• Brian Alpert

    With regards to point 4, I’m a little confused as to how far that goes. I understand how farmed, mass produced reciprocal (or otherwise) links between unrelated websites does nothing more than muck up search results and give a bad name to (what people tend to think of as) SEO. But are links between sites in and related to a particular industry equally poisonous? For instance, a wedding photographer with links to/from other wedding photographers, tuxedo rental places, and florists that specialize in wedding arrangements, or bathroom remodelers linking with appliance retailers, be discounted entirely?

    I recognize the potential for/history of abuse of these kinds of systems and networks, and I’d personally go as far as saying “if you feel you have to ask if something is allowable, it’s probably not something you should be doing in the first place.” But I don’t have enough experience in the industry yet to tell if linking between like companies is an acceptable practice or a “gray-hat at best” trick that SE’s are trying to purge from the net wholesale.

    Do you (or anyone else in the commenting community) have any thoughts that might help me with this? Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/MyIdeaGirl Teajai Kimsey

    Good job pointing these things out. I am always telling people that it doesn’t matter if they are #1 if they aren’t getting sales. The fundamental measure of any program is dollars. If what you’re doing doesn’t contribute to that goal in a tangible, measurable way, it’s a waste of time and money. Yet I still get people telling me that XYZ agency is promising to put them on page 1 for some unnamed search term. You said it all very well!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediamike Mike Allan

    I worked as an in house SEO at a major energy company and my director wanted every page on the site to be PR 6 or higher.

  • Sergey Lucktinov

    I would also add #5 – Alexa Rank. Somehow my boss thinks that this is very relevant to SEO and every time I have to explain to him that it is not.

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    The four items I listed are just the start. The list goes on and on. Thanks for writing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Rempel/725440457 Chris Rempel

    Paid links work like a charm. You just have to assess the risk level for a particular domain/project. Obviously not something you do with authority sites or clients. But for your own aff sites, etc – there is still no easier way to rank. Regardless of what the pundits and parrots would like to have you believe…

  • http://twitter.com/SEOBetty Beth Ann Earle

    Teajai — are you working in the cube next to mine? We regularly have the same experiences.

    Point 3 (” Google SERP Rank”) particularly hit home with me, especially the part about keywords — it’s an interesting “opportunity” to educate clients that the search terms that will bring in new business aren’t necessarily the jargon they use or the vanity terms their competitors rank for.

    We’ve actually asked people before, “If the term isn’t going to gain you a single new client, why do you want to pay us a chunk of money to optimize for it?”

  • http://blogpond.wordpress.com Corri

    Thank goodness there’s someone out there that recognises what SEO is actually for. Who cares how many followers you have, likes, “klout” or social presence. If this doesn’t impact the bottom line then you’ll go out the door backwards … but well liked.

  • http://twitter.com/justincutroni Justin Cutroni

    The transition to _real_ metrics continues! No more CTR, RPC!

    I think one of the most important metrics we have at our disposal is Assisted Revenue or Assisted Conversions. With the complex technology and content landscape we, as marketers, need to understand that consumers will interact with different channels in different ways.

    Even if a channel, or a campaign within a channel, does not drive direct conversions, it can assist on a _substantial_ number of conversions.

  • kartik kads

    It’s Great article but so many person believe on Google Tool Bar. then after all we are submission in Google & also new updates or more.

    thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamsangeetakumar Sangeeta Kumar

    I love this article and I am going to share it with my team and management that insists on clinging to old concepts. Thank you for publishing it.

  • cory josue

    I totally agree with you that most SEO clients often loose track of the real goals of why they are doing SEO. Often times, the only thing that matters to them is their ranking–which is not. Thinking outside of the box, if I am a SEO client, what I would from my online strategy is more revenue for my business. I don’t care about my rankings but as long as I have people inquiring about my business, I will be happy with it. This is one of the misconceptions of most SEO clients and we try mighty hard to erase this from the thinking of our clients. As a SEO practitioner, we want our client’s site to bring business for them and that should also be the number performance indicator of how well the SEO company is doing, don’t you agree?

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I’ve worked with several clients who only cared about driving traffic from their priority keyword list and didn’t care about the rest. Let’s say they had 2,000 visitors in a month and 800 came from those priority keywords and 500 came from branded. To them their SEO campaign was failing because their priority keywords were only sending 800 visitors. No matter what I sad I couldn’t get them to see that meant that 700 other visitors were coming from long tails and variations which were a direct result of our SEO campaign!

  • http://twitter.com/Amazon_cz Amazon Cz

    Im not an expert for the SEO but Ive read couple books about that topic. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Codex-Meridian/100002285341528 Codex Meridian

    Agreed, but a link to your company site using SEO company as the anchor text directly in your comments seems not very helpful. Putting links in comments is another sign that you are chasing the wrong goals in SEO.

  • http://twitter.com/_ltyler Robert Koenig

    Definitely people get lost in all the ever-changing details instead of focusing on the content. I don’t think bigger always necessarily means better. Strong, succinct content paired with making true relationships with new customers and contacts should be what matters. I guess those are the proverbial trees in the forest?

  • http://www.webstatsart.com/ Webstats Art

    Some people chasing the wrong goals need to do that for a while because they get experience which is actually trial and error.

  • http://twitter.com/CoffyGroup Coffy Group

    Valuable information you’ve shared with us, Rick. It reminds me that with our goal to regularly experiment and see what strategies and approach works, there is this huge possibility that our focus will be on to the wrong things without realizing it. While our goals are flexible, we should be able to teach ourselves the best practice so our time and efforts will not go to waste.

  • Peter Gore

    #3 – How do you expect to get any conversions if you not aiming towards a decent ranking website, I’m not talking about chasing number 1 all the time but at least a good page one listing. Personally I think too many SEO’s have lost sight of the basics of a good SEO campaign and are too caught up in blinding clients with untold amounts of useless data.

  • Brian Lockwood

    the problem is that some of your goals aren’t measurable or attributable

    Conversions are but I can drive conversions. How about cost per conversion?
    Revenue – can you attribute that back to your marketing? If not, it could be a new product, competitor dies etc
    Customer contacts? like leads? How is that different from your conversions?
    Improved business reputation – hmmmmm – you could basically add anything if you did this.

    ConversionsRevenueCustomer contactsImproved business reputationI stopped reading after Klout because I thought that section was a straw man article. Ok, you have found some guy who has abused the platform. Does that invalidate Klout as a metric for measuring reach and engagement? I think a more objective analysis would be good

    So the article is catchy, but it seems you offer straw man arguments to pick on some undoubtedly easy targets, but don’t offer any true, objective replacements.

    I love a follow up where you discuss your 4 metrics and how you convert them into goals and measure progress, *directly* attributable to your marketing efforts

  • http://www.newmediasources.ca/ P.T

    Thank you very much for reiterating what I’ve been preaching for 2 years since I got in the game. I can’t stress how mad I get when clients only care about SERP or PR…. UGH!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BoostRankSEO Boost Rank

    I completely agree. The only thing that matters to the client is their ROI. That’s the only important number. While SERPs should be tracked and monitored, at the end of the day it’s about how much you helped their bottom line.