I’ve never posted a rant before. Occasionally in a post, I’ll kind of go on a bit longer than I should about a specific thing, but I don’t consider that ranting.
I wasn’t even going to write a blog post today, but I’m so disgusted with some of the information being put out there, by so called “expert” sources, on high authority blogs via guest posts that I can’t ignore it like I usually do.
Honestly, I don’t know if these people are just complete idiots, or just writing bullshit that sounds good because they think it helps them gain authority.
The Problem With the Local SEO Crowd
I say problem in that heading, but realistically, there are many problems. Not just one, but multiple.
The biggest problem is that there’s a group of people, all patting each other on the back and convincing themselves they’re the industry’s authorities.
The first thing they do before answering a question, is to make sure what they respond with, doesn’t conflict with Google guidelines, and doesn’t conflict with another one of their “expert” buddies.
Next, after they make sure they stay within Google guidelines and they don’t offend their buddy by giving legitimate advice, they regurgitate the same BS theories that have been told time and time again.
When it comes to local SEO, the information you get is overwhelmingly white hat. White hat isn’t bad, but most of their information is along the lines of the whitest, white hat you can find on earth, then bleaching it 100 times. It would be nice if the world was that way, but it isn’t.
Some of these people think of themselves as “king makers” when it comes to information and authority. I guess they are right. They are king makers, because nobody is challenging them. Nobody is challenging the status quo whatsoever and it’s freakin annoying.
This isn’t the first time in history people have been this way. Entire governments, countries, the whole world, has refused to challenge beliefs. The earth was believed to be flat, and if you thought otherwise in some cases you would be imprisoned, punished, even put to death. You were a social outcast.
This is what is going on in Local SEO circles.
You’re not getting imprisoned, or put to death for disagreeing but you are definitely shunned. In fact, one of these cult members told me specifically that I would never be included in any top blog list, round up, or promotion by any of them because I disagree with them too often.
SEO is not an art form… it’s more of a science. Sorry for actually looking at evidence and data to form my opinions instead of following your idiotic cult of outdated ideas.
It makes sense though…
Why would this group of people want to bump shoulders with me? Actually, why would they bump shoulders with any of you either?
After all, their notoriety and authority is built on the information they share and promote for each other. It isn’t because of the quality of information. It isn’t because they are legitimate experts in the field.
These people capitalize off of others that don’t know any better.
I’ve made my money by actually doing things. I’ve made my money by working with clients, and analyzing a bunch of data, trying new things, doing case studies, seeing what works and what doesn’t, tracking 1,000 different SERPs for different keywords, industries and locations.
But by all means… keep on sharing your theories of what works, then chime in on each others posts, saying how “remarkable” their content is, and how much you agree with their “cutting edge” ideas that have been around for 5 years now.
For those of us that actually do this type of work, theory doesn’t cut it. Google guidelines aren’t the #1 concern to clients that pay us to do this type of work.
Results…that’s what they want. Put up or shut up. If you can’t get results, you can’t put food on the table.
That’s the reality that we deal with. We, being those of us that actually do this stuff for a living instead of circle jerking the egos of everyone inside the “circle of influence”.
I’m not going to kiss anyone’s ass for more traffic or to be found in a favorable view of others inside their group. Go ahead and consider me a social pariah in the world of SEO.
The truth is, people that follow this blog already know that I give it to them straight. The information I share is tried, tested and true. It’s based on experience, and more important than that, is it’s based on data and results.
So screw your traffic, your theories, your top blogs list, and your BS circle of influence. I certainly don’t need you. I’ll just be over here keeping it real.
Example of BS Theories
I can’t just rant all day here, I need to show all of you some of the stuff that’s being taught and why it’s wrong. I’m sure some of you would take my word for it regarding certain things, but let’s break it down.
I’m not going to mention any of these people by name.
They don’t deserve the name recognition or additional exposure.
Example 1: Culprit Says Google+ Posting Doesn’t Effect Rankings
I’ve written a post in the past about social signals not effecting SEO, and I stand by that today. However, we’re not talking about social signals here.
The culprit said Google phone support has suggested G+ posting to benefit rankings, and that you should ignore that because it doesn’t play a role in rankings, whatsoever.
This is nonsense.
The activity of a Google+ Business page DOES play a role in local rankings, as well as general activity on the network. People you follow, people that follow you, communities that you’re in. It all plays a role.
Sharing links to the business website, is still a link. Nofollow or not, it’s a link that builds relevance, maybe not PR, but relevance nonetheless.
Next, the more active you are on any social media platform, the more INTERNAL PageRank you can build for your page. Since PR isn’t updated anymore and not available to the public, we don’t know what it is but we know it’s still a factor.
Another culprit seconded the first culprit’s statements. Actually, I’ll go ahead and mention his name, Darren the owner of Whitespark said:
Posts on Google+ Have never contributed to rankings, and now, with the way Google has separated Local from Google+, there is no reason for a business to waste time on Google+.
Ah well, this is the same guy that said you shouldn’t claim or create a GMB listing until MONTHS after you’ve built and claimed all your citations. Of course, he wouldn’t know any of that because he doesn’t do client work.
Legitimate uses for Google+ to benefit local rankings:
One technique I always liked to use was to join location specific communities. I always tried to follow in order to get followed, for the business I was helping.
I have charts listed below and one of the examples is an HVAC company I did SEO and online marketing for. We completed all citations and on page stuff, they were stuck in the G/7th spot. This was before the snack pack took over, 7 pack was still around.
I shared a bit of content to their g+ page, but took it a step further and joined 5 different local communities. Only one was actually active, but we joined to build a stronger location relevance to the business page. If you’re in 5 different communities all related to the city you’re targeting, is it difficult to believe that would help?
Of course, it did help. The client moved up to the B spot, almost instantly. We then created an animoto style slideshow video for the company, optimized it, and shared in the 4 inactive communities.
Within 10 days, the business jumped to the A spot, #1, with the first organic spot being the video.
But.. if you listened to these people, none of that is possible.
Below are a few examples, business name and city not included.
Sample 1: This was for AC repair and HVAC services for a guy in a very populated city in Texas. #1 rankings in 8 weeks! Bottom part of the graph shows the weeks, sorry, didn’t label it!
Sample 2: Extremely tough client in a very competitive niche, and a very populated and competitive city. One of the biggest examples of this working.
Sample 3: I’ll just go ahead and give you the city, New York City, where else is there that’s very competitive in NY? Buffalo and Albany are easy, NYC, not so much. The keyword wasn’t Dentist, but it is dental related. #1 in 8 weeks
Now, I’m not going to say that the reason these were so successful is because of posting on Google+ but there was an obvious stall or plateau in rankings, and this definitely played a part in increasing those rankings.
The culprit, is wrong, as usual.
Example 2: Different Culprit says it takes 10-12 weeks to see impact from a backlink.
If this was actually the truth, I never would have gotten into SEO.
Perhaps it’s because of teachings like this that the average SEO client only remains with a company for an average of 3 months.
It’s these same people that tell others to not expect rankings for 6 months or more!
If it really takes you 10-12 weeks to see impact from backlinking, then you’re doing it wrong or you’re getting awful, garbage links.
A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post on keyword research tools, comparing long tail pro and market samurai. I’m currently working on ranking case study for the term long tail pro vs. market samurai.
Once everything settled from being a new post, I was sitting at 56. Yes, #56 in the rankings. I built 2 links from web 2.0 properties, and within 2 days jumped to #18.
I haven’t done anything since then and it still sticks around there.
When I build a couple more backlinks for that page, I will likely see impact from those links within a couple days, 1 week at the most.
What the culprit fails to realize, is that it isn’t year 2004 anymore. We’re in 2016. These are the days where it doesn’t take Google 2-3 months to find links. If it takes you a long time to see ranking impact from backlinking, you’re just doing it wrong, that’s all.
Example 3: Culprit Says You Will Only Rank in the Physical Location of the Business.
They go on to talk about service area and how it doesn’t matter, and that you won’t be able to rank outside of your city.
I don’t think I need to expand on this one too much, do I?
One of the most popular blog posts I’ve written was about how I’ve ranked a business in 20+ cities for 60+ keywords, even with duplicate content.
That post was written over one year ago, but still remains as accurate today as it was then.
Example 4: Crew of Jokesters Says EXIF Manipulation Will Get You Higher Rankings
This one I find really funny.
There’s this group of people pumping out courses, webinars, products, memberships for “insider information” to teach you how to rank local sites.
Look, I’m not hating on capitalism. They’ve taken advantage of a need in the market space to sell their snake oil BS. I’m a big supporter of capitalism, and in capitalism, one would expect that their market share and influence will dwindle when the free market presents a strong competitor.
I’m going to be that competitor, and expose their bullshit.
One specific strategy they talk about, is using EXIF data manipulation in order to impact rankings.
For those of you that don’t know, EXIF data is extra information or meta data implanted in images. You can do this with photoshop and other image editing sources.
What they suggest people do, is stuff a bunch of keywords, insert geo coordinates, and a bunch of other things to give a sense of location relevance when you uploaded images to your GMB listing or on your website.
This is totally false.
It doesn’t work.
Will this hurt you? No, probably not, aside from you wasting valuable time on something so ridiculous. Will it help? Of course not.
EXIF data is used for photographers and graphic artists so they can track their copyrighted materials usage. There’s speculation on whether EXIF data even helps in image search, I believe it probably does, but the fact is this does not, and will not impact local or non image based searches.
It’s total hogwash.
And these are the people that are charging you anywhere from $100-1,000+ for training.
I feel sorry for the people out there trying to learn. The business owners investing their money in something that most people are blindly following self proclaimed “thought leaders” who have never successfully worked with clients in the past.
I feel sorry for all of you that have come to read this, and feel hurt that you’ve been lied to all along due to internet politics.
And I feel sorry for those of you in the “circle of influence” that are so weak minded and weak as individuals that you feel the need to fit in so you can conquer the world of local SEO with a mob mentality.
I’m sure some of those that I’m talking about in this post, will come here, read this word for word but never say anything publicly about it. Not even a comment saying I’m wrong.
Am I right?
Well even for you, I left you a surprise: