Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know that Google has made a great number of changes to their algorithm. Panda was the first algorithm update to really get media attention as it knocked many of the article directories beyond the coveted first page. Many of the old SEO techniques like forums profile backlinks, comment backlinks, etc. became much less useful.
Now Google has rolled-out Penguin, an update that seeks to go a step further identifying suspicious link-building campaigns and sites that are “over-optimized”. Here’s the issue, over-optimized used to be okay and SEO firms would optimize like crazy and charge through the roof for it. In fact, many SEO firms still over-optimize like crazy which means their clients sites are getting penalized.
As a small business going from page one to page two could be the difference between making a profit or dipping into the red. Since many of these SEO changes are incredibly new, many SEO firms haven’t had the chance to change their techniques and focus on the new SEO world that Google has just created. Yes, it’s all about building sites for users, not for search engines, but many SEO companies haven’t made the change left leaving their clients in a bad position.
For this Small Business Sunday I thought it would be a good idea to talk about questions you can ask your SEO firm to make sure they’re doing the right things. You can’t be afraid to ask these questions, it’s better to find-out now rather than wait until later when you’re on page four, five, or even worse – de-indexed. So be confident and ask the questions below to make sure your SEO company is up to snuff.
- Where are the links coming from? This is the most important question to ask. If their answer is – forums, blog comments, high PR sites, you might want to dig a bit deeper. These techniques used to work like a charm but really aren’t the right way to do SEO anymore.
- How many backlinks are they adding each month? Understanding the rate at which new links are added is very important because Google is looking at the exact same thing. Add a bunch of links one month, or even worse, one day, and you could throw-up a red flag.
- How has their strategy changed since Penguin? Forget Panda, have they made a change based on the most recent algorithm changes?
- Examples of client’s sites on the first page of Google. Don’t be afraid to ask your SEO company for an updated list of client sites and rankings. This is probably something you got when you first hired them, but have you seen an update? What if all the sites they originally showed you on page one are now on page six?
Hopefully you’re SEO company is on the ball and has great answers to these questions, if not, you may want to look for other options. I know a few good SEO companies so anyone looking to switch is more than welcome to shoot me an email and I’ll send over my recommendations. Now go send your SEO company an email now, you’ll rest easier knowing they’re doing the right thing, and if they aren’t, you’ll rest easier knowing you found out about it now!