Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.233.226.151

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Beyond Google SEO - is it time for a Career Change?

     
5:21 pm on Nov 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:1045
votes: 132


I think there is only so long you can bang your head against a brick wall. Maybe it's because I've been working on new sites and penalised sites - I don't know but I am not getting anywhere fast with Google SEO at present. I think it was Einstein that said...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.


...and these results are driving me insane. So it is with regret that I think come the new year I need to drop out of SEO altogether. I guess I would define the work on SEO I do as part white hat part black hat, Grey Hat maybe, I kinda follow my own code of ethics.

  • I do build incoming links and attract linking (thats the black hat part since all link building is deemed black hat)
  • I build sites full of quality content and adhere to web standards (that's the white hat part)
  • I also build strong Social Media presence.


I simply canít afford to continue to devote so much time into something with so little reward. I have seen the SEO market collapse in the last few years in terms of income. I donít want to go down a churn and burn route, that works for some I know but itís not for me. So I am at a crossroad, not sure which path to take. I am thinking of moving into mobile App development, has anyone made a similar move away from SEO?
8:52 am on Nov 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Nov 16, 2017
posts:1
votes: 0


Seem to a sad story for new SEO er. I just set up a new drill bit website. Its traffic is just 30, and I want to grow it by Google SEO, but... Maybe I should try a app?
1:10 pm on Nov 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3524
votes: 398


I wouldn't call it a sad story it is more about math and making smart business choices as your landscape changes.

For example let's look at the math for starting a new website for "drill bits" when Google is returning over 9 million results. These millions of results have had a 20 year head start. They have have 20 years to build up content, backlinks & brand awareness. You need to bring something incredibly special online that is worth attention because you have to compete with a million competitors including very powerful websites for national home improvement companies, international tool manufacturers and of course Amazon. These competitors are spending millions of dollars every year on their online marketing. Can you compete with that budget? Can you be more creative than their marketing strategy so your smaller budget goes farther? Can you provide something that isn't already provided on 9 million other pages? Its possible but not likely for most people.

It is not a bad thing to realize you can't compete in certain situations. None of us will ever win the gold medal at the Olympics but we can find other opportunities to best invest our time & effort towards winnable situation. This thread is more about figuring out what is and is not winnable for each of us. For some of us it is no longer profitable to go after Google SEO for our past keywords. Some people are adapting their business like instead of targeting national go after local search or refocusing to PPC or email.

Bottom line - we all want to figure out the wisest business decision for our own situations so we can make profits and pay our bills and sometimes that means making a change.
4:27 pm on Nov 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 10, 2010
posts: 130
votes: 0


>It is not a bad thing to realize you can't compete in certain situations.

In my opinion, this is the first step in SEO.
10:20 pm on Nov 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from AU 

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 3, 2003
posts:3773
votes: 21


Agreeing with goodroi. I feel for agencies who get a new-in-business client who wants to rank for a common term.

Perhaps a joke page about left-handed drill bits might get viral exposure? Conversions might be a separate matter, unless you put more thought into it. Supplement with a store on eBay and Amazon? Adapt to survive.
12:15 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from IR 

joined:Nov 20, 2017
posts: 11
votes: 2


It was kind of depressing to go through the comments... :(

But anyway, I think that all of you should adapt yourself to the new environment if you like online business. Maybe focusing on link building strategies that pay off themselves and not through google ranking... working on a website content... offering different digital marketing services and not just SEO... anything that makes you better at what you do.
7:31 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10560
votes: 1122


@s_rahbari:

It was kind of depressing to go through the comments... :(


Where we are. The gold is still there ( in the hills ) just more difficult to find. Dedication, lowered expectations (as in what is REALISTIC) will get the job done.

BTW, if nobody said it, Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

We're not jaded or dismissive, just gob-smacked with reality the Web Has Changed.

And the PIE has been sliced by several million others at the trough. No magic way forward, only hard work, a bank account (to keep the site live) and a determination to make it work.

It can be done! Just not over night (or week, month, or even years)!
10:50 am on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 22, 2017
posts: 3
votes: 0


Buzzwords inc & long story short: missing awesomeness = "do not optimize for user intent" + "you're doing it wrong". Plus: Sorry, but that's it.

For me, doing in the past (2006 - 2010) the worst stuff you can imagine and pushing it with BH/GH trickery to the top, things improved since it's all "user intent". 'Cause let's be honest: "Content" was and is king - but in the past (and to a lesser extent even now - temporary) you had sooo many opportunities to push awesome projects aside with BH crap. Or: I am doing awesome stuff only - finally. And that explains my attitude that if you are NOT awesome, then you are complaining here and elsewhere 'bout how much SEO, how much Google sucks.

But SEO doesn't suck. Maybe, no offense, YOUR SEO (again: sorry in advance) sucks, because you stopped improving/focussing between 2006 and 2016. Don't mind, I did too as long as enough cash kept-flowing w/o me doing anything great at all, except enjoying my burn-out. :D The most challenging thing today is to really do awesome projects that stand the test of time (aka: stay on top 3 - 5 years). Most people fail to do that, because they work only in a very narrow space with an even more narrowed mindset: technical SEO, CRM, UX, CRO, blabla ONLY.

And they are immune to criticism or reason. Maybe because they did some cool stuff that worked for some months/years and now see themselves as gods. Best example: "Be awesome!" - "I am!" - "Well, honestly: You suck..." - "No, I'm awesome...".It's like watching "Hell's Kitchen": "Your food sucks!" - "No it doesn't." - "Then why I am here and customers not!?" - "Well, Googl... er my customers simply can't appreciate my great skills."

Oh, and: I didn't stop BH, but that changed for me as well. Let's say, I don't do it for myself anymore exclusively... maybe someone did his magic on your project too, if you are 100 % that you have done everthing right?

Plus: If you are fed up with Google - move on to another world. Google isn't the only thing out there, but let me say you this: Bing, Amazon, Baidu, w/e blabla suck too in their own way. Been there.

Spread out your risks, that's what I learned.

True story!

I took a client from 4,000 a month to 12,000 with white hat. Did they appreciate it? No. [...] Clients trust attorneys and used car salesman more than they trust SEO's.

Customer never appreciate what you do - that's the nature of customers. They'll always think THEY did YOU a favour... and that you should be thankful. Second: People can understand WHAT attorneys and car salesman do. Maybe not at all, but even if they expect something fishy ("There's no honesty to find in attorneys" - mentioned in Romans 1337:7) - they can guess almost right what happened, maybe not the details. Ask ANY customer how this Google thing basically works. Think you know the answer... Explain it and ask again. You'll get the same answer...
1:49 pm on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 10, 2010
posts: 130
votes: 0


Customer never appreciate what you do - that's the nature of customers. They'll always think THEY did YOU a favour... and that you should be thankful. Second: People can understand WHAT attorneys and car salesman do. Maybe not at all, but even if they expect something fishy ("There's no honesty to find in attorneys" - mentioned in Romans 1337:7) - they can guess almost right what happened, maybe not the details.


Okay. So how do I show the client, potential client, former client, value?
8:13 pm on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:1045
votes: 132


Zambama maybe your right my SEO Sucks but I am not about to start cross site scripting and injecting links into Old Wordpress installations because thats what works right now.

At least I am being honest, so many SEO's are simply going on about user intent and 'awesomeness' - like it was something new. Or pretending they know tactics that work.

Todays SEO winners could easily be tomorrow's SEO Suckers...
6:44 am on Nov 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 22, 2017
posts:3
votes: 0


@RP_Joe
You have to be clear about numbers/KPIs/goals from the start. That's a lesson I learned. Especially when you got those "Well, can you do it in... hours" customers. I don't take them anymore, but if you just start, well you got no real choice. That means telling them what value (KPI) they exactly get for money XX - that lowers expectations, concretizes a clearly defined value (both agreed on) and narrows your goals. Usually I do an (paid) audit first, uncovering weaknesses. Then: How much you can improve something (ToS, onsite, CRO, traffic) and I won't argue with rankings if the customer has no clue at all. Or you explain them the SERPs (mobile, local, pos zero, private,...). But: I usually stick to KPIs - then the customer can decide, if he wants to pay for that, if you did your job and it narrows the field for him to understand sth and you have to talk less about tecchy stuff no one out there understands. And those KPIs should always be "real world related" - no customer is interested in bounce rate or loading speed or more fans. Customers often can't understand your value, because it's too abstract and they start dreaming, ending up in disappointment...

@seoskunk
Todays SEO winners could easily be tomorrow's SEO Suckers...

Oh yes!

And don't get me wrong, mine sucked too when I started to build sites for bots and pushing them. Was easy in the first place, since you could push crap (less work) with scripts (less work) - bad thing is, that in the end you got more work cause you always have to look for the latest trick to keep it up and avoid at the same time a manual check. So much stress... the stress you now got.

My problem is, when people discuss user intent and awesomeness, that it's not hard at all. "Simply" do a site, that you (really) enjoy, that you would show your mom and say: "Well, that's the best thing out there. You can't do better, I swear on your life!". Maybe watch her enjoying your site (or not) and where she's bouncing, if you are still unsure.
10:12 am on Nov 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 1, 2002
posts:1582
votes: 2


I made a seven figure income from SEO in the years 2000 to 2007. By 2008 SEO became more trouble than it was worth, so I moved on. I find it somewhat amusing that the question of "is SEO worthwhile today" is still being posted. If you want a less than minimum wage income by all means attempt SEO. I would recommend playing the slots in Vegas over a career in SEO today.

Google and Bing both highly favor "trusted sites". You can't generate a "trusted site" in a few months or years. Therefore SEO is pointless unless you get the job of fine tuning one of those trusted sites. You probably got more chance of getting the leading role in the next Star Wars movie than getting the leading role in controlling the SEO of a major site.
1:07 pm on Nov 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 10, 2010
posts:130
votes: 0


@percentages Very true. Thanks for posting that.
12:18 am on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:1045
votes: 132


Thanks percentages, yep I agree the gold rush is over. Can't help wondering what you moved onto?
9:42 am on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from IN 

joined:Nov 20, 2017
posts:16
votes: 0


I am also planning to switch from SEO to other jobs like Web and Graphic Design.
2:18 pm on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 26, 2006
posts:357
votes: 33


SEO has not changed. It just got harder/impossible.. We talk about the same things today as we did years ago.. Unique valuable content well written/comprehensive and links from an authority site/editorial is what you need....
5:34 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 22, 2017
posts: 28
votes: 5


Unique valuable content well written/comprehensive


That is indeed a good seo thing to have, but that content is valuable and good for seo for just as long until someone starts stealing it.
Then, you have a 50/50 chance:
If it's stolen by some clumsy scraper - who cares, you're still ranking.
If it's stolen by someone with a bit more skill - you're gone :)

@Redbar said it really good - google was never good (and never cared) about content originality

Simple algorithm that check and compares indexing dates for identical copies and whole internet would be a better place. SEO experts would have to work again.

I said it once and I'll say it again - Only think a good seo needs to know now, is how to build an undetectable private blog network, or sites network, if you have the budget and resources for it. Everything else is utter waste of time. All the things I saw in these 10+ years in this business is pointing me to that conclusion.
6:12 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 4, 2002
posts: 1921
votes: 3


I love research and consider Google's constant changes as an intriguing challenge. It requires constant research to try and figure out what helps crippled websites and why they were "injured" in the first place. It helps to follow some of the industries top SEO experts, and use Analysis tools to check why competitors are ranking so high. I'm so busy I don't even have time to fix my own website.
8:48 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 5, 2009
posts:1731
votes: 387


Is it time to consider a career change? i wonder as an SEO specialist, what is the promise to the client? "Sure, we can get you that #1 or #2 position". But the misleading aspect of the SEO results promise is that what you're selling (#1, #2, #3) is positioned under a likely answer box, people also ask box, ads, etc. On Google mobile search, the ad blocks are even greater. That makes the SEO "sell" a bit disingenuous for those "in know know". So for me, a more honest a credible career might be worth considering give the fact that promises delivered is somewhat of a growing joke.
9:31 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from GB 

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 25, 2005
posts: 406
votes: 17


Whoa, I was hoping this thread changed direction towards a more positive note.

A quick example from a niche I'm working in. Have a look at this screenshot: [imgur.com...] (Yes, archive.org age is about the only thing left un-blurred)

Hi-tech B2B niche, CPC around $20, super-high competition for both text ads and shopping ads, scholarly articles everywhere, big multi-national corporations as your main competitors. These guys built a website less than 2 years ago. Now they're completely dominating the niche. For this particular search term owning the double listing.

How they're doing it? They don't fret about SEO and they don't lose their sleep over it. They've got a great marketing mix, they try different things.

@percentages, I totally understand what you're saying, however, can I make 7 figures in this niche in 2018? Yep, I can. And I don't need a time machine for that.
11:08 pm on Nov 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 2, 2014
posts:39
votes: 0


I don't think SEO is dead. Of course I just put out a 10,000 page site, perfectly SEOd according to multiple SEO standards plus twenty years experience.

I have a difficult time interpreting some of these threads. I'm in the info niche. I see some of my competitors have not changed their sites for 10 plus years, they SEO a specific way and never drop out of the SERPS. So, of course for me, I see actual SERPS evidence that SEO is not dead.

The same thing goes for myths such as Google wants "fresh" content. Again, my competitors (and me of course) all do evergreen content. I've seen my competitors stay in the serps for 10 years and never change their content or platform.

Everyone's mileage regarding the value of SEO will change, I agree with that. This is merely another way to look at SEO from a niche info publisher of 20 years.
3:39 am on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10560
votes: 1122


A company, early on, figured there was money in the web. They created an ad network and made it easy to join and play. Not quite a Ponzi scheme, Peter paid Pau for a dozen years, making .05% of the players very wealthy to create the myth of great wealth on the web. About the same time a bunch of folks (snake oil medicine show types, real estate marketers, how-2-getriche preachers) created SEO and, for a time, .01% got rich, too. Meanwhile the ad ecosystem grew and grew and grew and grew and when it was big enough, when it was ESSENTIAL, when IT COULD NOT BE CHALLENGED, the creator changed the game (because the SEO and other Bad Actors were becoming too obvious and the ad spenders were beginning to question Paul's Numbers, Peter had already resigned and taken residence on a Caribbean Island). The magic fount of wealth proved hollow, the only winner was the middleman.

SEO these days means don't do something stupid. With all the dreamers of wealth out there clamoring to play the game a manual (or ALGO) penalty means nothing to the ad system's (creators) bottom line.

All those years of looking the other way created an industry and at this time is too big to fail (unless the gov folks take a hand).

The web is not as it was, and never will be that way again.

Content can still rule, but it won't rise to the top unless there's venture capital behind it. The OP asked it if is time for a career change re: g SEO. That's already happened. g changed it with all the barnyard animals and now has an AI at work doing more of the same. The way beyond g and SEO for that is to ignore g (and that means don't code stupid or link stupid for things they have already killed). Do your job of presentation, develop your user base by any means necessary, grow that to the point you can't be ignored. Can be done.

Can't be done easy or overnight.

Without some real dollars to throw at it. and 7 figures might just get that done.
1:31 pm on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member redbar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:3371
votes: 564


This morning I have been discussing with a company their possible new website, normally I would not do this however this one sounded interesting.

To be honest I left them feeling shell-shocked when I told them how much information I required plus images plus a responsible contact decision maker, I doubt they'll go forward with it since it will cost thousands to construct & SEO correctly.

They thought that sites created themselves with a few images and little effort whatsoever, I advised them to use WIX if that's what they required or one of their CEO's grandchildren!

There is so much expectation for so little reward by many companies/people.
1:55 pm on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 22, 2017
posts:3
votes: 0


There is so much expectation for so little reward by many companies/people.
That's why it's important to not only have one pillar - like: being dependant on customers only. I usually experience two big problems, that makes it hard to rely on customers - especially when you just started, don't have a 2+nd pillar and you want to build a reputation:
1. The customer expects way more than he can afford or wants to pay.
2. The customer radically changes it's mind during the process/rejects advice/doesn't collaborate (anymore).

If it's #1, you can try to convince a possible customer by explaining the why's and why not's. But: Can't be done in 5 minutes and it's really hard to lower expectations while holding up your price. Usually, except it's really interesting/promising, I reject that kind of customers - let's call them "price conscious" - on my doorstep, because someone who argues about price (and not quality) is in my experience always a big risk. Then better save the time for your own stuff (2nd pillar) or a customer who's worth it. Problem #2 is just that risk you didn't recognize in time. And at this point hope is usually lost. If the other one is unwilling to cooperate, you can't force it. And even trying to convince him will give you just a pause of some weeks before it starts all over again. So: Get your money and get out asap, save yourself the trouble, use your energy for something useful, spare yourself the suffering that leads to being fed up with SEO.
2:52 pm on Nov 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member redbar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:3371
votes: 564


Yet for many companies the website is their brochure to the world, would they let a traditional printer get away with such shoddy workmanship?

It's hardly a surprise that so many companies rely on their Facebook pages, they're already speaking to the low-level expectation converted!
9:02 am on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 3, 2017
posts:117
votes: 7


I think the lack of transparency from Google about page/site problems and also the fact large media agencies dominate the SERPS due to the links they gain from media coverage is hurting the smaller websites.
3:53 am on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 26, 2003
posts:1372
votes: 37


For me, it's not about the budget, but about experimentation. Building a system that can allow you to experiment, reduce your costs for experimentation and measure the success of your experiments is the most important thing you can do. This doesn't translate to offloading to an SEO company because an SEO company isn't going to measure these. When you can test and learn then adapting is easier, growing is easier and change is just part of your strategy.
12:14 pm on Feb 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 26, 2018
posts:1
votes: 0


Hi, Everyone!

I am an aspiring SEO Specialist and still wanted to learn about Search Engine Optimization.

I came across to this post minutes after joining this forum. And I really don't know how to directly react on this.

However, since Search Engine Optimization is my new endeavor, and I'm still in the process of learning it, I am still hopeful.

I have total respect with seoskunk and others who felt the same way. Perhaps I will ask all of you on how to best approach learning SEO and where to start working for it.

I am grateful for your positive & informative feedback.

Thanks.
1:09 am on Feb 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:1045
votes: 132


Hi Alvin welcome,

Here are the main things I would say in current climate:

Design sites with accessibility, Google reads a page very similar to a screen reader so following standardised code and semantic structure will get you off to a good start.
Links can help your site gain authority if they appear natural, overdo it and you could get slapped.
Popularity is also important so build connections in social networks and encourage traffic from resources outside of Google
Content is a key factor long term but don't expect instant results
11:54 am on Feb 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10560
votes: 1122


Also, beware the temptation to tweak it too far simply because you saw the stats move up a little bit. Large changes do not work well on today's web. Test Test and then Test again!
This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59