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The Long-Term Damage of Cheap SEO

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How can some Adult SEO guys in our industry charge $300 a month for the same services as someone else charging $3,000? They can't.

And the long-term damage to your site for believing/hoping they can will cost you significantly more to repair, if it can be repaired at all. Once a site has been penalized for shady SEO practices it often requires a larger investment in both time and money to have the penalty removed than it would to just delete the site and start over. This of course is not a viable option for most adult companies.

There are three kinds of SEO providers in this industry.

  1. Those that have a few tricks that worked for them in the past
  2. Those that throw all clients onto a link-spamming assembly line
  3. Those with a vested interest in the long-term success of every single client

Understanding the differences between SEO providers is vital to the success of your campaigns because it reveals the different strategies you can expect to receive from each.

Those that have a few tricks from the past

These guys are easily identifiable because they're the ones who rely on past results to validate their ability. According to their logic, if they were able to rank a site in the past than they can rank your site in the future. This templated approach, especially prevalent in adult and escort SEO, simply does not work. Every site is very different from a marketing perspective. Every site has its own niche, its own competition, its own content, age, marketing history, goals and available resources to work with. What worked for one site will not work for all others. Just as what worked two years ago will not necessarily work now.

Past results are not an accurate indicator of the results you can expect now. Anybody can say they played a role in the ranking of a site, but the only way you can confirm this is by talking to site owners to understand everything that may have been involved in the performance.

For example, I ranked one site into the top ten for a very competitive keyword and it would be easy to take full credit for it. In reality however, the site owner had already invested a significant amount of work and money to create many other high value sites that I simply had to associate with his main site. Once they were all properly linked together, and a few other relatively easy fixes were made, he shot into the top ten.

Another site I worked on was completely different, the keyword phrase was moderately competitive yet it was incredibly difficult to earn his top ten rank. This was because the site owner had spent years building spammy links, doorway pages and buying cheap link blasts that hurt his domain. He was also slow to implement all of the needed page optimizations and technical fixes which really slowed the process.

So, if I were to simply take the credit for both of these results as being the same it would be misleading. I think it's more reliable to consider the experience, knowledge and transparency of an SEO consultant when trying to establish an indication of ability.

When you work with guys who cling to past results, and especially if they are secretive of their methods, you can expect to have the same methods performed on your site as they perform on all others. You will be paying for a templated approach that does not take into consideration the many important details of your own site, your target market, your past efforts or your long-term goals.

The short-term price of working with this kind of SEO may seem reasonable, but consider the potential for results. If they can't thoroughly explain their methods and support the current effectiveness of them than how can you be confident that these methods will work for your site?

The long-term price is often a combination of arguments over contract commitments, a lack of return on investment and a damaging skepticism of industry SEO providers. This skepticism can result in a complete abandonment of SEO efforts which essentially forfeits your share of targeted organic traffic.

Those that throw all clients onto an assembly line

These are the guys that charge ridiculously low rates around $300-$500 per month. You cannot expect long-term SEO results at these rates. If you doubt this, consider how many clients they need to maintain each month to have a successful business. The revenue simply does not scale to a point where they can invest time, energy and creativity into each and every client.

Because of this, these providers setup assembly lines for their clients. Every client gets very basic consultation on page optimization such as meta tags and keyword usage. All clients then get the same backlinks, often low value directory submissions and automated link spam blasts. These methods may create initial results, but they are temporary at best and often result in eventual penalties.

There are a million SEO guys in India who use the exact same methods and Google is well aware of them.

Just like guys who know a few tricks, these SEO guys are also very secretive of their methods and often won't even tell you where they're getting your links from.

But why? If they were working to get you valuable links and were proud of their efforts, wouldn't they want to share it with you? It would validate their work, it would assure eventual results and it would encourage referrals. Secrecy should raise a red flag.


Those with a vested interest in the long-term success of every single client

These are the more expensive consultants, such as myself, who charge rates that reflect the quality of their work and long-term client relationships that are necessary for strategic and sustained growth.

Effective SEO is not easy to do.

It requires a thorough understanding of the site(s) being worked on as well as the goals of the company. Goals that should go beyond simple rankings. Rankings alone are not enough because rankings don't equal traffic and traffic does not equal conversions. The primary goal should be conversions and the SEO consultant you hire should be able to develop a strategy that starts with conversions and works back to whatever may be needed to accomplish them. And what will be needed will be different for every site.

It requires a thorough understanding of search engine algorithms and how to use them to your advantage, not just try to avoid being penalized by them. The majority of adult webmasters, and even some adult SEO providers, work defensively against algorithms. They try to sneak around them without getting caught. This is short-term thinking and ultimately puts you in the same boat as all other spammy sites that will eventually get slammed. The SEO consultant you hire should be familiar with not only algorithmic changes but why the changes are being made, who the changes are intended to affect and what ideals search engines have in mind when running them. By understanding this you can use them to gain an advantage over others who don't.

It requires transparency of all concepts and methods. This sounds easy but it's not, and there's a reason why transparency is not common in our industry. When you hire an SEO provider who is transparent it means he will be able and willing to explain what he does, and more importantly WHY. And being able to explain WHY requires a very thorough understanding of every concept and method used, and requires an equally thorough understanding of how search engines and even how your competitors in search operate. Explaining why also requires insight and experience into other methods that are being omitted from your strategy. Some methods may work, just not for you. And it's your SEO's responsibility to understand this and to be able to clearly explain it.

When the SEO you hire is transparent, it essentially means he is willing to teach you what he's doing and why it will work for you. There aren't many SEO guys in our industry who can provide value beyond the knowledge and tricks they hold. Competent SEO consultants understand, and are able to communicate, the process necessary to translate general concepts and methods into specific strategies to increase traffic and sales to your unique site.

Effective SEO takes time.

This is not 2008 anymore, gone are the days when you could change some meta tags and blast thousands of spammy links and actually see positive long-term results from it. Many adult webmasters and adult SEO's still cling to these methods that used to work, despite clear evidence that they no longer do. In recent years Google has launched a flurry of algorithmic filters that have effectively changed the search landscape.

Some of the common time-saving SEO tactics that don't work very well anymore include spammy link blasts, large templated blog networks, link trading, keyword stuffing, anchor text over-optimization, domaining and low budget link buys. For years these have all been used as loopholes through Google's Webmaster Guidelines, loopholes their algorithm changes have been closing.

The results of these changes, as well as the changes yet to come, have had a big impact on the time it takes to properly rank an adult site. Old tricks and assembly lines no longer work. In order to get the long-term return that you expect from the SEO you hire you should expect him to invest some real work into your campaign. And quality competitive research, analysis, technical audits, implementation, marketing and progress monitoring all take time.


Final Thoughts on Cheap SEO

SEO is a moving target, so you should question the current effectiveness of quick and cheap methods used by other SEO companies. You may not get the results you're paying for from a guy who won't even tell you how he's marketing your site.

I built Adult SEO Training as an alternative for webmasters who need to improve their SEO but without the budget to invest in professional work. For $97/mo (limited-time offer, and less than the cost of buying one link) you can learn for yourself the many ways to increase your search engine traffic. You will be in control of how your site is marketed and can use the money you would have spent hiring a cheap SEO on buying valuable links instead.
If, on the other hand, you are a larger program interested in complete SEO consulting please feel free to contact me to discuss your project. I don't work with everyone and prefer to only accept offers from sites I feel I can be successful with. This is in both of our interest as it helps to ensure results. But of course, in order to determine this I will need to review your sites, so at least there's a free SEO review in it for you :)

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