relevant qualifications that have authority that means something to a business owner… well… I know bodies like Master plumbers have authority in AU, but not globally. It’s an interesting conversation.

    #1189124
    JohnW
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    Karen Francis, post: 223139, member: 72549 wrote:
    I suppose Google has made attempts for this through their certification and exams.
    Hi Karen,
    I believe you will find Google’s online course is to help Google generate more Adword revenue, not teach people SEO.

    Google Partners
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Partners
    “It replaced Google Advertising Professionals in April 2010… The program continues to certify consultants to help the increasing number of new Google AdWords clients with their AdWords campaigns.”

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1189125
    bb1
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    Karen Francis, post: 223139, member: 72549 wrote:
    I suppose Google has made attempts for this through their certification and exams. However, they really aren’t that hard to do (and pass). Back in the day (3-4 years ago) it was more difficult to be ‘qualified’, but now almost everyone in the SEO industry has at least one qualification.

    It goes beyond exams, it is professionalism, experience and ongoing PD. Google has a vested interest, that’s not certification that’s just training.

    Karen Francis, post: 223139, member: 72549 wrote:
    Who then could be an industry body, what requirements could they set and how could it be implemented.
    .

    CPA started as 40 concerned people gathering in a room in Melbourne, now an industry body. They saw a need, they did something,

    FSSAS could start as 10 concerned SEO’s in a room in Melbourne or Sydney or timbucktoo.

    Karen Francis, post: 223139, member: 72549 wrote:
    Knowledge still is the challenge, my husband recently met with a friend and had a discussion about SEO and the friend complained about the black hat methods and the shonkyness and the lack of real visibility… and he would be hard to change his mind due to personal experiences.
    .

    But would your they be more trusting of the industry if it had TRUE certification, not just training courses where there is a $ motive from the provider. You just highlight it so well how people feel about it, and that is because Joe Blow can be a SEO expert.

    Karen Francis, post: 223139, member: 72549 wrote:
    … I know bodies like Master plumbers have authority in AU, but not globally. It’s an interesting conversation.

    CPA started in Oz, is now global.
    From little things big things grow (JohnW, that’s what I meant).
    Start a rush and you have a stampede

    #1189126
    SME Design
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    An exceptionally interesting thread. It would be great if there was some kind of accreditation in this industry.
    Time and time again I keep hearing stories like these. In this instance I would ask to see the backlinking profile.
    You would need to manually go through them to see if they are relevant to your industry. Are they link farms?
    Is your SEO company accessing you site and updating existing content and are you having new quality relevant content placed on the site.
    Do you have some news you would like to announce? Have you considered a press release announcing a recent success?
    Whilst some SEO companies use some tricks and gain a rapid increase in traffic. Be aware that today’s success can be tomorrows Google slap.
    Try to keep your SEO strategy simple and safe.

    #1189127
    Mischelle
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    LOL, wow, this has stirred up a few opinions :-)

    I am a small business owner who has spent a lot of time (feels like years) trying to understand SEO, and every time I think I understand it, it changes and I feel like I am back to the beginning.

    I have been considering paying someone to help me and now I terrified to do this as well, so what do I do? I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now, I have my marketing budget set aside for 2016 and I am launching new products in the 1st quarter, and I wanted to set up a plan of attack, so do I get someone to help with SEO, or do I spent my money on adwords, or conferences and trade show. CONFUSED :-)

    SEO seems to be the most confusing part of any business, so I have started to shift my focus more to my content on my website and topics for blogs and videos, as I figure that this will help with the natural search that seems to be the hot topic.

    So after all that above, do I get someone to help with a plan or work on my content myself (as this is my area of knowledge) and hope for organic growth on SE.????

    #1189128
    John Romaine
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    There are a few options Mischelle.

    You can –

    • Get a mentor (consulting)
    • Invest in training
    • Hire an agency

    Whatever you do, stay away from cheap SEO. Its like cosmetic surgery. A cheap nose job will always work out far more expensive in the long run.

    #1189129
    Byron Trzeciak
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    Mischelle,

    To touch on a few points.

    If you are the one with the knowledge and experience you should always be involved with your content in order to create value.

    An SEO can mentor you in creating valuable content and help define your strategy moving forward.

    You mentioned new products which makes me feel you’re running an online store? If that’s the case your onsite optimisation is critical. You need your website to provide relevant results to the wide array of searches people will use to find your traffic. This is typically where many online stores fail.

    There are plenty of SEO guys in this forum that have a history of providing solid advice in these forums so if you decide you do want to move ahead with SEO I suggest you ask within the forums.

    #1189130
    Mischelle
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    Thanks John for the imagery (leaving my nose to the Pros). Got it :-)

    I understand the idea of false economy and the term pay peanuts and you get monkeys. OK enough of the fun talk.

    I have always invested in people, I have hired consultants for my safety and quality accreditation’s, system design and development, basically I hire people in areas I have little knowledge of.

    But I feel that marketing is an area I have a natural talent in and want to expand on my knowledge to do more myself, so maybe a combination of your options, a consultant to help with the plan and strategy and training to help implement it?

    I know that I am good at sales, I can write articles (I have been published a few times in magazines) my weak points are social media and SEO. I have just employed someone with some experience in that area but that’s not their sole role.

    Thanks for the info and suggestions, I will have a chat with my business partners.

    #1189131
    Mischelle
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    Byron Trzeciak, post: 223337, member: 56118 wrote:
    Mischelle,

    If you are the one with the knowledge and experience you should always be involved with your content in order to create value.

    You mentioned new products which makes me feel you’re running an online store? If that’s the case your onsite optimisation is critical. You need your website to provide relevant results to the wide array of searches people will use to find your traffic. This is typically where many online stores fail..

    Hi Byron,

    Thanks for the input, I too believe I should be writing the content as this is my area of expertise, but that’s about where it ends :-)

    I am a SaaS provider of business management systems, and I have quite a few very large corporate clients using my software and they have had agreements in place with me for over 15 years. BUT I wanted to diversify my revenue a little bit, so I am creating my new products.

    The products I am launching 1st quarter are similar to my corporate versions, but converted for smaller organisations (Mid size businesses). For our corporate clients we do a lot of physical services at the back end to manage their businesses, the new products are fully self managed and therefore more affordable, and I already have 10 BETA testing clients lined up.

    I have all sorts of people working on the product side, IT and security specialists and I do not scrimp on servers or security, that is my main expense, and I have set aside a marketing budget, but as any small business owner will say, they are terrified they will spend it in the wrong places.

    All my current clients have grown organically through our service offering, people refer new clients to us or people move from one business to another and call on us in their new workplace.

    So, now I am in a new arena and learning a lot as I go. Sorry for the long post but I thought I better elaborate.

    #1189132
    Anonymous
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    Exciting times for you [USER=60404]@Mischelle[/USER] ! I’ll be interested to learn which way you decide to proceed :)

    Jayne

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