Pay Peanuts for SEO, your going to pay for it later!

Yes that’s right. If you are going to pay next to nothing for your SEO the only thing you can expect is to get either absolutely nothing or worse, a Google penalty. That’s right folks, in 2017 and into the foreseeable future Google is going to be targeting those businesses that cut corners wit the their SEO and try to do things on a very limited budget. The reason for this is very simple, they want all businesses to run ethical and compliant SEO campaigns which to the surprise of many business owners does in fact cost (in many cases, depending on the competitive nature of the niche you are trying to target) a lot of money!

In fact, today, I just spoke with a small business owner that was trying to get me to price and SEO campaign for him over the phone. Whilst chatting with him he was telling me that he had been doing his research online and found that he could get someone to do his SEO for a couple of hundred dollars and work on over 100 keywords. Plus they were going to throw his web copy writing in for free. When I told him that this was a waste of money and time he seemed perplexed and wondered why I couldn’t match these incredibly low and might I say ridiculous prices.

I told him that his niche was super competitive and that if he had any hope or chance of ranking he needed to be paying at least $2000 per month and this was a very modest figure. When he heard this, there was this stunned silence over the phone that tended to linger for about 30 seconds while he was digesting all this information. His next question was expected and that was’ why are you so much more expensive than the Indian company who quoted me only $200 per month?’

Herein lies the issue with so many businesses that use SEO agencies that are quoting next to nothing. Most people don’t really understand search engine optimisation and the hard work and effort that goes into ranking a website. They just look at the dollars and how much they can save. This might be OK if your doing the ring around looking for a plumber or furniture removalist but when it comes to SEO this is a totally different ball game. If you outsource this to a company based in India who is virtually doing it for free, then guess what? Your going to get absolutely nothing in return. If you think that just because you got a good deal now and that the guy you spoke to over the phone sounded reasonable and friendly that all is OK and your going to get to page 1. Forget about it, your dreaming! Watch out for these guys as they will promise almost anything to get you to sign up with them. If you hear words like ranking guarantees, get the hell out of there!!

These cheap SEO companies are nothing but scammers and are out there, cold calling and fleecing suckers out of their money daily. The worst thing about it is they are overseas so there is no legal action you can take to recover your money once you realise that you have been completely ripped off. I say this with authority because I speak to people every day who have gone down this path and believed that it was OK to pay peanuts for their SEO.

I get so frustrated when I have to constantly tell business owners over and over again that we can never match these prices because we implement our SEO campaigns the right way and in order for us to do this, requires an enormous amount of resources and time. If you think otherwise you are sorrily mistaken.

Like most business owners I like you are looking for the best deals possible, but with SEO ( and I know you do not want to hear this) please pay accordingly. If you have just read this article and were about to go down the path of choosing an SEO agency purely based on the lowest price, please call me now on 02 9360 8514 and I will explain to you why this is the wrong decision.

SEO in 2017, what can you expect?

The SEO landscape is ever changing and probably the most important change to happen in 2017 will be the way SEO agencies go about their back linking. Whilst back linking has been around for years and is considered probably one of the most important components of any SEO campaign, we feel that in the coming 12 months, Google will be placing a lot more emphasis on the quality of these links and the speed at which they are applied.

In terms of link quality this has always been a huge ranking factor and in 2017 you are going to need it. Long gone are the days of buying cheap, low value links. These will have absolutely no benefit for your Google rankings and if you practice and apply this technique long enough, they will in fact start to harm your rankings. Google is now far too sophisticated and can easily detect fraudulent link building activity.

When I say fraudulent I mean activity that is designed to purely manipulate your page rank via link acquisition, Whilst this is what will rank a site, Google will only acknowledge links that are relevant to your business and if they are from a credible source. So if in the next year whilst you are shopping around to find the best SEO agency make sure they don’t base their entire sales pitch to you on:

  • the number of links they telly they will get for you every month
  • cheap campaigns where quality link acquisition is almost impossible.

As always, for any SEO agency the challenge has always been to find these links and  2017 will not prove any easier. In fact Google is going to make it a hell of a lot tougher to get to page 1 unless these links are seriously good.When I mean good I mean really top notch. Anything less will not suffice and you can forget about getting to the top of the search engines.

So what ever you are planning in 2017 in regards to your digital marketing and SEO make sure you are working with a company that is able to provide you with these links. Having said that, for most businesses this is hard to  pinpoint and finding the best SEO agency is not as easy as it would seem, especially with so many start ups out there all professing to be the ‘bees knees’ when it comes to knowing what makes Google tick. So you should really be aware of some warning signs that they are unable to get quality links and they are in fact a dodgy SEO business.

Here they are:

  • you found them online and they have paid to be on page 1. If you have searched for say: ‘SEO Sydney’ and you have clicked on any of the first 4 results, this is extremely bad when it comes SEO. Never ever, call or try to contact any company that has paid to be up there. Why? Because they are simply unable to rank their own website organically. If there was ever any clear cut evidence there it is right in front of you. The top 4 positions on Google are reserved for advertising and when it comes to partnering with a proper SEO company, these should be steered well clear of. I now many people might say that they are happy to click on the ads and they do this all the time. That’s fine if your looking for an electrician, lawyer, rubbish removals or dentist, but for the purposes of SEO this is strictly a no no!
  • they have quoted you a ridiculously cheap price in order to get you to sign up with them. I have addressed this already but let me say again, 2017 is all about the best quality links and you have to ask yourself how on earth are they going to buy these links (some costing up to $500 per link) if you are not paying them enough. It stands to reason that they are just going to take your money every month and buy low quality, worthless, useless links and pass this off as actual work. be really careful of this as a high percentage of SEO businesses operate in this manner. I can say this with professional integrity as we often perform link audits on many a website and owners are amazed when I show them how little has actually been done over the past 6 or 12 months. It is unfortunately a scam and many unsuspecting, well intentioned honest hard working businesses fall for this all the time. It’s a real shame because they have put their faith and trust in a company to do the right thing and because with SEO, the barriers of entry are so low, this type of unscrupulous behaviour is rampant. Believe me when I tell you this!
  • I am going to bold this next point because you really have to understand the importance of it. If they offer you an type of ranking guarantee or pay on performance SEO they are simply scamming you. This is a common tactic designed to make you fell as though their SEO strategies  are invincible and even they have out smarted Google. For many people doing the ring around this sweet sounding sales talk is too good to pass on. Butt for gods sake you must realise that no one can guarantee any type of Google ranking. The reason for this is simple: Google is a third party and will never ever let you know what they are doing. They are constantly shifting and changing their ranking algorithm which is a highly held secret so for anyone to tell you that they can guarantee you page 1 position on Google is simply lying to you. Ive been in this business for nearly 20 years and I won’t even promise or guarantee rankings. In 2017, Google will be very much on the lookout for suspicious link activity conducted by SEO companies that promise quick rankings and guaranteed it. For them to even achieve this would require a massive amount of high quality links in a short period of time. Activity like this will be noticed by the algorithm and your site may get penalised. Question is, are you willing to risk believing the sales con just so you can feel good about your decision? Best give these shady and very crooked guarantees a wide berth for the future health of your business.

I perviously mentioned that in 2017 Google will be on the lookout for the speed at which your site has links pointing towards it. The most important thing to take away froths article regarding this point is that your link activity has to be very slow and gradual, especially if your website is brand new. Let me elaborate on this a bit further as I often get parole calling me up begging me to rank their new website quickly.

The issue with new websites is that they have no trust or value. Google sees them as merely new websites and will rank it accordingly well behind other older sites that have built up some trust. If, you suddenly hook up with an SEO team and they promise you miraculous results within 90 days, Google as stated previously will detect this, especially for sites less than a year old. Yes, you may get a sugar hit and rise a few pages but you will vanish soon after.

When people ask me how long it takes to rank their site, I honestly tell them that we don’t know. But what we do know is that if we follow our strategy of appearing as organic as possible, then what we can guarantee you is fantastic rankings over the long term.

So let me surmise my thoughts here for 2017 in regards to what Google is looking for. Basically, they want to see that you are making an effort to build trust with your site via effective and credible link building. This and only this will be the cornerstone for measuring a websites true value in the eyes of Google.

2017, will be the year when choosing the best SEO agency is going to matter more than ever as Google will come down harder on sites the are non compliant. In years gone by you could rank a website a lot easier than now. In today’s online landscape where page 1 is going to be critical to the success of your business, you had better make the right decision when it comes to engaging an SEO partner.

As one of the directors of SEO Sydney Experts I am more than happy to go over any of the above points and explain this in more layman terms if any of this was confusing. Just call our Surry Hills, Sydney office on 02 9360 8514 and ask for Steve.