• http://twitter.com/kristelcuenta Kristel Cuenta

    Good points here, Jordan! Love your takeaway! No shortcuts, period!

  • http://twitter.com/deswebs Alli Denning

    Well done, Jordan! I wrote a piece talking about the ineffectiveness of SEO shortcuts a while back. Same sentiments. Of course, SEO has changed considerably since I wrote this piece, but your piece shows that even with major shifts (Penguin, Panda, etc), the idea that taking the time to do something right is always a good idea. http://denningesolutions.com/1Q2008-cant-i-just.html

  • http://www.39celsius.com/ Toby Danylchuk

    Hear, hear! Would love to forward this to all those potential clients that decided cost was the main issue driving their decision making. This issue is even more prominent in countries outside the U.S. where the decision makers are less sophisticated in online marketing.

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/ Jordan Kasteler

    Do it, Toby! :)

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/ Jordan Kasteler

    Good points as well in your article. Thanks!

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/ Jordan Kasteler

    Thanks, Kristel!

  • https://plus.google.com/115194199565322841506/about John Britsios

    Jordan great post! You confim what I already announced a while ago:
    http://www.seoworkers.com/errors/604.html LOL

  • Sheldon Campbell

    Spot on, Jordan! It’s amazing how much time and money some folks are willing to waste (and the risks they’re willing to take) to find that non-existent SEO Silver Bullet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tormobritapaja Sandra Tormo Britapaja

    i love this page ¡¡¡

  • http://twitter.com/kjsudbury Keith

    I think I’m going to forward a few people here when they say my prices are too high :) its good to point people to a 3rd party source explaining that cheap seo is baaaaad mmmmmmmm’k

  • http://twitter.com/NandaLinnAung Nanda Linn Aung

    nicely written!

  • http://www.welive2care.com/ lead generation company

    This is a good reference for pricing SEO service.

  • Rajesh Kumar

    You are 100% right… Internet Marketing needs time… company is willing to invest on Interiors, Tablet PC, Smart Phone… they will hire MBA professional theoretical knowledge but with ZERO practical experience… They just see your certificates they don’t see your experience…

  • nishant rajora

    yes this is an extreme post which leads to be mind shaping of the seo agencies and clients who expect the impossible results in a short period of time and that all is not in our hand because we all know this is not like magic stick game

  • http://wordswordsseowords.com/ Christopher Skyi

    Could not agree more. Effective SEO, i.e., content, REAL links (not spam), and Google Analytics (to maximize site performance AFTER SEO has gotten traffic to the site) was never cheap. It’s just that up until 2011 & 2012 Google couldn’t quite filter out the spam from their ranking algorithm, but those days are over now. Effective SEO is now a fairly expensive investment. Organic traffic almost always brings in more qualified leads and sales then PPC. Nevertheless, if a company can only afford a few hundred dollars per month, & if they don’t feel like creating content that communicates with their potential customers, they’re far better off just putting that $$ into Adwords and paying for the traffic (and hopefully the sales/conversions) they need.

  • https://twitter.com/sanketpatel Sanket Patel


  • http://www.zdenek-hejl.com/ Zdeněk Hejl

    Absolutely agree with this article.

    You should also create some simple infographics from this article which will be easily downloadable and shareable.

  • Peter Kern

    Sorry but the results in Google are full of spam so you don’t really know what you are talking about. Good SEO can still be much more cheaper than wasting money on adwords.

  • Rob

    You hit the nail right on the head. We have found that business owners who go cheap for their online marketing generally have other flaws. This probably means that even if they read this post it would not change their mind.

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

    “If you are
    not 100% clear on what they’re doing, you’ll have no guarantee they’re
    not doing something that could get your site penalized.”

    That’s why I aim to be as transparent as possible with my SEO clients. At the end of the day, no matter who built the links, if it’s your site it’s your problem. I know it’s tempting to hand your SEO off and wash your hands of it but you need to be involved, learn and ask questions!

  • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.matthews.148 Natalie Matthews

    Great article! My sentiments exactly, I am so sick and tired of seeing so-called experts jabber on using all of the fancy techno speak jargon and in reality they have no idea about the fundamental rules of SEO.

  • http://www.righthatseo.com/ Tyson Stevens

    I love this post. But the wrong people are reading it. This is a post for clients and bosses. We SEOs already know these issues. We warn our clientele of the outcomes, but they tend to not heed the warnings.
    What’s the real issue then, lack of knowledge or lack of trust?

  • http://twitter.com/MandyModGirl Mandy McEwen

    Great article and so true. I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and the online marketing world is no exception. Even when you try explaining this to small business owners on a budget, they still think they can get the same results from the other guy who promises the moon for $2. It’s sad because most of the time they are doing more harm than good. I’m beyond the point of explaining why our services are better and why they are more expensive… I’m hoping my new website gets that point across. Do you want quality services from a reliable company who is 100% results driven or do you want to take a shot with the sleaze-ball company who promises you 10k Facebook fans by next week?

    Companies who are serious about investing their marketing budget wisely will see the difference between legitimate companies and companies just trying to make a buck. If they don’t – well, that’s their loss, not ours!

  • http://twitter.com/RagilPembayun Ragil Pembayun

    Lack of trust derives from fear, and fear originates from the unknown which leads to the vital point of your statement – lack of knowledge. Educating the key decision makers should be part of the SEOs’ tasks nowadays. It’s not an obligation anymore, it has become an urgent need. Ignore educating your clients watch your business sinks.

    @jordankasteler:disqus Hit.the.nail.on.the.head! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535260227 Jeff Kean

    Disagree on adwords being a waste, Good SEO can be cheap yes, however you CANNOT show that “SEO” to someone in LA at 3pm on a Tuesday in 50 mile radius of xxxxx postal code, ad words wins. The fact that you say “cheaper than wasting money on adwords.” shows what you know about adwords. Just my .02 cents

  • Morgan Enroughty

    When potential clients start asking for pricing, these topics are great answers for them. It’s always a mindblow that my rates are relatively the same as the lawyer they currently have on retainer.

  • http://twitter.com/SocialMichelleR Michelle StinsonRoss

    Right on Jordan! Small and medium size businesses are suffering from not understanding the value of what they are paying for. Just talked to a potential client that wants the phones to start ringing, but his first question was “how much will it cost?” Never mind that I was GIVING him a valuable education by talking to him.

  • http://www.righthatseo.com/ Tyson Stevens

    I agree. A company I used to work for did a great job educating their clients and the outcome was long-term business, much less customer dissatisfaction and less frustrated phone calls.
    The hard part is trying to re-educate clients, especially the ones who think they know SEO: “I dabbled in SEO about 2-3 years ago”<—oh no.

  • Ali Husayni

    Good article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=530064343 Sean Switzer

    Great article. I agree wholeheartedly with every point. I always say, “Take a step back and look at it from Google’s perspective. Their goal is to present the most relevant, original content to the Internet-viewing public. That provides value to its users, which allows Google to charge for advertising. Without the relevant, original content, Google would be providing little to no value and would thus be unable to sell advertising. Give Google what it wants, with zero shortcuts, and your site will do much better in the long run.”

  • http://twitter.com/Chande Goran Candrlic

    and so I saved the client from both Panda & Penguin, his organic is growing some 125% and he asks: “it costs THAT much? and guys from India were sending me weekly reports of the links”. some clients are better left to their doom. explaining, education, showing results doesn’t work for them. it’s how much they pay. so if they are cheap (or were in the past), don’t work with them. let their websites sink.

  • Kelsey Nupnau

    Jordan – you did a great job with this – well done. I also agree that you can’t pay for “cheap” SEO and social media tactics. Unfortunately we see that it has been the price that has scared away clients in the past – primarily because they are afraid to try social media and they are impatient. If you want SEO and social media to work well, patience is absolutely necessary.

  • http://twitter.com/ArtScienceWeb Art Science Web

    Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Answers all the questions I get on a regular basis. Now explaining it to clients without having them “find out” for themselves is another thing.

  • Peter Kern

    Adwords can be good if you have huge budget and you don’t care that 40% of clicks will come from competitors

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

    This comment hits some hard points business owners, like myself, sometimes need to face. Understanding all of the intricacies of social media can be difficult, hence why investing the money and giving the time are vital aspects to have effective social media. This post has some important lessons to learn- don’t skimp on social media, it’s not worth it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nichefinders Andrew Boyd

    This article is 100% full of truth and win. Great content here Jordan!

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  • http://twitter.com/YamalDodgyData YamalDodgyData

    Gareth wait till you get the Indian outsourcing companies in on this.

    Wipro or Infosys can provide 500 astro-turfing spammers easily for $65k per year

  • http://www.winsonyeung.com/ Winson Yeung

    Very true. There’s no shortcut in SEO especially with the cheap content = Panda. I tend to get 1000 words for my main post and non of my post are less than 500 words. Each of them should contain images to improve the quality of the blog post as well.

  • http://twitter.com/ittrainers LearnComputer

    I think part of it is that the majority of the business owners are in the business other than “internet/online” and know precious little when it comes to web sites, let alone SEO. For these folks, the difference between an SEO who knows what he’s doing and one that doesn’t is a fine one. If everyone was as informed as you are, the “cheap SEO services” would not be as sought out a keyword as it is today.

  • http://twitter.com/olafapijl Olaf Pijl

    I agree! Communication is a must, as business owners often have no idea about SEO. Make sure that they know what you’re doing and communicate results. This will leads to a better client-agency relationship, more and better SEO opportunities, and more work for your agency.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535260227 Jeff Kean

    yeah cause you cant just filter them out by IP addys *rolls eyes* :)

  • http://twitter.com/RegDCP Reg Charie

    You say:
    “Don’t buy your links. Don’t fall for miracle-worker pitches, and be prepared to pay a decent price for a linkbuilding campaign.”

    What is the difference between buying links and paying to have links placed?

    Both are against Google’s TOS and the primary reasons for both Panda and Penguin.

    The SEO pros that pushed building links are the reason Google is out to kill SEO.
    At the start of the link purge we have Panda and Penguin. The sites that were found to build links just to influence search results may never recover.

    Then we find out that Google has a randomizing filter patent to intentionally mess with a newly submitted change by varying it’s results before the page attains it’s proper level.

    Make a change to improve the SEO on a page and the filter places the page far below what you would have expected it’s results to be.
    You make another change to ‘fix’ the problem and Google has you spotted as doing SEO and penalizes the whole site.
    Matt Cutts was not kidding when he said that the SEO pros are not going to like Google’s actions.

    Without link building and constant tweaking the SEO fees should come out of the stratosphere and back to earth where they belong.

    Just how much can you charge for doing on-page SEO, the only thing that really counts?

  • http://twitter.com/RichardBrashear Richard Brashear

    In the SEO Biz and you are spot on with your assessments here. Really enjoyed the article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002517305987 Jennifer Torres

    I love it! What a great article! Many people still don’t know the difference between SEO and SEO and they choose cheap providers. Then they come to me later, burned, that they the money they paid didn’t do anything. Didn’t work and it is so hard to explain to them that what I do is much better and they will see results! All they see is that I am charging way more when they don’t believe in SEO anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002517305987 Jennifer Torres

    Length is not quality. People I know (including me) if the article is too long, we are not reading it, just scanning it through. I won’t be spending longer time on a page with 1000 words than on a page with 300. So I think paying for another 600-700 more words to a writer is not going to bring more value back. This is what I noticed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002517305987 Jennifer Torres

    exactly my experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fionn.downhill Fionn Downhill

    Yep same here. An the the links reports is what killed them but they still think the grass is greener. If I could pay what some clients pay for SEO and get the return they get I would do it all day long.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fionn.downhill Fionn Downhill

    Tyson lack of knowledge. As an industry we have done a rotten job of educating consumers on what real SEO is. At this stage 14 years later the snake oil SEO’s should be history but there are still prominent enough to create confusion for consumers of search services.

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyn115 jimmyn

    But at the same time, expensive doesn’t automatically mean good. If some chancer on a forum puts his SEO “service” up by $500 it doesn’t automatically mean it’s quality work!