|High-quality and free links in high volume? Is it doable?|
woes of an in-house SEO
If you're an in-house SEO, you may understand me.
Here are the facts of my daily life:
*Industry that everyone hates
*Must build several dozen of links a month
*Ridiculously strict criteria (PR, DA, Alexa and all other metrics that my boss has read about in the "SEO guru" blogs)
*I must not provide compensation to the webmasters (and I'm not talking about buying sidebar links or anything similarly ridiculous)
*The sites must not contain references to "guest blogging", "advertising" and similar stuff.
I've always done high-quality so I have no issues with that, but when you add high volume in the mix and keep the salary at the same level, there is a problem.
The main issue I encounter when going through the list of linking opportunities is that the big and good sites don't need my stats, research, infographics, guest posts or whatever original content I might offer them because they're fully staffed. They might take something from me but they will expect something in return :) (think dollars)
Don't get me wrong, I often get positive feedback regarding the stuff I've created but the compliments are usually followed by "but since your site is of commercial nature, we require that you......"
With the smaller, privately owned sites, 98% of them will not match the criteria set out by my boss. And those that will match the criteria will have something like this in the sidebar: "Hey, my name is Jenny, I'm a part-time-blogger-part-time-mom and you can send me your guest post and I will give you an SEO-friendly link in exchange" You get my drift.
So, my question is, am I just a big crybaby predisposed to moaning, or is there something wrong with the whole concept of my employment?
[edited by: adder at 7:19 pm (utc) on Jun 17, 2013]
Your boss's metrics are wrong. There is no Google patent on file that mentions Alexa, Mozrank or a particular PageRank threshold (like PR 4) as a ranking factor. The tail is wagging the dog. You should be telling the boss what's what. Not the other way around.
Haha, I like the dog comment :) I used to be good at explaining things to him but then he found out that competitors were building X times more links than we (it's only a matter of time when the particular competitors will get a penalty) hence the focus is now on quantity AND the perceived quality of PageRanks, DomainAuthorities and other human-generated numbers. And at the end of the day, he makes the decisions.
Tell your boss "you must unlearn what you have learned". Unless you are publishing a cure for cancer, or are giving away cash, it is impossible to achieve the bullets you described in a short period of time. Better is to educate your clients on how important content development is. And publish your own articles and whitepapers dispelling myths and FUD (fear uncertainty doubt).
And here is how the bad information starts, viewed in real time. Matt just did a video answering the question, does the use of stock images negatively affect a sites ranking. Reporting of it here. [searchengineland.com] In the video Matt answers that no, stock images don't influence the rankings either way. Then Matt compliments the person who asked the question by telling him that it's an interesting metric to possibly look at. That was it. Matt complimented the guy for asking a good question. Then some blogger guy starts up the FUD machine (because FUD is good for blog traffic) and tweets that overusing stock images could be a negative quality signal in the future.
And that my friends is how crap information is created and becomes yet another SEO myth. Matt compliments a guy for asking a good question. The SEO bloggers start beating the drums that stock images could be a negative signal in the future.
Ok, but from my boss' perspective... unless he measures my work by the number of links built, how would he know that I actually put the effort in? Any ideas? He needs something he can measure. But yeah, I know, this is a ridiculous situation :(
I think your problem is really one of expectation management, and that your boss has unrealistic expectations and needs enlightening.
If I run a blog / write content for people then - even if I've done my research - it's probably not going to impress a 'thought leader / authority' in their industry, because I just don't have the depth of knowledge gained over years that leads to genuine insight. All I'm doing (albeit comprehensively, to the point where the author wouldn't recognise their work) is rehashing what others have already said. The site is 'following', 'commenting', 'aggregating' - NOT 'leading', 'inspiring' or 'doing its own thing'.
You can rank SME sites with that sort of work in less competitive niches, but if you're up against people who are doing real work then you're out of luck.
OK content = OK links, but not great ones. You need to get that through to your boss.
It's doable but you have to put the money into it. Bills to pay:
1. Outreach campaign monkey
2. Content monkey
3. Social media monkey
Those are just the basics, not including the cost for having you, the strategizer, keep a seat warm.
Time to look for a new job. Everyone's a SEO know-it-all these days.
Panthro: So true. I put a new website online last week. Its on Wordpress and using allinoneseo plugin and it only took 3 days for the site to rank very well.
I think "SEO" as you and I know it is a dying art. As basic seo is integrated into products like Wordpress, its better to have internet developer skills (building and repairing websites) versus relying only on SEO skills.
I'm still waiting for a Wordpress certification. Once that becomes available by a reputable service, everything will change for people like you and me.