Predicting the beast

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Updated see bottom: following post by Matt cutts.

Well a few weeks ago I put out an email forecasting that Google would be hitting Guest blog Posts and SEO companies that had been using on this technique. NOW as everyone will know one of the biggest proponents of this method has been Moz. Anytime you would have been to the Moz blogs in the last few years, you would have seen that every other article was about how you can use outreach and ‘content marketing’ otherwise known as ‘guest blogging’ to provide a white hat SEO solution for your clients. The fact is that Moz have been evangelizing this so called white hat method for years until the other day, when the brains behind the scenes Rand Fishkin (truly nice guy) has just exposed this white elephant in the room to all his followers:

http://moz.com/blog/guest-posting-blogging-slippery-slope-whiteboard-friday

It’s ironic that after all these years where he’s been promoting this method, that he should just now come out and denounce the practice in this way (does he get my emails?). At the same time he recently stepped down as CEO from Moz because he wasn’t well equipped. Moz have made a decent service in the SEO world and their blog presence is one of their core marketing tools, but now they will have to come up with another ‘system’ to promote that will attract a new bread of subscribers!

THE BUSINESS MODEL

Google are the king, we know… they are our God, they our rain maker and we know we have to abide by their rules and pay them money if they catch us cheating their system. It’s a great business model and racket they run, but whats interesting is that there is a serious power law at the heart of their model, where 80% of their profits come from 20% of the SERPs. Point is there is a ton of money being made in a handful of sectors and thats making them enough money to pay for all the experiments and new business ideas that they explore:

http://www.wordstream.com/articles/most-expensive-keywords

THE FUTURE OF SEO IN 2014

We’d all like to know where its all going, what is going to work from a business model in the next year, how we can best make money by exploiting some of the positions in the SERPs to bring in enough organic traffic to make a profit and avoid loosing it all to a penalty or update. But the bottom line is that while everyone has been looking for safe methods to use and have hoped and prayed that the bandwagon they have jumped on will continue unchecked, they are now just starting to realize the fact that what they thought was safe ground, is not.

NOTHING IS SAFE! NOTHING IS WHITE HAT!

We accept the risks! We try to minimize the risks but we accept them. Fact is when you play against a Goliath you will take injuries and occasionally loose some blood, but to put your head in the sand and pretend to yourself that you are safe and able to avoid any hits in such a game is simply delusional. Most of the companies that have played in this game have experienced some loss along the journey but rather than adapting to that reality it seems lots prefer instead to try and please Google.

You will never make everyone happy in business and you will never make Google happy, no matter what you do. Google don’t make their money by trying to make the companies that they rely on happy, instead Google actively go out of their way to inflict pain on companies close to them and then use any justification to demand payments, its an extortion racket and nothing more or less.

ACCEPT AND ADDAPT, OR DIE.

There is something I see that many don’t, its the bigger picture, a picture of who survives and prospers and the strategies that they adopt prior to their fortunes being made or lost in this business. I’ve always used my predictive powers to choose the path we take with regards tools that I’ve developed and services that we offered. Using that power I’ve also predicted many changes that have happened in this business well before they happened, some examples were the density tool, that tool was launched years before the Penguin update which focused on over optimization and it highlighted where Penguin would catch clients with precision.

Then of course there was all the other tools I launched over the years that focused on other types of problem links which were launched at a time when everyone still valued them types of links and they later turned out to be sour (panda).

With all the tools I developed, they were done so at a time when they were considered novel but not essential, only later did they become seriously valuable and the atmosphere changed so that they looked to be fortuitous…

The same is true for the email tool I developed that made contacting people to get toxic links removed a breeze which is still the best tool in this sector. This was developed at a time when everyone else was still evangelizing the disavow tool which has turned out to be useless in most cases.

http://www.seroundtable.com/google-disavow-rankins-17946.html

Note that I always said that Google would never let SEO companies hand select the the good links with the use of the disavow tool! Contrary to some other ‘experts’ who insisted they were using it with success even before it was actually launched:

http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/disavow-tool-beta-test-recovery-laid-bare.html

PREDICTING THE FUTURE

Then there was one of the most interesting changes of last year ‘Hummingbird’ that no one apparently even noticed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7JhnWHbwnE&t=7m30s

That said, 2 weeks before hummingbird was launched I predicted it with an eerily correct summary of what I though was going on and that email post you might remember was followed up with a “told you so” a day after Hummingbird was launched.

http://linkaudit.co.uk/blog/told-you-so/

MY CRYSTAL BALL

My Crystal ball is telling me that Google are going to make the most aggressive changes to the SERPS this year, even though they will claim only a small percentage of companies will be affected.

See the companies that are currently getting away with manipulating using ‘content marketing’ and guest blog posts including big players like expedia.com who have been exposed recently:

http://linkaudit.co.uk/blog/expedia-outed-google-goes-quiet-somethings-brewing/

will start to see the effects and be caught out with serious surprises as has apparently happened every year since I’ve been involved in SEO. Thing is afterwards everyone says we didn’t know, but the writing is always on the wall.

In the past google went after clearly spammy sites and every year changed and went after slightly more legitimate issues affecting the smaller more decent companies that could afford a bit of SEO, now they are creeping towards the bigger players who have legitimate sites and have adopted these so called ‘white hat’ techniques and had expensive SEO campaign strategies with so-called ‘top agencies’ who have charged them fortunes for content marketing along with a bit of ‘social media marketing’.

BETTING ON A POSITION

If I was a betting man I would take a position and stick to it even when the writing wasn’t clearly written on the wall. For those who have been following my emails over the years, you would have seen the many emails where I mentioned the emergence of Bitcoin well before it was at 30 dollars and would have seen that these predictions have often appeared fortuitous after the facts had unraveled. In this world it is often said that someone is lucky. But true luck is often just a result of lots of hard work and its that which gives one the insights and inside knowledge that makes us all seem lucky.

I have developed some of the best solutions in the SEO sector over the years and over the last 4-5 months I have done more work than I would have liked building out an honestly authentic system of SEO, I believe its the most advanced solution of its kind and over the next few months I will enjoy the fruits of that labour as we develop strategies for projects that we see are worthy of investment with partnerships that I believe are worth developing.

Got such a project? then get in touch…

Kind Regards
Steve Carroll


EDIT UPDATE:

I’ve just seen this, its Matt Cutts calling guest blogs on the same day I sent my email predicting as much. Of course I hadn’t seen this post of this until after I wrote my post but eerie that it was being posted at the same time as my own article was going out…

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

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