This is a follow on from the posts – How I started in SEO, Always Expect The SEO Bubble To Burst, TJ You’re a Genius, Building a Business Directory , V7ndotcom Elursrebmem Competition, The Google Minus 30 Penalty, We had no Google Webmaster Tools, Sim64.co.uk Mothballed, Giving up the Day Job, Business Directory Listings Explode, No More Self Editing, Released From The Google Minus 30 Penalty, Sim64 The Start of the WordPress Years and SEO – Go back and read those 1st.

Why I don’t like doing SEO for Other people

There are a number of reasons why I don’t like doing SEO for Other people, the main one being they just don’t realise what is involved and how time consuming little things can be.

The worst examples are when you are researching or problem solving.

A typical example.
Someone comes along and says they have suddenly lost their Google rankings and can you have a look to see why.

When that happens I tend to have a little routine I tend to go through;

  1. Check for a badly formed robots.txt
    • It still happens occasionally where people accidentally block their sites from Google with their robots.txt, so always wise to check this 1st
  2. Check to see what their headers are returning
    • A quicker header check to ensure the page is returning a 200 is a must
  3. A google cache check
    • This can be handy to not only see when Google cached the site but also to ensure that Google is seeing what you are seeing, also can be used to see if the site has been hacked and returning different content to Google based on the user agent
  4. Check for canonical issues
    • If you have similar versions of the same page and want Google to prioritize one version it is always wise to check for badly set up canonical tags tags
  5. Check for duplicate or cannibalization issues
    • If the site has lots of very similar pages ensure that they are not effectively competing against each other in the eyes of Google and diluting the sites strength
  6. Checking Page titles
    • I think most SEO’s will agree that page titles are still one of the most important aspects when it comes to on page SEO
  7. Navigation structure
    • It still happens where people have poor navigation systems which can effectively isolate whole sections of a website from the main structure
  8. This list goes on and on – Sometimes you spot a small detail right at the start of the process and can correct it within an hour, other times it may take 3 or 4 hours to spot the issue and when you bill the client for the time they think you are robbing them because it appears it was just a very simple 5 minute fix, the fact it may have taken a few hours to spot the error and do the 5 minute fix is irrelevant to them.

    Other reasons why I seldom do SEO for other people anymore

    Realistic Expectations

    There are still people out there who think they can simply build a website, submit it to Google and have it ranking high for numerous competitive keywords within a week.

    When it doesn’t they immediately think the SEO is rubbish or is scamming them.

    When the business owner is selling a product or service that 100’s of others have been for a decade and their website isn’t immediately outranking them – That’s the SEO’S fault.

    When the business owner is just copy n pasting content and images from elsewhere and not ranking – That’s the SEO’s fault

    When the business owner sees anyone who is doing something just slightly similar as a direct rival rather than a potential relationship, thus having no relationships and potential link building opportunities – That’s the SEO’S fault.

    When the website is ranking well for numerous key phrases that are bringing in a steady stream of traffic, but not in the top 10 for 1 particular keyword, the business owner just obsesses on the Keyword it’s not ranking for, concentrates on that and starts loosing traffic – That’s the SEO’S fault.

    When the business owner constantly changes things not allowing any time for anything to settle or monitor – That’s the SEO’S fault.

    When the business owner is paying the SEO £200 a month, expects him to be at his beck and call and to be able to ring at anytime and expect a reply – It’s the SEO’s fault for poor communications and service.

    When the SEO get’s good links on other sites, but the business owner doesn’t like them and gets them removed, leading in a drop in rankings – It’s the SEO’s fault

    When the business owner won’t provide any content, won’t do anything social – It’s the SEO’s fault

    When the SEO is spending 99% of his allocated time slightly re-writing text, changing images, re-sizing images, slightly altering layouts, talking on the phone, monitoring PPC, preparing reports, etc. – It’s the SEO’S fault that not much actual SEO is being done.

    The Main Reason I Rarely do SEO for Other People Anymore

    As The Lovely Eggs would say – People Are Twats

    Continue reading my SEO story here – Setting up Google Maps Listings

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