If you read my last post you will know that a competitor of one of my clients has recently been penalised by Google because of their link profile – and very dodgy it looks too with over 31,000 links from predominantly foreign language forum profiles. It is quite possible that the company in question didn’t know what their SEO company were up to (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt) – maybe they just thought they were very good at getting very high rankings very quickly – who knows?
I happen to know that their SEO company have a very professional looking website and seem, at first glance, to be a reputable company; that is until you search for “<company name> complaints”. In fact, I didn’t actually search for that term – it simply came up as a suggestion in Google so clearly plenty of other people are searching for it even though the company is working hard to suppress the complaints with positive press.
But all of this got me thinking more about how many large companies there are who actually don’t know what their link profile looks like and, worse, maybe don’t understand what their SEO people are doing to improve their rankings. I always provide my clients with a list of places where links are being generated on a monthly basis and if this had happened for the banned website they would probably have seen a suspicious pattern emerging.
I was discussing the banned website with a marketing exec from a different industry but from a company comparable in size and reputation to the company banned/penalised by Google and she “felt sure” their SEO company were not engaging in any un-ethical SEO tactics because they are a reputable company. But so, apparently, were the SEOs for the banned site and she had no evidence to back up her assumptions.
At the other end of the scale from a mega 31,000 links campaign, I have also this week been looking at a much smaller company who only had their brand new website go live a couple of weeks ago but already they are on page one for their most preferred search term – and, guess what? They only have 3 links! I know that the search term is not very competitive and that the website is extremely well optimised so got off to a better start than many large expensive websites that focus more on design and only consider SEO when they realise they have very few visitors, but this is still a success story for a small local company.
Just take a look at the leap in rankings over a fews days below…
If you remember the days when the number of links were all that mattered for high Google rankings this is a perfect example of what white hat SEOs have been saying for several years – it is not the quantity of links that is important but the quality. I will issue the proviso that quantity does also matter if, for instance, competitors have lots of good quality links but small website owners everywhere take heart that just a few good links can get you to Page 1 of Google for certain keywords.