How can you determine an SEO developers skill and success rate?

21 replies
  • SEO
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I have had at least 5 different SEO developers after the Google Panda and Penguin came out. The first 4 I hired from the Philippines, paying them roughly $500 a month, to which all we had are failures. The last one we hired is from the U.S., paying them $1,000 a month, and after being with them for 6 months, we hardly got any improvement. They were a reputable company, part of the Inc 500 fastest growing companies.

Now, looking for a new SEO developer, what are the factors I should look at to determine if they are capable of delivering results?
#determine #developers #rate #seo #skill #success
  • Profile picture of the author panic
    Word of mouth is usually how good SEO people get business, ironically.

    You definately want to see other projects they have worked on and what the results were. It would be nice to have some contact with the owners of the previous sites so you can verify good results.

    Beyond that learn a bit about SEO yourself, and ask them what they will be doing, if it sounds like you know more than them....don't hire them.
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  • Profile picture of the author CTRTheme
    Banned
    Do not anyhow pay money to them unless they show you proof of SEO in live.
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  • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
    Banned
    Ask them for a specific step by step plan of action. Make them put deadlines on things.

    "This task will be done on XXX day."

    Lot's of frauds out there. I'm assuming you have stiff competition?
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  • Profile picture of the author sanjayyadav
    It's very simply just check out their previous projects success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Velant
    Originally Posted by csa_dummy View Post

    I have had at least 5 different SEO developers after the Google Panda and Penguin came out. The first 4 I hired from the Philippines, paying them roughly $500 a month, to which all we had are failures. The last one we hired is from the U.S., paying them $1,000 a month, and after being with them for 6 months, we hardly got any improvement. They were a reputable company, part of the Inc 500 fastest growing companies.

    Now, looking for a new SEO developer, what are the factors I should look at to determine if they are capable of delivering results?
    $500 and $1000 a month sounds a lot to pay to a new provider. For how many sites and keywords was this?

    As for the guidelines: whichever provider you choose - start small.
    These days you can find SEO providers charging under $100/mo and a lot charging $100--200/mo. Pick up one and test them - give them 1-2 sites for a couple of months first and see what results they can get you. If good - give them more. If not - then move on.

    But before you even make the choice - talk to them, ask questions - see how fast and how well they reply. Willingness to communicate, qucikness of response and good customer support are crucial when selecting service provider.
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    • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Velant View Post

      These days you can find SEO providers charging under $100/mo and a lot charging $100--200/mo.
      Is this something you want to go cheap on? Because the wrong SEO provider can get your site banned, and the guess who's holding the bag? That "cheap SEO" is long gone with your $100 and you're stuck picking up the pieces.

      I won't go so far as to say that you get what you pay for because on the high end of the spectrum that isn't always true. But no SEO worth his/her salt is going to work for peanuts.

      For $100 bucks you'll probably get spun content, profile links and some noob fumbling around in your source code like a freshman trying to unhook a bra. Why not keep you $100 bucks and learn the basics yourself
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        FTM as I sure you know it was a plug for services in a price range that he offers but you are correct - 90% of the people offering SEO at that price point utilize software tools (or VAs) with spammy links.

        While I am in this thread I just want to point out that these kinds of threads always tend to have a knee jerk reaction that the fault of not ranking was the failure of the SEO company. Sometimes its the fault of the site owner who in many cases wants the SEO to go after terms that they should not, or didn't allow a good enough amount of time or even didn't do what the SEO suggested.
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        • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
          Banned
          shhhh Mike I was trying to be subtle loooooooool

          Got into enough arguments lately

          velant... jeez I'm sorry, I had no idea
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by FakeItTilYouMakeIt View Post

            Got into enough arguments lately
            Forgot who you are talking to? lol

            velant... jeez I'm sorry, I had no idea
            LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE
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          • Profile picture of the author Velant
            Originally Posted by FakeItTilYouMakeIt View Post

            shhhh Mike I was trying to be subtle loooooooool

            Got into enough arguments lately

            velant... jeez I'm sorry, I had no idea
            NO problem FakeIt!
            You are right in saying you get what you paid for, but still even with SEO that cheap improvements are possible!!! We know that from experience.
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        • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          While I am in this thread I just want to point out that these kinds of threads always tend to have a knee jerk reaction that the fault of not ranking was the failure of the SEO company. Sometimes its the fault of the site owner who in many cases wants the SEO to go after terms that they should not, or didn't allow a good enough amount of time or even didn't do what the SEO suggested.
          THAT is an excellent point. I've had clients in the past that I would strongly advise to do X or not do Y and they didn't listen, it affected their rank. A good SEO won't argue with a client but I'll definitely tell them: "If you choose to do this or that then it's likely that _______ will happen" Then my hands are clean.

          I had a guy in local seo that refused to publish his address online. anywhere. he was worried about junk mail and spam. I walked away, after telling him why. He was paying very well too. If I would have continued to take his money, he wouldn't have ranked for his local search term and he would have blamed me. "damn SEO company" :rolleyes:
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by FakeItTilYouMakeIt View Post

            For $100 bucks you'll probably get spun content, profile links and some noob fumbling around in your source code like a freshman trying to unhook a bra. Why not keep you $100 bucks and learn the basics yourself
            Freshman year of high school or freshman year of college? Because by college I had that shit down.
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            • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
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              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              Freshman year of high school or freshman year of college? Because by college I had that shit down.
              once again we are back to boobs
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              • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                Originally Posted by FakeItTilYouMakeIt View Post

                once again we are back to boobs
                Hey, you brought them up.
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        Originally Posted by FakeItTilYouMakeIt View Post

        For $100 bucks you'll probably get spun content, profile links and some noob fumbling around in your source code like a freshman trying to unhook a bra. Why not keep you $100 bucks and learn the basics yourself
        Probably indeed, luckily there are a few others who do know what they are doing, like me I just can't leave it.

        Anyway, we should not forget that many buyers fall for the quantity instead of quality. What sounds more interesting:

        - 250 high quality PR3+ links for $5,- (profile links on PR3+ "domains" obvious)
        - 10 high quality PR3+ links for $80,-

        Would the buyer know the difference? Yes if they would do some research or read the sales thread from the last one in detail, but how many would do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author neverlastn
    'Do not anyhow pay money to them unless they show you proof of SEO in live."

    Very bad idea. No good one would ever go for this.

    "The last one we hired is from the U.S., paying them $1,000 a month ... we hardly got any improvement. They were a reputable company, part of the Inc 500 fastest growing companies."

    Hehehe... this tells me that likely there is something wrong with... YOU! Maybe you give $1000 where you need to spend $10k if you get my point. Refine your project, make it more narrow focused in order to see results. It seems like you are in a highly competitive market. You have to play to your league.

    If you want to hire effectively hire 1 or 2 SEO consultants from oDesk (possibly $30/h or more) to help you interview potential SEO providers. This way you won't have to do lots of studying yourself.

    P.S. be sure to let enough time for your SEO to show its results, especially if your domain(s) are relatively young. Your SEO'ers might not be able to do anything that can give further results before your domain ages enough. If you stop though you will never get these nice future results.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Originally Posted by csa_dummy View Post

    The first 4 I hired from the Philippines,.....The last one we hired is from the U.S.,....., we hardly got any improvement. They were a reputable company, part of the Inc 500 fastest growing companies.
    I can't imagine hiring anyone from the PI.

    Have you thought about paid advertising?

    If you have a real business....

    SEO is a game that comes with no guarantees. Obviously, you
    are looking for that. It might not even be possible. You have
    competition, and some of it is in concrete, steadfast.

    In fact, after a so-called reputable company after 6 months showed
    little improvement, I'd be thinking...paid advertising...but only
    if I actually had a real business. You've paid $8000+ on
    "seo." It's time to refocus your dollars.

    Paul
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    If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author shanrocks1985
    Hi,

    Take my words , do not hire anybody, learn seo by yourself ,there are lots of useful stuff on the net and try to follow some people who have made success with there website and follow there tips.

    Like you ,i have also spent 1000 of $ but no use, After that i have started doing it by myself , now i have lots of keyword ranked on the 1 page of Google, well my blog also got hit by panda, that is also my mistake , Lots of article from my blog get copied to other website because of that ,my blog blog hit, Now i am working on this , hope to get atleast 50-60% traffic back after next panda update, waiting eagerly for it..

    Regards
    Shan
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  • Profile picture of the author Clint Faber
    First be willing to invest in making mistakes with different services eventually you will naturally develop a filter for BS.
    I know no one else can tell you exactly how to determine whether or not you should trust the service exactly, and I believe the best resource that you have is your gut feeling.

    Being the founder of topiaservies that delivers first page rankings to client, which is an extremely rare thing when you take into consideration, there are only 10 spots in the first page of Google and we have got every client that has worked with us to the first page so for.

    Some of my prospective clients are uncomfortable with their belief in our provided service, which is absolutely understandable yet I would never accept any client that begins our service with such a negative feeling.

    However, keep in mind; there's a difference between the negative gut feeling and a natural fear of the unknown. Only invest what you're willing to lose and don't be afraid of failing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam2
      Hire a native english speaker. You need quality links with proper grammar pointing towards your site.

      Make sure you understand their plan. Using automation to create links directly to your site is also a problem.

      Ask them some questions to find out if they actually know the basics. This is a good start: Questions To Ask Your SEO
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