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Before going on, I want to make one thing clear. I am not setting out to be intentionally provocative with this article. It goes without saying that there are some excellent freelance search experts able to offer their clients first class advice in how to plan and execute an SEO strategy.

Instead, I am driven by helping those buying digital marketing services, SEO in particular, to make more informed decisions when sourcing external partners and agencies.

I am passionate about SEO, and digital marketing more generally, but I also understand it has its pitfalls, the main one being the complex, crowded and confusing market for SEO services.

As such, my purpose is not to antagonise the world of freelance SEO but to simply encourage buyers to question whether it is realistic for a freelancer to deliver every aspect of a highly effective SEO strategy on their own.

The well-publicised Panda and Penguin updates have had a significant (and in my view, positive) impact on the discipline of SEO. Whilst there remains a technical aspect to SEO, these updates (along with other fundamental changes to how Google ranks and displays its search results), have significantly changed the skillset and attributes required of today’s SEO practitioners. 

Let’s take a look at four of these areas in a bit more detail to explain my argument:

Customer insight, analysis, segmentation and persona development

Fundamentally, SEO is a marketing discipline, not a technical one meaning that an understanding of basic marketing principles is essential. Nothing is more important to a successful marketing strategy than a strong understanding of the audience you are looking to attract.

Today’s SEO strategies need to be underpinned by genuinely useful and engaging content (more on this later). But creating this content can only be achieved with an understanding of your customers, namely their problems, needs and motivations in purchasing a product and transacting with your business.

As such, SEOs need to possess the skill to interrogate their clients’ customer profiles and data and, if required, conduct research, carry our surveys and arrange focus groups on behalf of the client, as well as analyse, segment and build personas from all of the sourced data. 

From keyword targeting all the way through to the hot topic of the moment ‘content marketing’, this level of customer insight is vital to shaping SEO strategy but is too often ignored in the quick pursuit of rankings.

Online PR and brand building

Recent years has seen the gradual convergence of SEO and PR. Planned and executed in the right way, online PR not only raises awareness of a brand and their products but also supports a broader SEO strategy by building links from contextually relevant, high quality websites.

This is a far cry from buying links in mass or subscribing to blog networks, which many SEO’s employ due to ease (possibly laziness!) and the immediacy of which such techniques have historically had a positive impact on search engine rankings.

In the past, Google’s algorithm was not quite clever or sophisticated enough to ignore the poor quality links these techniques garnered but that is changing. The Panda and Penguin updates represent perhaps Google’s most aggressive attempt to clean up its search results and in turn, this is having a major impact on the approach that needs to be taken to link building in particular.

Visiting a website and sticking in your credit card details in return for thousands of links remains an option but presents a greater risk than ever before.

In contract, the skills one would associate with the world of PR, namely research, relationship building, storytelling, writing, pitching and negotiation are needed to build the kind of links Google rewards.

Content strategy and execution

Yes, it’s a massive cliché but content is king in the context of today’s Google. But I’d caveat this by saying that content needs to be genuinely useful and engaging and not, as has too often been the case in the past, created purely for the purposes of gaming search engines i.e. keyword stuffed articles.

Google has been hammering well known article sharing sites, as well as blog networks in recent months, which in turn has impacted the search results for businesses overly reliant on links from these sites.

As such, SEO’s now need to possess the skill and creativity to plan and execute a multi-format content strategy with two key objectives in mind:

  • Creating a richer and more rounded website experience, thereby aiding the ‘stickiness’ of a website and conversion rates
  • To gain visibility across search engines (think 'universal' or blended search), as well as relevant blogs, forums, online media and social networks, whilst being compelling enough, where relevant, to be shared by the target audience

 Content strategy and execution is a discipline in its own right. If you are looking to build a genuinely compelling brand experience shortcuts cannot be taken.

Social media

We’ve also been witnessing recently the growing influence of social media on search results. Many believe we are moving towards a time when links have less influence on search results. Instead, your ‘social status’ will have the strongest bearing. 

The SEO benefits of social media, in my opinion, should be seen as the by-product of a strong social media strategy, not the core objective. In turn, SEO’s need to understand the wider role social media plays in connecting with an audience at each stage of the buying journey.

Therefore, SEO’s need to have the skill and experience to help the client develop a social media strategy, deliver training and support, create policies and processes and ensure their clients up-skill accordingly so that social media contributes to the wider commercial objectives of the client not just the SEO objectives of the agency.

So how many people does it take to deliver an effective SEO strategy?

From the specific experience of how our agency has evolved in the last few years, I’d say at least four or five.

Broadly speaking, this might include;

  • A website optimisation expert, covering everything from keyword research through to conversion testing
  • A content strategist to plan, create, optimise and promote content – PR skills will be essential to this role
  • A social media expert would be integral to the team, not just because of the ‘social search’ angle but also to develop and manage the wider strategy I refer to above
  • I’d also argue an analyst would be needed who can interrogate tools such as Google Analytics and make informed decisions on how to optimise marketing channels and drive efficiency

It will also need one of those people, or somebody senior to them, to have the expertise and vision to develop the strategy and ensure it is working in unison with offline marketing and PR activity. Nothing can work in a silo.

Conclusion

The freelance world might disagree with me but frankly I do not think there is not an SEO in the world who can lay claim to having the expertise and experience to deliver, hands-on, every single facet of what makes up contemporary SEO.

What do you think? Has Panda killed the SEO freelancer or at the very least changed the approach they take to the delivery of SEO services?

P.S. If you freelance in SEO and believe you do possess each of the skills above in abundance, please get in touch – I’d pay you a very healthy wage!

Ben Potter

Published 26 July, 2012 by Ben Potter

Ben Potter is Commercial Director at Leapfrogg Digital Marketing and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow Ben on Twitter and Google+.

18 more posts from this author

Comments (43)

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Richard Speigal

I remember SEO. Those hazy crazy days.

about 4 years ago

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Bill Hewson

Very well written piece, thank you. As a digital marketing professional staring his own consultancy, these are the exact issues I'm contemplating as I define my service offering and thinking about the skills I want to have in my first hire. What I'm seeing is that agencies who used to position themselves as SEO specialists are now moving to integrate PR and social media into their service mix and positioning, with content marketing at their core. What I think they'll struggle with is the need to deliver creativity in brand voice development. Very few "search" agencies have been able to pull it off successfully, but it seems to be a requirement if even SEO firms survive, much less freelancers.

about 4 years ago

Ben Potter

Ben Potter, Commercial Director at LeapfroggSmall Business

Hi Bill, thank you for your comments. I am in total agreement with you. I firmly believe SEO is becoming a more creative discipline. In time, I think it will be the creative edge that seperates the good from the bad in the SEO space.

about 4 years ago

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Nick Stamoulis

Like you say, at it's core SEO is marketing. If you don't understand marketing (all different facets of it) your SEO campaign will be crippled from the start. I don't think the SEO freelancers are completely on the outs, but they need to broaden their skills in order to remain competitive. You may be an expert in one thing, but you better have a good understanding of everything.

about 4 years ago

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Preston McCauley

I disagree in part with your last comment. I've been doing SEO since webcrawler. This is before the dawn of most people even understood the impact of search engines. Well a lot has changed, I've kept up with the times and adapted.

I understand social and content and provide clients with both seo, social & content strategy consulting. Being a UX professional I think has lent itself well to this trade.

I think it can be done and I do it. I think its extremely hard to find one person with all those skills.

about 4 years ago

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James Blackman

I think this is a really well written blog. I am a freelance SEO so called expert (I am putting it like this as at the moment google has everyone guessing). but I think the Panda and Penguin updates will put a sense of trust and ethics into the industry makes genuine experts standout.

In my view as long as what Nick says above is taken into consideration. If you have not got a clue about marketing or view little idea then you can not do SEO.

Marketers have to be creative, they also have to be analytical as well. Often the fluffy marketers love image and how things look but miss the vital data and statistics which should drive the image....

Freelancers get the opportunity to work in many different industries often they will get embedded into the core workings on an organisation to find out what key messages to get out and also how to market them.

Its like any industry you can find a builder and they can turn out to be rubbish.

about 4 years ago

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David Quaid

HI Ben

Indeed your post does and should help those looking to buy SEO IM services and it's an unfortunate scenario where people looking to debate ideas should risk being shot down when the rest of SoMe is shouting about transparency and open communication.

Panda and Penguin took too long to come around. Google should have been there from day one.

The first problem with not taking a tougher stand on spammy and crappy SEO is that it upset so many web developers and other people interested in web marketing and pushed them away to where they now believe that having a hundred friends and advertising to them all day is a viable and better alternative.

But it not only allowed bad SEO, it hasn't and won't stop it. There are thousands of new-to-SEO's springing up who have a xxx.wordpress.com site or a site with "What We do > Services > We also do SEO" link on it somewhere because 1) we don't know what we don't know and 2) because we don't have anything else to sell and this looks easy and 3) because nobody is buying our SoMe optimisation.

It won't stop...but it does provide education to the buyers who will hopefully shop around and invest in the second round.

about 4 years ago

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Primary Position SEO

It would be great if it did - but it won't!

There are people commenting here who are clearly struggling with SEO but don't mind charging for it :-)

about 4 years ago

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Ron

That’s a really interesting piece, but I have to say I think freelancers will survive and prosper.

I suspect what will happen is that they’ll concentrate on smaller businesses, who think Google’s reference to Panda has something to do with a wild animal.

There are far more SME’s who have no time and often little clue about SEO that will be willing to pay someone to ‘sort out’ their SEO.

about 4 years ago

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

We are an Agency of 40 and have a background in Marketing. We have been implementing the new styles of link building for quite a while now, but many haven't and won't. I think the freelancers, one man bands and individual in-house SEO guys will really struggle to put together content and creative and distribute effectively.

about 4 years ago

Julian Grainger

Julian Grainger, Director of Media Strategy at Unique Digital

Freelancers still have a role in a world where creativity is now becoming more important than technical know how. Strategic advice will still need to come from those with experience and knowledge. I think what we are seeing is the squeeze on consultants with just 1-3 years experience.

I don't think it's particularly bad the squeeze is coming at the lower end of the experience scale. Many have called themselves experts after working on just a few websites. This has caused a credibility gap that we're now seeing closed.

The gap they filled in providing tactical implementation of short term projects is providing less and less work. The demand has moved toward outreach/PR, copy writing and design work.

This change is a good. It provides quality in output, something SEO has lacked in the past. It's also legitimised SEO in the eyes of brand driven sectors like FMCG and opened up new opportunities.

It's no coincidence that creative agencies are starting to report SEO revenues and SEO led digital media agencies are now calling themselves marketing services agencies.

This is going to grow a new crop of experts over time who will be talking to the marketing directors instead of the digital directors as SEO, like social media, takes a place at the centre of marketing strategies.

The challenge isn't employing SEO's anymore. It's employing creatives that want to do SEO.

about 4 years ago

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Kim Moore

This is a very refreshing a well written article. I agree with your views.

I have worked in marketing for the past 15 years. Since SEO came on to the scene, I've always felt that for a company's marketing to be effective, it could not sit separately, controlled by "experts" who didn't really understand what the company business objectives were or what its customers wanted.

Then social media was added to the fold, this made things even more fragmented.

I agree that and SEO freelancer/ or agency has a great deal to do and understand to effectivity support an organisations marketing efforts and help them achieve their business goals.

I work with organisations to create an effective marketing strategy. To do this effectively, i also pull on the support of an SEO expert, social media specialist, creative agency and copywriter who can deliver great content. Together, we produce great results. I couldn't achieve this without their support.

about 4 years ago

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Sandy

Can you give us some ideas how to make 5'000 affiliates to be all unique and build their brand selling the same product? :)

about 4 years ago

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David Shaw

Interesting post...

My only point is that I have seen a lot of small to medium sized businesses moving away from digital agencies over the past 3-4 months because of rising costs and a lack of business understanding.

Many small/medium sized businesses actually prefer the one-to-one communication they can build with an SEO consultant and the SEO consultant can get a much better understanding of the business they are working on behalf of.

I think the growing discontent I am seeing toward agencies is generally aimed at the few but I have seen a 20-30% increase in inquiries from sites who used to use agencies but who then got penalized in the Panda and Penguin updates.

It will be interesting to see where this trend goes.

about 4 years ago

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GrumpyOldSEO

I would agree that online marketing has changed and those skill sets you mentioned are all important now, but SEO in itself is still vitally important and can deliver results well beyond anything social etc can at he moment. SEO is far from dead and an experienced SEO freelancer will not be troubled too much by Panda or Penguin. In fact, there have been far bigger challenges previously from Google - e.g Florida - that was way bigger than Penguin. As Google evolves, SEOs adapt, the good ones anyway.

about 4 years ago

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Ian

Hi Ben

Interesting article, however I don't agree with a lot of the statements you make or some of the comments from the large agencies.

This is why.

There will always be a place for experienced online marketing pros (one man bands), the same as where there is a place for one man band web developers and designers or one man band PR agencies

Even with the most recent changes to the algorithm, an experienced web marketer can quite easily cope with the changes required and also be more agile and cost effective than the larger agencies which have higher overheads.

Along with the standard on site/technical optimisation which is where many fall down on as they do not have a marketing background combined with strong web programming / usability design skills, the main difference/focus now is getting quality links.

So the challenge is the same if you are a freelancer or part of a team at an agency. How do you create the quality content required, and have the links/contacts required to get exposure.

Taking one of the clients of pay on results seo for – the backlink profile for a team of 40, is nothing better than an experienced freelancer could achieve.

For example they are mainly directory listings, css design galleries or comments on blogs not relevant to the target site

So to recap it will kill off many of the freelancers who don’t tick all the boxes but there are some that have a combination of marketing, programming, usability and design skills that will continue to flourish.

about 4 years ago

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie, Founder at The Rainmaker Academy

Just to be slightly controversial back...

(and putting aside arguments about Panda/Penguin has resulted in some truly awful quality serps...)

While I agree that broader skills are needed now, I see no reason why that should hurt freelancers.

Plenty of freelancers have (or are capable of developing) skills in both marketing and the technical side.

So it'll cause a change, no doubt. But I'm not convinced it will create a wholesale shift to larger firms.

And frankly, my experience with most PR firms is that they haven't the slightest clue about marketing or true quality content. So adding PR skills to an SEO firm just adds more expensive non-value-adding headcount ;)

Ian

about 4 years ago

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Jessica Healy

A well excuted SEO strategy should indeed be managed from within the business. But I think more than ever it makes sense to employ specialist freelancers for certain aspects. For instance - freelance journalists to create great content, freelance link builders to seed that content across the web. You just have to make sure your freelancers are doing everything buy the book and building genuine links.

about 4 years ago

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Bil

Hi, as a person responsible for the marketing for several transactional websites that we own, I don't disagree with the comment that there is room for ensuring the right kind of company is contracted early on to look at the broader strategy. I think that you are right, it is hard to find a person with all the skill sets, but you don't need to find that in one person. You need to find that one person who understands each well enough to ensure they get the right people together to deliver the information. One wouldn't hire a finance manager to run a marketing department anymore than someone should look to hire a PR agency to deliver their Social Media strategy. The issue comes down to most companies trying to get the best service out of the least number of people in a depressed economy and using methods that are hard to prove direct ROI. I also think, (and I am at the risk of probably being drawn and quartered here) that not enough companies look to utilize any untapped in-house potential. No one sitting on the outside will ever be able to live, breathe and understand the passion of your business as much as anyone who works inside it daily. This is where I think the one man band or even agencies should look to add value. They should provide the direction for the company and help them work on delivering part of it themselves. I know of one small company where the one of the graphic designers actually has great written skills and writes the weekly blog. The receptionist loves facebook and she populates it and manages any facebook promos that are set by the marketing manager. It may not be pretty but it works and in fact they take orders weekly as a result of this "left of centre" social media strategy. But it took a brave external consultant who knew the best way was to help them, help themselves.

about 4 years ago

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David Bassney

What you are talking about, Ben, is publishing. All of the roles you describe are distinct roles in a publishing company, and a strong Product Manager will weave them together to create an SEO strategy.

SEO experts are not marketers - marketers are marketers. SEO experts are not content strategists - that's the job of editors. Same for social media strategy - editorially driven.

If you want a really good job done, hire an experienced publisher.

about 4 years ago

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Victor M.

Loved the article - anything that chips away from the idea of employing some freelance to do a 3mo job on your website is sweet music to my ears. Sure, let's go ahead and throw some marketing speak while we're at it, especially if it makes the less technical feel more comfortable in the field.
But here's 2c from another player - if you try to promote a lesser / newer brand or occupy a crowded niche, strong technical knowledge remains key. Said this before - no need to worry about rankings if you do what G. are telling you, because you're not going to rank on competitive keywords anyway. If anything, what these updates did was crank up the cost - and since margin is often a percentage on top of that, they simply helped those with enough money to make even more, while rooting out some of the freelancers. Now, to decent-sized agencies this is good - but it's not because the freelancers cannot catch-up, but because we can throw enough resources at it to make them look ineffective by comparison.
And that's a good thing, from where I am looking!

about 4 years ago

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Craig Bennett

Perhaps we'll see a rise in PPC to leverage keywords and long-tail search. Google wins again.

about 4 years ago

Ben Potter

Ben Potter, Commercial Director at LeapfroggSmall Business

Hi everyone, thank you for the comments and feedback, very much appreciated.

I think your view on this topic will probably depend on how you actually define ‘SEO’. Personally, I do not believe that SEO in itself is an adequate term in this day and age to cover the myriad of skills involved, and indeed the wider impact (beyond search results) that good ‘SEO’ delivers. I think if you share this view, you are more likely to be in agreement with me because there is an understanding that SEO (in its broadest sense) crosses over into so many other areas that are viewed as disciplines in their own right.

That is the basis of my argument really…that social media, PR, content strategy, etc are disciplines that exist with or without SEO. And because they are specific disciplines, with specific qualifications required, along with hands on experience at delivering them, I simply question whether one person can legitimately claim to possess them all (and of course many others that I don’t even refer to in the article).

However, to Ian's point about there always being a 'place for experienced online marketing pros (one man bands)', I totally agree. I’m not dismissing freelancers out of hand. I just think there needs to be a high degree of openness and transparency from freelancers and agencies alike as to where their strengths lie and therefore where additional expertise needs to be brought in to cover off disciplines that I view as specialist in their own right.

I suspect however that I am being a touch idealist in my view!

about 4 years ago

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Jeremy Angelis

Certain SEO freelancers have/will adapt and evolve, by focusing on their craft and using their resourcefulness and creativity (not just technical aptitude) to learn the new 'rules of engagement' and how best to exploit these for capturing their specific target market. So it is not really a matter of 'contract type' but individual intelligence and capability.

The understanding and importance of a target market's behaviours, attitudes and needs for SEO purposes has moved up a zillion notches...and I welcome relevant, higher quality content adding to our user experience.

@Ian...I totally agree that many PR firms haven't the slightest clue about marketing or true quality, targeted content...they could do with a refresher in marketing 101!

Good article Ben.

Cheers
Jeremy

about 4 years ago

Michael Wilkins

Michael Wilkins, Freelance Digital & Content Marketing at Freelance

Sorry to be negative, but I think this is quite a naive, biased, and poorly thought out post.

Firstly, the point that freelancers can, and often do, work with other freelancers to complement their own skills is completely missed.

Secondly, it's arguable that good freelancers - who definitely can be intelligent enough to learn several disciplines beyond traditional SEO - can actually work in a far more integrated, coherent and effective way than a mongolian clusterf*ck of isolated agency staff, with spurious titles like 'content strategist'.

Also, I'm not remotely biased. Having worked as a freelancer for a while I'm about to take up a full time role again - but it probably helps to know what it's like to operate on both sides of the fence before writing posts like this.

about 4 years ago

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie, Founder at The Rainmaker Academy

Lol. Funniest comment ever.

I think maybe that definition should be in the dictionary somewhere.

Integrated Digital Agency: noun: a Mongolian clusterf*ck of islolated mediocre staff, apparently able to outperform freelancers because of the adoption of made-up roles like "content strategist".

I like.

almost 4 years ago

Ben Potter

Ben Potter, Commercial Director at LeapfroggSmall Business

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your comments. I acknowledge your point regarding freelancers working together. But by doing so, does it not reinforce my point that one person cannot manage all of these different aspects of a contemporary SEO strategy on their own?

Regarding bias, whilst I have worked agency side during the entirety of my career (10 years in digital), I know (and have worked with) many freelancers over the years and spoke to a number of them in putting together this article for their thoughts. If any bias came across in the article it was certainly without intention.

almost 4 years ago

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matt bernnett

I agree with Mike, and wholeheartedly agree with the metaphor for "integrated" agency SEO! The problem I think in the above is that you're talking about SEO from the POV that all clients are the same. What about the SMEs, the B2Bs and all manner of other businesses that have no interest, time, budget or requirement for social media campaigns, or big data analysis or content marketing? Some of those companies are perfectly happy with an SEO who just looks after their brand space and keeps things ticking over. And for these guys grass roots SEO hasn't changed. On-site SEO hasn't changed. Social footprints aren't a massive part of the algorithm yet.

I think you're seeing the value of a large agency team with specialisms but missing the point that most freelance SEOs (the real freelance SEOs and not just people kidding themselves) are more suitable to certain sorts of clients (and more specifically their budgets)!

almost 4 years ago

Michael Wilkins

Michael Wilkins, Freelance Digital & Content Marketing at Freelance

Cheers for the reply Ben (and hope you managed to find some humour in my response too). I agree with the point that freelancers might find it more difficult to work on their own as 'SEO' becomes more content-focused - much as isolated SEO departments will struggle within agencies - but I don't agree that freelancers will become redundant because a more complete SEO service is needed.

In the same way that agency departments have to work together more closely, freelancers can just do the same thing by working with other freelancers. And in that sense, I disagree with one of the key points that I took (maybe misunderstood?) from the article: that freelance SEO has been 'killed'.

almost 4 years ago

Ben Potter

Ben Potter, Commercial Director at LeapfroggSmall Business

Hi Michael,

I absolutely saw the humour...particularly liked the 'mongolian clusterf*ck of isolated agency staff' comment'!! Seems we may share a similar view of the larger agencies.

By no means do I think that freelancers will become redundant or that freelance SEO is dead...it just needs to evolve and that will mean greater openness, transparency and collaboration than perhaps we have seen in the past.

And by the way, I don't think this applies only to freelancers...agencies need to do exactly the same. But sadly, many won't and that will continue to see naive buyers make poor purchasing decisions.

almost 4 years ago

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Niklas Vaittinen

Great article, and a great article title to gain attention too (but well deserved)

SEO has always been about marketing, it's just more obvious now that search engines are becoming better at showing most relevant and best content for search queries, and the industry has to actually understand marketing.

Panda will not kill freelancers.

For freelancers, I see two options (I'm sure there are more...)

1. Specialise: While still possibly offering your all-around SEO service, one might decide to dedicate time to deepen knowledge on 1-2 chosen niches within the industry, e.g. on-site optimization and analytics.

Your future clients would be agencies who alongside core staff use trusted and known freelancers, such as yourself, to rock your expertise bit, and the agencies deliver the whole, end product to the client.

As the industry becomes more scattered, and deep level of areas of expertise are required, recruiting will become more challenging for SEO agencies in general.

2. Target market/SMEs/Training: Local concentration or specific business industry concentration.

Also, SMEs offer significant potential. SMEs cannot afford (or shouldn't invest!) on all different types of SEO experts (or an agency if numbers don't match up), however need at least the basic grasp of SEO and Online Marketing (hence training) and move forward from there.

almost 4 years ago

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Charlotte Britton

Gosh it's created a stir this one. I see this from a very different angle. With recent changes - being agile enough to change strategy is key, and I wonder how agile the larger agencies are to do this?

I've worked in SEO since Google was launched and witnessed many changes. What Ben is talking about is change management and whether the freelance SEO will still exist.

I'd argue it will, but as others have said, they need to adapt. The social signals play a key indicator and will continue to do so. Therefore the freelance SEO people need to widen their skillset or collaborate with people who can deliver other aspects.

The other aspect is that SEO isn't just down to the web team now - it reaches out into PR as well - and in larger companies that's a separate department. So it's also about influencing skills - and getting people within the client's company onboard.

almost 4 years ago

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Ecommerce SEO

Google Panda and Penguin are not bad for SEO, but they want to stop spamming. So People don't use duplicate content in their website.

almost 4 years ago

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Wray

This paragraph will help the internet users for setting up new
weblog or even a blog from start to end.

almost 4 years ago

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Nandkishor

There are strong reasons that links should always been part of ranking algorithm unless we don't have an alternative of anchor text or keyword worthy content. These two elements - anchor text and keyword are the bread and butter for the links. The majority of SEO services in demand is link building, when it confirms that it doesn't have any impact to the ranking, Do you think, it will be the last day for SEO?

almost 4 years ago

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Giorgio Burlini

I was in New York recently attending a "programming for non-programmers" course. Funny thing, when mentioning the job description for working in a web company, SEO expert was crossed out.

There is not such thing as SEO expert job, but plenty of space in copywriting, analytics, community management etc etc, which bring us the core aspect of this post.

Maybe is just a New York thing...

almost 4 years ago

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Lee Marriott, Ecommerce Manager at 5th Floor The Tower

With every algorithm update from Google people begin to question SEO and its longevity. Providing people with high value, relevant content has never changed. It's how the freelance SEO's adapt, change and react to the algorithm changes that will ultimately decide their fate. Seasoned SEO's will have been through many changes throughout their career and the good ones will continue to evolve.

almost 4 years ago

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Organic SEO

I hope its not a case of Google killing SEO freelancers but more a case of their algorithm becoming more intelligent and evolving. The focus now seems to very much be on quality and google are looking to reward websites that off value to the user. If your site has valuable and unique content it is likely that Google will rank it. Over the past year with all the changes and tweaks a much larger focus now seems to be given towards social signals and freshness of content so if your content is getting liked and shared and your website is being updated regularly and you have a health flow of traffic, Google hopefully will not ignore this and the website will rank. While all this is going on there is always a need for good quality backlinks pointing towards your site and this is important but the same rules apply on pages linking to your domain, look for quality and value of content, if Google values the page then the link will hold value too, spammy link pages are a big no, though they may still work in the short term, in the long term I believe they will do more harm than good, or just simply pass no weight or value, in all there is still a great deal of work for an SEO freelancer to do but maybe it has become a little harder as the bar has been raised.

almost 4 years ago

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John

This is an interesting but I think fairly redundant argument. As with anything in this world there are good freelancers doing SEO and bad ones. There's also a few good agencies and a hell of a lot of bad ones.

I can tell you that personally the majority of my direct customers come to me after having terrible experiences with "agencies" both large and small. We all know the story, you're sold on the promise of fluffy creative content strategies and 6 months later you find you've been paying the agency £700/ day for an intern to write few guest posts and subcontract some spamming to manual link building;-)

The fact of the matter is with any SEO agency the best people rise to the top where they no longer have time to do any actual SEO work, or leave the agency and become freelancers and its inexperienced junior staff who end up doing the actual work.

almost 4 years ago

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sabrina sabino

Contemporary SEO requires exactly that...someone who is flexible enough to constantly update themselves with the ever-changing search engine algorithms. I don't know if there's such a thing as an expert, some people do a great job of overall promotion. But I guess most of us can only do our best and hope that our custom strategies somehow work their way up to the top of the SERPs.

almost 4 years ago

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Digital Media

I think there will be more demand for freelance SEO consultants especially from small & medium sized companies. The marketing budget of a small organisation is not very high, so these organisations won't be able to hire a large agency .

over 3 years ago

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Clax

I'm looking for best related backlinks for your site, the price is 99 usd for approximately 75 manual backlinks. On my site clax.co you can find more information.

over 3 years ago

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Pankaj Verma, SEO Consultant at Ganpatizone

Looking forward to new post.

10 months ago

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