A year ago a large company sent Allie some free products hoping that she would post about it on her blog. She did. In fact, they offered her a unique affiliate code because she’d driven them a lot of new customers.
(Sidenote: influencer outreach should be something your business is doing!)
That same business just sent Allie and email asking her to remove the post.
They mentioned that they’d developed an “unnatural link profile” in the eyes of Google and had been penalized. They were right, they had.
But asking Allie to remove her links won’t solve the problem and they probably paid someone a LOT of money to tell them to do that.
Actually, they paid a lot of money two times.
First off, they paid some company to “link build” for them. That company PROBABLY did something a little bit (or a lot) spammy. So the company first paid money for someone to create a detrimental plan based solely on short-sighted gains and now they’re paying someone to give them lame advice about how to fix it.
Allie’s link to their site is very natural. They didn’t pay Allie, they offered her value in hopes that she’d reciprocate. They should look at reducing the spam they’d accumulated, not the natural, high-value links like on Allie’s blog.
Alas, they’re paying twice for bad information. It happens all the time in the SEO world. It’s one of the reasons that The Wonder Jam doesn’t “sell” SEO services. We’ve helped several sites achieve some pretty amazing improvements in their rankings and traffic. We could probably make a lot more money doing this than we do, but it’s not worth it.
I’d rather be known for helping businesses rather than being lumped in with a spammy group of professionals. I sit in a coffee shop and – nearly every week – I overhear a local PPC/SEO firm give garbage information in their sales pitches to potential clients.
If you want to be awesome at SEO, don’t worry about SEO. Make awesome stuff. Be the search result Google is TRYING to get in front of searchers. Write definitive content for your audience. There is no reason why you can’t write the top 10 most definitive pieces of information in your audience’s world. There’s no reason. Spend the time. Your clients are worth it.
I regret not putting this message out there more. I grieve the number of small businesses who are wasting money on shady marketing (that will actually COST THEM MORE later).
(If you want to hire someone to give you a plan to get more website traffic, talk to Anna Lea Crowe. We’ve talked to her for hours about her methods and pricing and she’s the best bet for small businesses.)
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