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I challenge them to every question on the list of "What to Look For" and they do challenge me.
However I give them the answers they deserve. Short, To the point, & Fact filled.
Nothing beats Fact filled answers without all the hype. IMHO
> explain your process
There are so many ways I have seen SEO's doing positioning that it's mind-boggling
Besides if we were to give our secrets away then what's the point.
just my .02
Eg, if I feel that I'm good, I share, and I feel that none of the others matched my level of "contribution" I would feel like I gave away something that was near and dear, without getting any in return...
Or if I don't contribute any, and read the thread as others pour out their little hearts, and soak it all in...what value does this kind of knowledge have, if one didn't have to work to obtain it?
I feel like I sweated over every little tidbit I've learned over time, and I know that this place gives me a good number of those. I fire back what I can, but nobody gives away their business. There are way too many meta tag optimizing companies to be able to afford to really explain it.
I like the idea of client education, and letting them know the various merits of seo companies. I track most of them, and I can off the top of my head, place them on a scale, tell you what techniques they use, what operating systems their servers run on, if they cloak, if they use link farms, if they've been in business for long...etc. al.
I feel that knowing the business landscape is essential to success. Read Sun Tzu, "The Art of War." It is the oldest published work on military issues we have in the modern world, I believe, and it's philosophies are very applicable to business.
The reason I say this is that, in a certain sense, your competition is your enemy. Know them, become one with them. If they make a move, move with them, if it leads to more business. If you know something they don't, exploit it.
In my mind, there are two ways to run a business successfully. Imitation and innovation. If you immitate, you can do well, but will always remain one step behind the company you immitate. If you innovate, there are other challenges, such as making things work in the first place, and then staving off the "me too" competition.
Just some of my thoughts. Feel free to share yours on mine, I like adjustments to my outlook...that which does not bend, breaks and all that...
>I feel that knowing the business landscape is essential to success.
I could not agree with this more! This knowledge should be part of any good business plan. In fact, I wouldn't be apposed to sending any of you my pricing sheet if you wanted it(just email me - maybe we could do an exchange of information). What do I really have to hide? My information, in and of itself, is only as valuable as how it's implemented. I can tell you exactly how I do something but I don't really believe someone else would be able to take that information and emulate our practices to a 'T' - not to mention how we handle our clients in business relationships.
Just some thoughts...
Han solo - your profiling of SEO companies is a great idea. I've done it in a casual way till now, but after hearing what you've done I think I'm going to start actively researching the competition.
If you find another company doing what you would like to do, and you think to yourself, "wow, they do it right." What are you going to do, not compete any more, because they got there first? Nope. You're going to immitate them to a T, figure out if they've done anything wrong, improve upon that, and suddenly, you're not an immitator, you're an innovator.
All because you decided to trace down a few other people work. One of the reasons I don't post any of the companies I worked for here, or any of my urls here. I know it would be a quality link to my site, and probably worth it's weight in net traffic, but if every one out there did what I did, as far as watching the other business they saw as being in their space, I'd get nailed.
BTW, Marshall_Clark, and everybody else, really. Are there any business/philosophy texts you feel form a large part of your outlook in conducting your business affairs? I mentioned some of the important ones to myself, and I'm curious what others would say.