16th May, 2013

Clients ask us all the time. What is search engine optimisation (SEO)? More importantly, as a client, you should know exactly what it is you’re getting for your money!

When an SEO agency tells you what SEO services they’re delivering for you each month, wouldn’t it be great to know exactly which of their SEO services are good, those that are not so good and those SEO services that should probably be avoided like the plague!

I find it very interesting that web developers often ask us…. “So what do you do each month?”

It really isn’t a secret, if you imagine what happens when a website becomes popular of its own volition. What exactly is happening on the internet for them to become number one in Google?

People are writing about it

It might seem an oversimplification but if website NewThingX.com becomes very popular and gets to number one in Google for the keyword “widgets”… it probably means that there are lots of people who have taken an interest in it and have written about it on their website.

So working on the principle that people are writing about it, the question is, where are they writing about it? Here are some examples of where people could be writing about NewSiteX.com

  • Online PR websites
  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Bookmarking websites
  • Social media websites
  • Suppliers’ websites
  • Customers’ websites
  • Customer review websites

There are probably all sorts of other websites where people could be writing about NewSiteX.com… The overriding point here is that when something becomes popular, people like to write about it so they can tell their friends and colleagues “Heh, look what I’ve found!”

If they like it, they’ll link to

seo link building

When NewSiteX.com is being written about on all these different types of websites, they will obviously be getting a link from those websites at the same time.

It is these links (which are back links to NewSiteX.com) that tell Google something is popular/credible. If the website, such as NewSiteX.com doesn’t have any back links then as far as Google is concerned, it has no credibility and is unlikely to rank for anything.

The principle behind good SEO services

The reason for explaining what happens when a website becomes popular on the internet is because good SEO services have to try and replicate this!

A good SEO service includes:

  • Checking that a website is built correctly
  • Ensuring the website’s on page SEO is correct
  • Ensuring the website is social media friendly (i.e. you can share, like and tweet individual pages)
  • Has good quality original content for your keywords
  • Has a future content strategy and plan
  • Has reviews and write-ups being posted onto other websites on the internet
  • Has links that are being created on other high-quality websites pointing back to your site from lots of different types of websites
  • Has social media engagement i.e. Google would see that 10,000 people like your website

A bad SEO service includes:

This can usually be categorised as either too much of one thing and or low quality.

Firstly, let’s explain what we mean by too much of one thing….. What usually happens is the junior in the office is asked to go and create links on forums for NewSiteX.com.  This is good, but should not be repeated too often!

Multiple article submissions are usually bad

The Google Penguin update was all about penalising low quality links.

A good example of this was when some SEO agencies would post dozens of articles to one article submission website and on each article there would be a link to the client’s website.

The problem for the client comes when Google looks at the article submission website…  it then sees that it is a low quality site (i.e. article submission sites don’t have their own back links therefore don’t have their own credibility).

So, the result of this is that the client’s website has 100 links from a poor quality website…  The Google Penguin update would deem this as spam!

I often say to clients. “If a friend of yours was to ask you for a link to their website, how many links would you give them? Usually the answer is one!

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