My answer is usually along these lines: "Your site is competing for placement with many other professionally-built sites. If I'm doing my job properly, and so are the other web developers, none of us is or should be entitled to top placement. Also, placement depends heavily on factors that are solely in your control as the site owner, such as the quality of the content."
But when web devs say this, clients sometimes think we're just trying to shirk responsibility. So I would be really happy if I could point them to an official statement from Gogole that conveys roughly the same message.
But your suggestion is slightly different and a good one.
Google “link building” to see adds that state "Guaranteed Page One Ranking"!
Im not a smart guy (not at all) but to me, logically if you/google allow this on your addwords platform then "link building" must be okay, but only from these specific addword companies? right? What am I missing?
e.g., if you're a bed and breakfast, you're not going to win on "[location] accommodation" or "luxury accommodation in [location]" because it will be dominated by directories and the like. Instead, you're probably better off making sure your listings on TripAdvisor/etc are good, make sure your service is exceptional, and then quickly respond to any negative reviews that may arise. For a B&B, I don't think I'd put much effort into backlinks or even tailored content.
Just to be clear: I recognize that the web developer plays a role in improving Google rankings. I.e. the web dev should definitely follow Google guidelines. But following the guidelines doesn't automatically get you to the top. (What if everyone follows the guidelines? They can't all be in first place.)
You can make sure the horse is physically prepared, in good shape, has been properly trained and has been thoroughly inspected for any needed medication, but you can't and won't ever be able to ensure that the horse you're caring for will 100% of the time finish the race first.
Sure, you can use some shady tactics, drugs, or anything else, but that's temporary and is bound to be corrected unless there's some stuff going on with the judges...
same goes with SEO. As a dev, you can only guarantee so much. You might hit the jackpot, you might use dirty tactics to get to the number one spot, but in the end, what you can confidently guarantee only allows any given website to be in perfect shape to be in the starting blocks. The rest is up to you.
You can follow all the technical guidelines but if no one is linking to you, you won't be number one. In the unlikely event two sites have the same weighted links, quality and technical relevance, I'm sure other things like speed or age are taken into account.
The closest thing I can find is this: "Not every website can come out at the top of the page, or even appear on the first page of our search results." But many web dev clients are likely to respond: "I know not everyone can be first. But why can't I?" To which I reply that the client's competitors also have perfectly competent web devs.
It does say a (very) little about how relevance is determined. But to a client who doesn't want to be bothered with implementation details, this will come across as noise.
You can make the most well structured perfectly semantic website in the world, and that doesn't mean it will even get indexed by Google. That's where the marketer, and the business you are designing for come into place, which is what that link described.
2. Circle the factors over which you as a developer have control. In the above example it would be "site structure."
3. Explain that the other factors are out of your control or are not within the scope of work.
There's no shortage of marketing consultants (I'm one) and specialists that can help with the other factors.
It's not "straight from the horse's mouth" as is the case with the Google guide (which frankly what Google wants to drive rankings does not always tie up nicely with what actually seems to drive rankings in practice), but I always have users start there and then look further afield if they're still interested.
Some of this stuff is no longer valid.
You'll end up on a page explaining Keyword Planner has replaced Keyword Tool. To access the tool I must sign in to my AdWords account.
Curious honest question to the SEOs out there - other than present me with a strategy, is there anything specifically an SEO can offer to my site? As far as I can tell, any gimmick or scheme an SEO could do previously is now effectively non-existent since the Penguin and Hummingbird updates to Google. Is there anything outside of the standard stuff that I have to do that can make my site stand out?
We all have certain patterns and interests and the order of priorities - and Google know them all. They are the sysadmin of the Internet.
If we save a link, share a link or return to a page more than X times in $period, G. knows we think it's valuable. Multiply by the number of Google users who share $this_interest.
Conversely, any freshly created Twitter account associated with a freshly created Gmail account registered from an Indian IP has little authority in any field.
Any abnormal activity is an eyesore to Google algorithms and jumps out right away.
If your site sucks, you can't make Google think it doesn't. Fancy crap won't make your boring content look attractive. SEO today is customer satisfaction, disruption, uniqueness.
It doesn't matter any more what you say about your site - it's what actions of other people, real people, not your shills, say about your site.
This is, very roughly, how it works.
Source: SEO work since 2003, including a year as Google page quality rater.
Classic old school SEO. Rock on.
My general assumption with SEO is (1) create good content and (2) make sure content is tagged correctly (3) share content.
Honestly, I'd love to be sold on why I should ever spend money on it, but given the recent updates to the Google algorithm, I can't seem to figure out why...
Getting these links ethically is a hard problem to solve, even for a high quality site with unique content.
I don't have much connection with the world of commercial SEO, but I imagine there are people good enough at solving this problem to charge a premium and get good returns for their clients.
That's not to say there's nothing left though. And although there's much debate on whether what is left is actually 'SEO', good old fashioned PR, or now falls under the related, but rather nondescript 'content marketing', the business case for conducting such activity is still very strong in many cases.
> Showing results for "Google SEO Starter Guide"
> No results found for "Google CEO Starter Guide"
Check out my full answer here: https://medium.com/on-startups/f15264e5d790
Edit: SEO checklist is http://www.clickminded.com/seo-checklist/
Matt you know very well that small businesses that want to compete now HAVE to acquire some non-donated links, as NO ONE is donating dofollow links anymore, yet you still use them in your algorithm.
When and if you start to ignore links because you have enough usage and social signals, great! But this is a couple years off no? So other than them getting a penalty, which is a risk they just have to take, they have no choice but to acquire some non-donated links that look donated.
I'm hoping someone from Google can explain, or at least commit to investigate why the leading brand in our niche (travel) has escaped a Penguin 2.0 demotion. It may come across as sour grapes as yes, we were demoted following Penguin 2, due to links built by an SEO agency in 2008 that we have tried (pre-pengiun) to have removed for years, despite passing a manual link review and having a manual penalty removed, the algorithm clearly has no discretion and re-penalised us for the same issue, however the fact remains that the largest brand, a household name, in our niche is engaging in far worse and at a much greater scale and continues to do so that has left them top of the pile for a huge number of very lucrative search terms.
Here is just a small sample of paid links, paid blog posts and article submissions clearly designed to manipulate the SERP's that are no doubt paying huge dividends for them. Isn't it about time Google stepped in and stopped these brands being so well protected, whether it be from manual or algorithmic penalties. We've been watching their dominance in the travel market for 2-3 years now and assumed that one day Google would take a look but so far nothing and now we are in a position where we are laying off staff due to factors outside of our control (and accepted by the search quality team), whilst the largest and most active spammy link buyers in our niche go from strength to strength.
http://1familyvacation.blogspot.com/2009_04_26_archive.html paid post
http://2backpackers.com/8940/usa/fleet-week-san-francisco-tr... paid post
http://2nomads1narrative.com/2012/07/03/guest-post-signature... paid post
http://acrossandabroad.com/2011/08/23/dubai-holidays-diving-... paid post
http://activetap.com/554567-Flights-Viva-Prague.html paid post
http://alcudiaholidays.org.uk/reasons-to-visitalcudia paid post
http://allfiji.com.au/travel/fiji-beaches/ paid post
http://allfrance.com.au/the-best-budget-hotels-in-paris/ paid post
http://allthailand.com.au/touring-thailand-top-tours-in-thai... paid post
http://allusa.com.au/americas-greatest-parks/ paid post
http://archive.anfieldroad.com/news-archive/201009063972/fc-... paid post
http://archive.anfieldroad.com/news-archive/201103084572/a-g... paid post
http://aussietopia.org/2011/03/ paid post
It's easy to pick holes in pretty much anyone's backlink profile in a competitive market.