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I am Aaron Wall – Ask Me Anything

Submitted by • May 16, 2013 Website: www.shitbound.org

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    What is your opinion on the value of links from low to mid authority sites (PR3-4) versus say folding in the whole site (if possible) via a TLD 301?

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    Hi Aaron

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

    What do you think has been the biggest by that I mean most disruptive Google update in the past few years?

    Venice/Florida/Panda/Penguin… or something else?

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    Florida was certainly #1 at it’s time.

    In terms of highlighting “things to come” Vince was likely the biggest indicator of shifts to happen, but it was gradual at first & then the trend continued for years and years.

    I would say that Panda was probably the biggest single shift since Florida & likely has a more significant longterm impact on SEO than any other update, largely because it was a sitewide scoring & even impacted deep into the tail of search.

    Some of this really depends on what market you are in though. If you are in markets with lots of link spam then of course Penguin would have been felt even more than Panda. And if you are in a market where Google has one of their vertical listings in it then of course that verticalization is a huge deal too.

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    Aaron, could i ever be a part of the inner circle, and is it worth it? will they make me trim my beard?

    all seriousness aside, give me the straight dope on fucking content. what do you REALLY think the worth is of a good writer (though ‘good’ is subjective) is? also, i’m interested in schema markup. do you think it’s worth it? thanks for giving a shit, dude.

    -Anthony

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    Hi Aaron – thanks being awesome and spending time on this.

    What are your thoughts on Google’s ability going forward to recognize and reward true authority via a combination of social metrics and other signals from website/company engagement. SEO has forever been a game of manipulation, and many SEOs promote a new era of “true marketing.” While that definitely has value, the organic result pages are still significantly exposed to being manipulated with link building for links’ sake and other techniques.

    Will that always be the case or do you think Google with “solve the puzzle” of algorithmically determining thought leadership/authority at scale?

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    Hey Aaron,

    You are given access to Google’s algorithm for 1 hour with access to make any change(s) you want.

    What do you do?

    Secondary lame question > Bar the SEObook forums what are your favourite SEO resource(s)?

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    “What is your opinion on the value of links from low to mid authority sites (PR3-4) versus say folding in the whole site (if possible) via a TLD 301?”

    I tend to think link diversity (eg: links from a wide variety of sites) is still vastly under-rated by most of the SEO field. There is an excessive emphasis on authoritative links, I think in large part because those can be sold for higher prices & one needs to claim that links are great to be able to justify the higher costs.

    With that in mind, I would say that a 301 redirect of a diverse link profile into another site is far more powerful than a sitewide link on a site that is well linked to. Of course there are exceptions where 301s don’t really take or such. I tend not to do anywhere near as much with redirects as some of my friends do though.

    I should add that I like getting great links if I can, but for a lot of folks starting out new sites the cost structure of getting the great links doesn’t really back out unless they have a huge initial marketing budget funded from other projects or they have already built some rank & momentum.

    I tend to view the mid-tier links sorta as efficient rank builders & the higher quality links as an insurance policy to try to maintain the rankings. In some niches you might also need strong usage data too…it would be hard to compete for something like core keywords in the “auto insurance” niche without having strong awareness.

    Of course the lower end links still work for some folks too, but there is a lot of latent risk in those now that Google has Penguin + the disavow tool & suggests that you are responsible for policing your inbound links. It seems that a lot of the social networks & huge authority sites generally get a pass if it seems as though the spam might be user generated.

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    Any plans to follow SEOmoz & rebrand as simply book.com

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    Hey Aaron.

    Who would win the following fights?

    Panda V Penguin (Emperor)
    Duane Forrester V Matt Cutts
    Sean V Chris

    ?

    On a serious note..

    Do you think the release of 2.0 will mean similar to Panada all future iterations will be unannounced and do you believe that “bigger” sites “bigger” brands with huge quantities of good, bad and ugly links in their profiles can and will be affected on mass?

    Cheers

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    “all seriousness aside, give me the straight dope on fucking content. what do you REALLY think the worth is of a good writer (though ‘good’ is subjective) is? ”

    I think subjective is spot on there ;)

    It’s really hard to value content in isolation. If it is not marketed & your site does not yet have an audience the value is pretty close to $0. So the marketing has to be part of the expense figure.

    Part of getting great content is also the promotional piece of it. So if you already have a strong audience built up that will help spread the content then that acts as a subsidy which allows you to pay more for the content & know that the great stuff will spread without having to spend significantly on push marketing. And if the content creator is part of an influential organization or already has followers that they will market the content to, then that is a huge win too. If the person creating the premium content has credentials but won’t be marketing it then you really need to factor in your marketing costs into the featured content too.

    If you see some existing sites ranking with “x unique linking domains” & you know they are mostly ranking on their link profile (rather than being a huge multi-national corporation with boatloads of usage data) then you can sort of try to estimate the value of ranking for those keywords off of that. One example would be to take the SEMRush traffic value to a site & then divide that by 10 or something like that as a baseline (since you won’t get 100% of the search traffic even with a #1 rank & most sites can’t monetize as efficiently as the Google ad auction does). So you have that rough baseline of traffic value & that rough baseline of linking domains … and so you can sort of use those to figure out how much each link is worth. (Another option to estimate traffic value would be to buy AdWords ads for the keyword for a while & be willing to lose money on the ad campaign to buy data on the keyword performance value for your business…something worth doing if the SEO process would take a year & 10s or 100s of thousands of Dollars or such).

    Factor in say 6-months or 1 year of ranking & then have some sort of test budget for content & outreach/promotion and you can run a half dozen or so promotional features and see which ones back out vs which ones do not. Then you can iterate from there to determine which angles to push on. Many (most?) individual pieces of content fail to take off, but the rare ones that go really viral pay for a boatload of #fails. Creating viral content is a bit like creating best selling books or hit music or so on … a hits driven business where most pieces typically lose money & those few hits subsidize the losses from the other pieces.

    Part of the reason interviews (and group interviews) are so popular online is because the content is free & the people who are being interviewed often promote the interviews … bringing along audience, influence, links, and so on.

    “also, i’m interested in schema markup. do you think it’s worth it? ”

    Google commoditized the link graph. Right now they are busy cashing out brand equity too (look at some of the crazy MFA formatting on once prestigious newspaper websites).

    The big issue with schema mark up and microformats is that if you structure it to be scraped it can appear in the knowledge graph without you getting any credit for the work.

    There may be some cases where it is beneficial to the publisher, but generally what it is really doing is allowing Google to commoditize more of the value chain & displace sources with the re-represented versions hosted on Google.com.

    When Microsoft created a YouTube app without ads in it they got a cease and desist letter from Google. But when your marked up content ends up in the knowledge graph without any payment or credit flowing your way that is “great for the user.”

    In some niches where the microformats are standard across the niche & widely used (say recipes) there might be some sense in using the microformat markup in order to make your listing look like the others & improve your clickthrough rates in the SERPs, but quite often there isn’t much upside to microformat markup but significant risk of feeding things like the Google Knowledge Graph & sites like FindTheBest that may ultimately displace you.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words here is my general view of microformats and the knowledge graph …
    http://www.seobook.com/images/knowledge-graph.jpg

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    “Any plans to follow SEOmoz & rebrand as simply book.com”

    I am currently in discussions with Barnes & Nobles about acquiring their company. I am also seeing a billion in funding to complete that acquisition. :D

    Only kidding.

    If a decade ago when I launched SEObook you would have told me that the site would still be around today & how much it would have grown over the years I wouldn’t have believed it. But I think if we ever were to rebrand away from SEO, it would only be after taking a break for a few years or such. Starting from scratch in saturated markets is not something I am enthused to do at this point. But I might also prefer to quietly fade away rather than do a rebrand or something like that.

    In some ways what really excited me about SEO was that it leveled the playing field & allowed just about anybody to compete based on merit. Now that we keep pushing more toward “size = quality = rank” I have lost some of my love for the game.

    But I am still super lucky to be able to work at home & take time off to play basketball & do other fun stuff like old school Nintendo. I can’t really complain about things becoming more obfuscated & less certain, because a regular job could have just as much uncertainty in it as SEO does.

    The easier things are the more big money will pour into the space…so things becoming more challenging is both a negative (if/when we get hit) and a positive (in keeping the multi-billion Dollar hedge funds away)…just over different time horizons.

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    “Do you think the release of 2.0 will mean similar to Panada all future iterations will be unannounced and do you believe that “bigger” sites “bigger” brands with huge quantities of good, bad and ugly links in their profiles can and will be affected on mass? ”

    Part of the point of keeping things isolated is to be able to collect feedback on the performance & to be able to do fear-driven launches to control the narrative in the space. Reading SEO sites over the past couple months there has been a pretty aggressive fear-driven message.

    Will Penguin eventually get folded into the core algorithm? Likely, but it might be another couple rounds before they do it.

    Also I suspect that if/when Penguin rolled into being done more frequently that Google would still include a delay window in the recovery period, such that the cost/risk of going too far is substantial.

    I think rather large companies (eg: billion Dollar companies with lawyers and the ear of market regulators) will generally be slowly displaced over time as Google creates more search verticals, rather than having significant direct algorithmic risk & long penalty periods. Interflora was a good case study there…even when they were manually penalized they were allowed to triple dip in AdWords on branded keywords across multiple regional websites ( http://www.seobook.com/images/interflora-serps-uk.jpg ) & were only penalized for 11 days.

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    “You are given access to Google’s algorithm for 1 hour with access to make any change(s) you want. What do you do?”

    Permanently irrevocably hard code treating any content posted to seobook.com as though it is part of google.com … mmm … delicious home cooking. :D

    “Bar the SEObook forums what are your favourite SEO resource(s)?”

    I chat on IM with friends, watch the TechMeme homepage fairly regularly, follow guys like John Andrews on Twitter (wish he posted more to his johnon.com blog) & get the SearchEngineLand daily email newsletter. During updates I read across a number of forums in addition to the above to compare and contrast what themes people are discussing. Certain people I trust significantly no matter where they post, whereas some other folks I am more likely to ignore based on reading crazy inaccurate stuff from them in the past.

    The core filter really is having your own analytics data & rank tracking data & so on (and a trusted group of friends that know their shit) … and then you look at who is talking about things in a way where they mention things that conform with what you are seeing. Of course that could be just a form of selection bias, but really what you are looking for is things that people say that are in agreement with some things you have experienced that are generally believed to be untrue by the market as a whole…because those are the people who are out there testing things & are sharing interesting specifics rather than writing “in an ideal world” styled pablum.

    There are some other blogs that I follow on and off, but they are not always frequently updated. Graywolf, SugarRae, John Andrews, stuff Jim Boykin writes, etc. … but these are things I read now and then, just because a lot of the most interesting voices only rarely write things. If they wrote more often I would make them part of the daily reading routine.

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    Hey Aaron,

    Thanks again for jumping in and taking the time to do this.

    Just had a quick question for you – do think there is less of an algorithmic focus on technical aspects of SEO?

    I only ask because I’m seeing sites rife with technical errors (302′s everywhere, on the homepage, javascript this and that, etc) ranking really well for competitive terms – and generally speaking, I’m seeing less of a performance increase after technical issues are fixed on my own sites.

    My approach is that the highest priority is to focus on glaring technical errors, and then move towards a more content-focused approach – i.e., building a solid foundation that will improve the results of all other SEO initiatives.

    I’m in no way saying that technical SEO is dead or anything like that. I’ve just had a few cases where I expected much better results after fixing major technical issues.

    Any thoughts on this, or am I alone here? Thanks in advance!

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    Your post http://www.seobook.com/reddit-distilled-virante discusses a few issues with people or companies within the industry. 2 years later what do you think about the industry?

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    “What are your thoughts on Google’s ability going forward to recognize and reward true authority via a combination of social metrics and other signals from website/company engagement. SEO has forever been a game of manipulation, and many SEOs promote a new era of “true marketing.” While that definitely has value, the organic result pages are still significantly exposed to being manipulated with link building for links’ sake and other techniques.”

    In terms of true manipulation, SEO is pretty vanilla in the world of marketing. I mean sure there are hackers who engage in website hacking and so on…but that is hacking rather than SEO.

    Most SEO stuff is generally fairly vanilla.

    The perception that SEO is gaming & that there is some fundamental ungamed truth is largely a framed position that is beneficial to search engines, but is unfortunately untrue.

    All media is manipulated.

    Some other marketing disciplines are far sketchier than SEO. Some examples…

    - as pure as science is viewed, with enough data almost anything can be “proved”. Worse yet, profitable ideas get funded & ideas that risk profits often go unfunded. Further, pharma companies have a long history of hiding studies that show their mind altering drugs are less effective than advertised.

    - the social media networks sell likes & retweets & YouTube views as ad units … so their signs of “true authority” are often just signs of ad budgets

    - Google itself sells PPC ads directly in the search results & most searchers are unable to distinguish the difference between ads & organic search results and, in some instances, some crazy products get promoted in those ads

    - when I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal they were pretty clean & direct & straight up, but in some other media interviews the journalists intentionally misquoted and/or planted totally bogus quotes to pad out a piece they were writing in a way they wanted to write it, the truth be damned

    - when some bogus wars are about to be launched, fake evidence is created (eg: bad intelligence) & parroted by the media unquestioned to try to build consent. Truth only comes about years later, after we are in the multi-trillion Dollar fraud & thousands of lives are lost.

    - Edward Bernays is the man who created the field of public relations. His guide (named Propaganda) talked up what amounted to “white hat public relations” but he went so far as creating a fake news outlet named the Middle America Information Bureau that pounded US media with false information about a communist threat in Guatemala so he could overthrow their government to increase the profits of his client United Fruit.

    I mean…when you compare ranking 1 spot higher than whatever would be “natura”l to hooking people on addictive ineffective drugs or overthrowing governments because they are not corrupt enough … to me ranking 1 spot higher is nowhere near as bad as that industrial scale media manipulation that destroys people’s lives & entire countries.

    “Will that always be the case or do you think Google with “solve the puzzle” of algorithmically determining thought leadership/authority at scale?”

    All algorithms will have flaws. They will of course get better over time, but never perfect. So long as they rely on human input & following the media ecosystem then when the media ecosystem is manipulated some of that manipulation will carry over into search. Another factor that harms their ability to deliver universal relevancy is their desire to keep increasing monetization by launching more vertical search offerings. In some cases there verticals may be better than other offerings in that niche, but in many cases they are not.

    A couple films I think every SEO should watch: The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis & Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky

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    “Your post http://www.seobook.com/reddit-distilled-virante discusses a few issues with people or companies within the industry. 2 years later what do you think about the industry?”

    Maybe I am a nostalgic old timer, but I think the industry has become worse over time. There are still loads of great people in it of course, but many of the best don’t talk/write/share as much publicly as they did in years gone by.

    For years there were people writing blog posts where if you followed them it would be like printing thousands of Dollars. Now there still may be some of those from time to time, but many of the smartest folks have went underground to some degree & there is a lot more faux idealism in the public sphere.

    Google keeps moving the bar in terms of what is acceptable & some folks really have Stockholm Syndrome about it.

    I mean…the SEO industry is still great & amazing when compared to most fields, but about 5 or 6 years ago it was *absurdly* amazing. Of course we can’t turn the clock backward to recapture missed opportunities, but a half-decade ago or so (before Google started displacing so much of the result set with their own verticals) it really was like the golden age of SEO.

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    “do think there is less of an algorithmic focus on technical aspects of SEO? I only ask because I’m seeing sites rife with technical errors (302′s everywhere, on the homepage, javascript this and that, etc) ranking really well for competitive terms – and generally speaking, I’m seeing less of a performance increase after technical issues are fixed on my own sites. My approach is that the highest priority is to focus on glaring technical errors, and then move towards a more content-focused approach – i.e., building a solid foundation that will improve the results of all other SEO initiatives. I’m in no way saying that technical SEO is dead or anything like that. I’ve just had a few cases where I expected much better results after fixing major technical issues.”

    I still think technical SEO is important, but the more signals there are the less important any given signal (be it link diversity, anchor text, page title, keyword proximity, domain name, etc.)

    For small sites that are not exceptionally well known, I think doing technical SEO well is important in order to avoid issues with things like duplicate content, over-optimization, panda, etc. But for larger sites, if they have a strong amount of awareness in the marketplace that drives usage data they can get away with having a lot of things pretty messed up and still do great.

    As Google folds more signals into their relevancy algorithms, the value of “winning by being most relevant” is to some degree being displaced by “winning by being most well known.”

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    Dude, these answers have been top notch. Cheers for taking the time out.

    A slightly vague question but how would you go about increasing visibility in Google for a small business in a medium/competitive market?

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    Hi Aaron,

    There is a revival of “experts” that tout buying expired domains with high PageRank and using them for backlinks, as a sort of DYI blog network.

    I call bunk. I think G ignores the old links when a site dies and comes back with completely new content, new registration etc.

    Buying high PR sites before they expire, changing reg to private, keeping hosting where it is … that could probably work … but I would love to get your expert opinion.

    Thanks!

    Brian

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    Aaron this is exceptional!

    Okay imagine, you could send an email to Aaron Wall in 2002 what advice would you give him obviously beyond the winners of the Superbowl for the next 11 years?

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    “A slightly vague question but how would you go about increasing visibility in Google for a small business in a medium/competitive market?”

    Slightly? :D

    I think the best marketing is tied to some combination of the personality & interests & skills & background of the marketer and/or the structure of the market they are in.

    I think the big issue is there has to be some trade off between ambition & resources. Some people claim that they have little budget AND no time. But to me those resources are contradictory…meaning that if you don’t have much capital your time isn’t too expensive yet, so you should be able to pour boatloads of hours in until you start to build up momentum & your time becomes more expensive. Or if your time is scarce because it is expensive then you can afford to hire others. So really it is a trade off between those 2, and then something along the lines of ambition vs resources. If you go too broad off the start and rank on page 2 you have most the expenses of a top ranking but little of the associated income. So if rankings are tough to build then perhaps it makes sense to dive deeper into the tail on a tighter niche.

    I realize that answer is pretty vague, but I think it is hard to have a universal marketing method…in some markets there are obvious openings based on friction points in the market & then we all have different skill sets…some folks are great at schmoozing, some are great at doing research, some folks can build exposure with hate bait even, etc.

    In many cases some of the best opportunities come from the intersections of multiple markets. A lot of what I learned about marketing came from trading baseball cards. But a person who has a background in insurance or banking or video game design or art or photography or anything else & knows SEO can find some opportunities based on the intersections between those markets.

    I realize my answer is vague, but I don’t think you can really answer the question without first looking at the keywords & SERPs & so on…a lot of the best ideas come from seeing what already exists & then creating a better version of it and mixing in some other marketing ideas with it.

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    It’s cool man, I wasn’t expecting a strategy :)

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    “Buying high PR sites before they expire, changing reg to private, keeping hosting where it is … that could probably work.”

    Not to be evasive, but …

    The big issue with a yes or no answer is that it may work, it may not work, it may work but only after a while, it may work but for only a short while, etc. So no matter how I answered it, given a small enough sample size my answer could easily come across as incorrect.

    This is one of those areas where I would suggest one does their own testing.

    I should also add that this isn’t something that I have looked at in a while. At this point I am more interested in longevity (as one can tell in part by how I have worked my arse off for a decade straight on seobook.com) than getting a quick payday that may also disappear quickly. If I were newer to SEO & just getting started I might be willing to go for some higher risk stuff, but after a decade in SEO, the idea of building things that get flushed away & then starting over is not particular appealing for me.

    Some amount of churn is just part of the search game, but some things are more likely to lead to “el scorcho” than others.

    In this video Matt Cutts mentioned how he saw a porn site recycle a trusted domain name & get around the porn flag because it had a lot of PageRank & that is part of what pushed him to build the search quality team…so obviously even when it works this would be something Google hates & considers to be overt spam. eHow was able to get away with recycling expired domains & remained unscathed, but most people who tried it would be carrying a much higher risk profile on whatever projects they built employing the technique.

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    “imagine, you could send an email to Aaron Wall in 2002 what advice would you give him”

    Buy as many Google stock options as soon as possible…buy them today…buy them on margin…buy buy buy buy buy. :D

    Short of that (and forgetting the fact that I was dead broke back then)… I would want to send myself a database of valuable keywords back then & then have leveraged it both for SEO & domaining in general.

    As Google has put more weight on usage metrics & the price of domain names increased, the relative opportunity in domain names (particularly as it applies to SEO) has went down significantly over the past few years, but if a person bought boatloads of keyword matching domain names back in 2002 to 2003 for dirt cheap and was able to only build a small minority of them into functional websites it would have been a huge gain. Frank Schilling seriously got into domaining around the time the first web bubble imploded. I think he started with under 6 figures and his domain portfolio has to be worth hundreds of millions of Dollars. Very few SEOs (the TripAdvisor founder, a buddy I sometimes chat with who prefers to be anonymous, maybe some folks in gambling or pharma) have built strong 9 or more figure SEO empires starting nearly from scratch over that time period.

    And this isn’t related to SEO, but look at what the price of gold has done since 2001. If I had read the site iTulip.com back then I might have understood why that would happen. My wife read one of Eric Janszen’s articles in Harper’s Magazine a couple years ago & got me into reading his lucid writing.

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    “Your post http://www.seobook.com/reddit-distilled-virante discusses a few issues with people or companies within the industry. 2 years later what do you think about the industry?”

    There is one other thing I should have mentioned in my answer to this one … in a growing market many people believe in the model of an overflowing cup & share loads with others. But in a market that is in decline people generally tend to be more shortsighted, selfish & greedy.

    SEO is a market where for nearly a decade straight for the most part many folks in it grew at between 10% and 50% annually. Over the past couple years I think a lot of people went from being used to strong growth to where they saw a shrinking pie (paid search verticals, larger adwords ads, loads of penalties, etc.) … that sort of market shift generally tends to have a negative impact on market participants & how much people share and help one another.

    If you go back about 4 or 5 years & look at all the infighting that started to happen in the domaining space as parking revenues fell, that same sort of infighting will become more and more common in the SEO niche as well as Google continues to commodify & displace increasingly large chunks of the ecosystem.

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    So a declining market can make people shortsighted, selfish and greedy do you think that agencies or high profile freelancers would go as far as intentionally deceive or lie about certain metrics being important (social ages ago) or unimportant (anchor text more recently) and if so why?

    *my last one, honest ;)

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    Sure there are incentives to sell what can be sold at high margins & under-emphasize the aspects of work that are hard and/or low margin.

    I haven’t seen anyone sum it up better than Will Spencer did when he wrote

    SEO’s like to sell social signals as ranking factors because social media marketing is an easy product to deliver while collecting good profit margins.

    The fact that it doesn’t work… doesn’t seem to bother those people.

    The “good guys” in the SEO business aren’t the people who parrot Google’s lies to a wider audience; the “good guys” in the SEO business are the guys who make their clients money.

    Another part of under-emphasizing anchor text could be trying to protect clients from going overboard. If you were used to hammering the anchor text hard for years & saw Google tightening anchor text filters then it can make sense to be overly conservative with anchor text & even be a bit more conservative than what Google allows such that as they tighten further you are still hopefully ok.

    It’s one thing if the site is your own among a portfolio of websites & it gets hit, but it is an entirely different issue if it is a client site that gets hit & they don’t have any backup websites.

    One of the sharpest guys on the web when it comes to the Google algo updates & penalties is CygnusSEO. Due to the hyper competitive markets he operates in, he sees a lot of the tightening issues early & well before they become an issue in some of the less competitive markets.

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    Aaron,

    Thanks so much. Very very helpful!

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    Aaron,

    Great answers so far. Thanks.

    1. Do you have an inkling that Google leads on like they can regulate/punish webmasters for certain techniques more than they actually can? For example, I see tens of thousands of pages of duplicate/similar content in my auto niche that will rank just fine in the SERPs.

    2. You said earlier that “SEO is Vanilla”….does this mean you don’t have any insider tips or tricks that those of us who are sick of reading blogs would like to see/benefit from? In other words, what is working and outcompeting other webmasters right now?

    Zach

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    1.) Absolutely they do a lot to drive the perception of fear to push self-regulation out into the market. It’s not that they can’t solve particular problems (look at the size of their cash hoard), but rather that it is more economically efficient to let fear act as an extra employee in fixing some market issues.

    2.) When I mentioned most SEO being pretty vanilla, I meant that SEO is typically done to satisfy user demand & aligned with user intent. It isn’t as much driven by shifting consumer psychology and creating new incremental demand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC7VLjIw8hY#!
    The other end of the market would be the sort of stuff Edward Bernays did, like create a propaganda campaign to have us destroy a democratically elected government to increase his client’s profits. That’s just about as black hat as you get.

    As to your other point about people being tired of reading the same stuff over & over again, a large part of that comes down to the economics. If people want the best free has to offer then they must accept a lot of noise as part of that economic transaction. If they want the stuff that is available for free to be significantly better than that, they of course can become the change they wish to see…but very few people want to do that.

    It is also very hard to say what is working across-the-board to out-compete other market participants, because some things that work very well depend on the market, other things that work too well & are too broadly used are more likely to get labeled as spam, etc etc etc.

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