Here are my rantings on internet marketing. I've given some good advice in some articles, and others, well. Take a look for yourself.
Google are making a lot of money through Adwords right now as website owners and small businesses start suffering from a drop in rank, all because of cheap and dodgy SEO techniques from overseas.
Update May 2017: When I first wrote this article, it was the case that the majority of enquiries were businesses being burnt from automated link building services palmed off as an SEO strategy. During 2016 and now in 2017, it seems as though more and more businesses are being burnt by Australian agencies. Whilst most are aware of this ongoing trend in the SEO world, the confusion between agency and client always comes down to “too many people are involved”. My opinion is that you'll always get this within any hierarchy. A good warning signal to stay away is if the agency uses aggressive sales techniques. For industry guys, look out for agencies that try and poach people from other agencies, with a high turnover in staff.
It was a trend for a while, but business owners are finally starting to realise they've thrown money down the toilet and possibly their online business by outsourcing SEO to cheap services. The latest Google update “Hummingbird” was put into place nearly two months ago and business owners are feeling the pain as their domains drop in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Page) and in some cases receiving a manual penalty for using practices against Google's terms and conditions.
Update May 2017: It's not just the hummingbird algorithm we're worries about. Since this article Google upped it's game to machine learning. See RankBrain for more information.
As an SEO consultant here in Sydney, I've battled for a few years with very few clients as business owners moved into outsourcing their SEO to people overseas for a very small fraction of the cost. I've been saying for many years that these people charge very little amount because they're using automated programs without knowing how to use them, or simply not caring about settings. Unfortunately people took advantage of the average business owner that had no idea they were buying spam, and now it's catching up to them all for saving a few dollars.
Let me just put it out there that SEO is actually dead, and has been for a good year. Now when you're looking for an SEO consultant you better make sure their job title involves the words “Marketing” and “Online”.
Update May 2017: All clients that have signed on for a penalty recovery have been out of a manual penalty within 2 months, algorithmic penalties between 4 – 6 months.
An SEO specialist should be able to do the following: competitor analysis, some web design and development, content marketing, video editing, graphic design, business to consumer marketing and search engine optimisation, social media and pull/push advertising. So technically, if you're hiring someone just for SEO, then you're getting ripped off, you should be receiving re full package and you MUST be hiring someone local to you. Obviously the best option would be to hire an online marketing consultant in-house, however if you're happy with outsourcing still then you need someone local (I live in Sydney) and someone that can communicate over the phone.
No longer can business owners get away with cheap SEO campaigns and if you continue to maintain these techniques then they will be punished in the long run as Google updates their algorithm and looks for more ways to make money through AdWords.
Well, I've had a number of potential clients that I've had to lead in the correct direction before even starting on their new SEO campaigns. They all need to follow the same steps:
Update May 2017: I wrote a killer article on the best business directories for Australia in 2017. Check it out, bookmark it and start submitting to all those top directories ASAP.
Once you remove any bad links you may have and have listed yourself with a Google Partnered business listing then you should start being listed in the maps once again. Then and only then should you start new practices for Search Engine Optimisation which should include; content creating and on-site analysis. Once all your on-site SEO is complete you can then concentrate on off-site SEO by having someone build quality links.
Update May 2017: This year I've been asking clients to sign-up to a link aggregation tool called Ahrefs. Inside there you can set all your alerts, disavow settings and they've extended into rank tracking.
I'm a digital marketing and SEO consultant based in Sydney, Australia. I drink a lot of coffee and spend most of my time working on clients websites and improving their search visibility.