Affected By $3

Posted On : December 16th, 2012   By : Dillip Kumar Mohanty   To : Google

Confused on the title? Yes, title like that in a SEO blog is really weird, non-relevant. But I feel this is the most suitable phrase to my subject.

History of the title:

For our SEO business, frequent communication goes on with new and prospective clients through email marketing or through different online freelancing sites. The first question of many clients is like this;

“Many applicants & companies offer $3/hour. Why would I hire you with such high rate?”

“Presently 5 (in some cases more) persons are doing SEO work for my site at $3/hour. I need more persons to speed up my SEO process. Your rate is outside of my budget limit.”

Or many job ads are like;

“I need top ranking for my 5 (or 8) keywords in Google and my budget is $150 (or $200 at most).”

“I need my new site to be optimized to top 10 ranking in Google in one month and my budget is $200.”

And especially after Penguin update, the following one is very common;

“My site is well optimized already. It was in top 10 for some keywords but due to some reason it has lost its ranking. I don’t think you have to put huge effort to it. Your offering rate $** is too high. So, if you agree, you may start at $3.”

I can’t help but laugh. I think whether people are really doing complete SEO at such prices. Is it possible to get ranking with such limited budget and short time? My concern is not the price but the effort they have to put to get the result (if ever they really get that). I know the magnificent effort I have to put to get top 10 ranking. If it involves a part of SEO like link building or forum posting, then it may be okay but for complete SEO strategy, it is impossible in my view.

Am I feeling envious as I’m losing the business to these guys doing at a lower price? Not at all. I am quite professional and I know the price tag of my work. Also, everybody in this business has their right to decide their price.

But the thought came to my mind after Penguin update in April this year. After this update, I have got many clients who got penalized due to this. The obvious reason is over-optimization. When I analyzed their site and previous SEO activity (in most cases, off-page activities), I knew the spamming done by the previous SEOs. For most clients, I found the following common activities;

  • Links in low quality blogs either banned by Google or having hundred of links in them
  • Hundred of profile linking in Forums without active participation
  • Hundred of low quality bookmarking & directory submission and the surprising thing is that most of these bookmarking sites and directories  have similar looks and names, just like clones.
  • Articles of similar subjects or scraped contents posted in Web 2.0 sites that are filled with similar articles. Most of them are either banned or considered as low quality by Google.
  • Social promotion looks like pure advertisement
  • And in all cases I found that the persons done SEO for these clients are hired at cheap rates.

From the above points it is quite obvious that the sites are penalized by Penguin. You may guess that there may be on-site issues that might have attracted a penalty. Yes, I have found issues like site-wide links, footer links, broken links, above the fold issues and some really low quality contents. But such cases are rare with many clients of mine.

I don’t think that the clients the hired SEO persons have ever felt the importance of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The clients just want massive work to get top ranking in short time. The guys doing SEO for them provide the same. Both have forgotten about the quality aspect which is the most important factor above all. Google always prefers quality to quantity. This is the common piece missing in all cases.

So, who is at fault, the client or the SEO professional? Most of you may say that it is the responsibility of the SEOs to maintain the balance. But in my view, both are at fault. Let’s discuss them separately.

Webmasters: As they are the owner of the sites, they should be more responsible in maintaining the quality. By quality, I mean both the quality of the products or services they are providing and quality of their sites to retain and convert the traffic to prospective customers. They should well aware about every point of Google’s Webmaster guidelines. To rank well in Google’s search, off-page optimization is a must. But it is not like a one pill solution or should not be achieved overnight. Unfortunately, many webmasters are just doing the opposite.

They want quick result and so fall  prey to the boastful ads about quick ranking in no time. Also they do not feel the voluminous work involved in off-page optimization and importance of it. Naturally they hire accordingly and prefer low cost and less time to save budget. And at this rate and restricted time, the SEO guy goes for the easiest and shortcut way; spamming. Any SEO professional knows what they are doing but they have no choice as the clients judge them by the volume of work. So they go more mass link building and promotion in a hurry. Clients would be happy to see such massive promotion in such less time. But the result is clear. Panda and Penguin are there to feed on you or a manual penalty is waiting for you. Every webmaster should remember that Google is just not watching what you are doing but it is more interested in how you have done this and time taken in the process. Ranking well needs persistent effort and maintaining quality at each level is the most important thing. Massive promotion is quite unnatural as such level of work is only possible in low quality sites. To rank well, Google always wants your presence in high quality and relevant sites through profile development and that needs quality work and time. But at such rate and with limited time, it is quite impossible to achieve that thing.

I am more concerned about rate as now SEO process is moving to complex level. You have to be paid members of different high quality sites and forums if you want to get the latest SEO updates. Also you need high quality SEO and social media paid tools for proper analysis of the site and off-page promotion. Yes, there are many free tools available there but they help you to a certain level. So, if you want a part of your SEO work to be done by an individual, then low rate and limited time are ok. But for complete SEO work, a well integrated approach is highly required and for this, both cost and time are to be considered by every webmaster.

SEO professionals: A client has his every right to decide his budget and time. Likewise we have every right to decide rate for our effort. We have two choices; either we accept the rate and time offered by the clients or deny. But for the sake of getting a job, we shouldn’t compromise with quality. When a client hires us, he believes that we will help him in every respect. We should respect his faith. Otherwise he will perish forever for our low quality service which will not create a good impression on our profession.

NB: Please don’t take this article as an offense to persons doing SEO work at low rate. I am more concern about the quality of the service. This article is especially written for those webmasters who consider SEO as a low quality job and those SEO professionals who are cheating good clients with spamming.

Dillip Kumar Mohanty

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