Forest Software

Web, SEO and IT & Business Advice for the Smaller Business

This blog post is as a result of a conversation that I had recently with a prospective client who came to me with a list of things that they wanted me to do as part of the SEO work and would only consider using our services if we agreed to the list.

So, listed below are a list of things that we will not do if you want us to work on search engine optimisation for you.

1.  Promise a first place position in the search results

You may, like us, get emails on a regular basis that say that the sender is an SEO firm with a lot of experience and that this means that their (hundreds of) staff will get you to the top of the search results.  Of course they never actually state what they “will get you to the top of the search engine results” for and how useful the phrase that they are working on will be in getting you sales or clients.

They also seem to ignore this comment by Google that “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”

2.  Use un-needed meta tags

Despite what you may have read (there is a lot of old and just plain wrong information on  the web), there is no benefit in using several meta tags.

Typically we will not use the :-

  • keywords meta tag (Google hasn’t read this for many years)
  • robots meta tag to tell Google that the page should be indexed and any links on the page should be followed (the default followed by all search engines)
  • revisit meta tag – there is no point in using this tag as the search engines will decide when they need to revisit the page by following their own “rules” – for example if the page has never changed then the engines know that there is a good chance that the page will not have changed the next time they visit.  If this is the case why should they use their bandwidth and computing resources to read the page too often?

3. Concentrate purely on results.

There is a tremendous temptation when looking for an SEO professional to concentrate on the results that you think your want, this is often a phrase that you think you want to be found for but may not be one that people search for (its an industry term or jargon).  One example of this is business insurance, I’ve recently been approached by a firm who specialise in “business protection”, the only problem is that what they call business protection is what you or I would call business insurance.

A professional SEO person will understand internet marketing and advise you, not only on the best phrases to aim for but will also take a look at your site and may make suggestions to improve the usability of the site making it easier for your prospects to place an order or make an enquiry.

4. Add links to our clients or us  to your site

Recently I have come across several SEO firms who have added links to from a clients site to others of their clients in an attempt to get links to their clients and indeed to boost the rankings of their own site.

While in the past this may have been a acceptable thing to do nowadays it’s more likely to mean that your site gets caught by one of the various Google rules that relate to linking to poor quality sites (and if they do the same thing to get your site links by the rules about linking from irrelevant sites).

5.  Only charge if we get results

Again, you, like me, may get regular emails offering a pay by performance deal for the SEO on your site.  Now, while this seems like a good idea there are two possible problems with this idea.

  • To get fast results is possible but normally only be using “dodgy” methods that may result in penalties or bans for your site.
  • Why should any professional work for nothing for several months with the promise that, as long as the Google algorithms don’t change in the meantime, you will pay them at some point in the future.

Apart from the idea that you would employ a professional in any role and then tell them what to do (if you wouldn’t tell your accountant how to advise you on tax planning or your legal adviser how to interpret the law why would you tell your SEO professional how to promote your site?) the items above are not good practice which is why they are something we would not do when working on the optimisation of your site.

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