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Cleaning Up The SEO Industry

News, Industry News 11th Feb 2015

This is the transcript for our new video.

Hello. The SEO industry has a bit of an image crisis, and this has sort of been caused by a lot of history, a lot of old tactics, and a lot of spammy ideas. Today I just want to sort of look at what has directly caused the industry to have such a bad image with some areas of business and what we could do, maybe, to make this a better industry and make it appear much more clean-cut and much more professional as it actually is.

First we’ll look at the causes. So, for instance, shortcuts were taken by individuals, agencies or in-house professionals really meant that the SEO industry got quite a bad name. These were sort of automated tools that would build links all over the Internet. This really hurt the industry from the older days when it was very link based. Link building and Google hadn’t really learned how to deal with spam and spammy links.

This also ties in with older tactics. So, for instance, when it comes to poor link building, when it comes to adding hidden text onto websites, it all combines to make the SEO industry seem a very sort of spam related industry that could be done automatically and was there for the pure purpose of gaming search engines.

Tying into that is complexity. So with SEO it’s obviously a very technical, very complex industry to be involved with. And when you’re trying to explain that your internally duplicated page on a different URL needs to be resolved, then it can really throw some people, and it takes quite a lot of explaining.

If you can take shortcuts and promise and guarantee things that can’t actually be achieved, then that tends to tie in well with people wanting a very easy, simple, understandable solution, whereas SEO doesn’t provide that necessarily. And it also links down to, in terms of qualifications, the lack of qualifications that are in the SEO industry.

Obviously, there’s no definitive way to prove that you know what you’re talking about. You have to be able to explain yourself, and you have to be able to explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and show any examples in previous times.

So, for instance, if you look at the solutions, the way I think we can resolve this SEO industry image and make it a much more interesting, more viable image for the industry is to be much more transparent. This involves agencies, individuals, and even in-house SEOs to show exactly what they do on a regular basis, to show what a retainer involves, what sort of initials involve, and to really explain to the person who is actually paying for the service what they’re getting for their money.

Again, this is sort of linked in with an explanation of reports or, depending on how you pass your information on to the person who’s looking for the service, making sure that they know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, because it’s very important to help everyone understand what the service brings to the company and why SEO is such an important thing for modern businesses to have.

To further elaborate this, case studies, to use opportunities to show where you have really sold a website in terms of making the technical SEO, the on-page SEO, the external, off-page SEO really work for a website and how you’ve managed to successfully and not spammily provide a strong return on the SEO investment.

I think there’s also a big issue with the SEO industry, especially a few years ago, where SEO was often sold through e-mail marketing campaigns that were quite automated, spread as far and wide as possible. I think part of the issue with the industry is pulling back those spam heavy areas and bring in a much more professional look and appearance to the industry.

I think a lot of the time, at the moment, especially with the low barriers to entry that exist for the industry, it often gets very competitive and leads to sort of aggressive, spam-heavy tactics, which just don’t help the industry at all. I think if the industry just worked to increase the professionalism within the culture, they would have a much greater effect on the image and improving the image.

I will be producing a blog post on this as well, which you can obviously look at. If you want to explore any of the social profiles and let me know your thoughts on the image of the SEO industry, then that would be absolutely brilliant. Thank you for your time.

James Challis
About the author

James Challis

James is chairman of Koozai FC and a fan of Southampton FC, so if you’re a football fan you can judge him accordingly. He also turns up late to our Christmas parties and we never let him live it down. Ever.

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