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Old 12-20-2004   #1
sebastian
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gettin it off my chest for 04

1) firefox may be cool - but it's slow. loads slow, renders slow...

2) sick of "me too" posts here at SEW. it's gettin' worse towards xmas and waaay worse after SES sessions

3) click fraud is gaining momentum fast. wait-n-see what happens in '05 and then come back and read all my posts nailing it as a major issue.

4) google suggestion-beta thing is a cool thing. use it to develop keyword phrases for your AdWords campaigns. it's like google tells you what people want ....or may want. better than the lame keyword tool.

5) the whole black/white/gray thing is silly --- many "white hats" are total search pimps and i roll my eyes at ego-driven approaches to what's right and not right for search marketing... not a slam, just hey - marketing is marketing. no one is the marketing god. ...or goddess.

<snip>

6) "white hats" really means "we work in non competitive environments"

7) "black hats" really means "we work for results however we can get'em"

8) gray hats are just confused and morally conflicted.

9) link building still maters and those with the most links win. period.

10) if you bought google stock, you want them to keep adWords, adSense and you want them to allow paid inclusion in the future.

11) link requests suck

12) no mater how "clever" you think your link request emails are ...they aren't.

13) network linking is not spam

14) click fraud does exist

15) click fraud companies exist

16) you can get duplicate IP refunds from PPC engines if you scream loud enough

17) the future of search is personalization and localization

18) seo companies will drop like dotcom bust in 05.

....just wait-n- see.

ahhhh - that felt good.

Last edited by Lex : 12-21-2004 at 12:04 AM. Reason: wayyyy too personal
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Old 12-20-2004   #2
Nick W
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Sebastian, it's 4am and im tired, but still managed to LoL, that's the best post i've seen in ages - some gems in there if you look hard enough heh...
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Old 12-20-2004   #3
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Quote:
10) if you bought google stock, you want them to keep adWords, adSense and you want them to allow paid inclusion in the future.
Nah, you want the to sign up MSN as a distributer of AdWords and possibly AdSense, and you want them to make Froogle CPC and make the top XY results Froogle. Stuff paid inclusion, paid inclusion by stealth will be far more profitable, and a far less bitterly contested and PR (public relations) negative.

Quote:
5) the whole black/white/gray thing is silly --- many "white hats" are total search pimps and i roll my eyes at ego-driven approaches to what's right and not right for search marketing... not a slam, just hey - marketing is marketing. no one is the marketing god. ...or goddess.
Sigh. I roll my eyes at what is so obviously a white guy using a word like "pimps". That said, I wonder how your next two points can be:
Quote:
6) "white hats" really means "we work in non competitive environments"

7) "black hats" really means "we work for results however we can get'em"
So, is it silly, or is it something real? It can't be both. If it is silly, lets not talk like that anymore, and if it isn't, lets just get over discussing its "silliness". Either or.

That said, I never understand the black hat / white hat argument as it pertains to competition. IMHO, the most competetive searches are ones black hats will never rank well for. Try search engine or books. No black hat spammers there.

So, Black hat == quick fix, all or nothing, accept the risks approach. White hat == long term, business and brand building approach in which results over a period of time are more important than supernova brightness and death. Kinda James Dean vs Robert Redford.

If you are in business for a short time, not a long time, by all means spam. If you are a small to mid sized SME, looking to build a long term brand, stay well clear of black hats IMHO.

Quote:
18) seo companies will drop like dotcom bust in 05.
Ohh, now that comment made me bookmark this thread. I'll take $100 the other way, and I will be back late 05 to see who pays up That said, I am not sure where they are dropping from, or to, but I will still take you up on this

Last edited by Lex : 12-21-2004 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 12-21-2004   #4
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Sigh. I roll my eyes at what is so obviously a white guy using a word like "pimps". That said, I wonder how your next two points can be:
shoots yo, ...can't help it. stylin' and profilin' in downtown hot-lanta - rubs off on brutha' ...ya feel me, G?

[grins and grins]

Quote:
Ohh, now that comment made me bookmark this thread.
...well cool. at least you read it. that's my goal. whether people agree or not is irrelevant. i am hardly after rep points. ...what i am afta' is prompting thought - and i believe my post does that for some people.

and concerning the 100 billys - email me privately at christian[at]phatz[dot]com and we can discuss such an arrangement. i truly believe this will happen...

i just can't see engines allowing themselves to be manipulated so easily over the next year.
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Old 12-22-2004   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
i am hardly after rep points. ...what i am afta' is prompting thought - and i believe my post does that for some people.
indeed it did

us bloggers (me and NickW) have picked up on your post and are hoping to spread your post as best we can. good stuff

I think niche well branded SEO services
(such as keyword research = Dan Thies = keyword research)
will not be going away soon.

I also think more and more personalized and profit share type business partnerships will form between regular brick and mortar stores and savvy SEOs.

Big Generic SEO:
I think SEO companies with thousands of clients that provide the general SEO services for your ____ site for our generic flat SEO fee rate of ____ / month will be a business model which soon starts massive decay.

New SEOs:
I got on the web less than 2 years ago, but I would bet it is significantly harder to enter the SEO field today than it was when I started playing on the web. I am sure that bar will keep getting raised.

If a person is willing to work hard I still think there is opportunity, but the best deals would probably be:
  • helping someone successful you know really well from the offline / "real" world get online and share profits with them
  • doing niche affiliate marketing
  • selling information of some sort
  • If you are a fan of expensive topics (such as insurance) programs such as AdSense can also help pay some of the bills.
if you are new and unbranded I think generic SEO services for a flat rate is not really a scalable business model if you work by yourself. a few clients that way might be good to help get the feet wet, but over time you will want to create passive income streams (adsense, aff programs, or selling info) while also working to find partners that will do profit share.
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Last edited by seobook : 12-22-2004 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 12-24-2004   #6
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18) seo companies will drop like dotcom bust in 05.
Drop? No. But the vast majority of 'run-of-the-mill' companies may certainly cease to matter much as rationalisation and consolidation starts to arrive in our industry.

Seriously, about 8 in every ten of the brightest, biggest, and most innovative SEM firms are looking at their exit strategies for the coming year.

Yep, from where I am, (which isn't too disconnected), I see 80% of all the best-known SEO companies wanting to sell out, or sell up in the coming months. They've all taken notice of the approach of the big ad agencies, and all hope to be attractive buyout propositions for such agencies. Big bucks involved, of course.

Then there's the fact that the SEs themselves would like to cut out us middle-men and deal with the end clients directly (shortening the supply chain and so keeping more of the profit at their end of that chain). There's no way that the engines can easily carry that off, so some search engines may have to purchase SEO firms themselves to carry it off.

For sure, SEM itself is certainly not in decline. The total opposite is the obvious truth, in that SEM has just broken through to a higher level, and the growth potential for the next 12 months is the biggest it has ever been. Sure, some companies will drop. Others will climb. Some will sell, some will buy, some will become parts of larger things, and others will subsume others to become those larger things...

Its an exciting year. I predict I'm going to enjoy it tremendously.
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Old 12-24-2004   #7
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>>18) seo companies will drop like dotcom bust in 05.

Seems unlikely to me but that's prolly just cuz I'm looking to pitch the self-employed bit and looking at some agency jobs - 05 is the year of change. SEO/SEM will only get bigger as the mainstream marketing firms felx some financial muscle and move into the arena more and more. Consolidation? yes - decline? no.
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Old 12-26-2004   #8
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Gotta agree with oil on 18. I think we'll see a change in SEM companies, methods, styles and reps - but I don't see a downward spiral. Not even 50% of the mega players in the commercial world understand the value of the engines yet. When they do, they'll blow a good amount of money trying to do it on their own and then realize they need a professional. Who that professional will be/need to be may change, but the need for them I don't see changing.
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Old 12-26-2004   #9
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>>8) gray hats are just confused and morally conflicted.

Then there are the sub-classes of grey hats:

8a. White hats with black hearts.
8b. White hats with the heart of a skunk - black with a yellow streak running down the middle.
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Old 12-26-2004   #10
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Sebastian, if you are tired of the Black Hat/White Hat discussion then I will suggest that you don't fuel it

I very much disagree that there will be any kind of meltdown in the SEO industry. I see changes, as allways, but having been around for many years that is hardly any news. The only difference is that we are far more people doing SEO now, the money is bigger and therefore attract more attention when something happends. Major changes has always come around this industry on a regular basis.

The SEO companies that have flexible offerings and business models that they can quicly adjust for changes will survive - others that have fixed their entire business on the current (short termed) situation may very well suffer - or close down. There is really nothing new in that
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Old 01-06-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
The SEO companies that have flexible offerings and business models that they can quicly adjust for changes will survive - others that have fixed their entire business on the current (short termed) situation may very well suffer - or close down.
Actually, you're both right, but Sebastian's post is just funnier. Especially...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
2) sick of "me too" posts here at SEW. it's gettin' worse towards xmas and waaay worse after SES sessions
Plus, Mikkel, you have to admit there are definitely more firms of your latter definition within this industry.
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Old 01-06-2005   #12
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Quote:
Plus, Mikkel, you have to admit there are definitely more firms of your latter definition within this industry.
Nahh, there may be a lot of "wannabe SEOs" that do so but in fact, far the most of the good companies that I know of and have worked with in this industry have been around so long that they know about this. So, my comment was mostly ment as some good advice for the new companies in our industry to be aware of the ever changing nature of what we do.

Enjoy the ride as long as it last but be ready to jump on the next wave as soon as the first one dies out.
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Old 01-06-2005   #13
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Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
a lot of "wannabe SEOs"
Amen to that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
So, my comment was mostly ment as some good advice for the new companies in our industry to be aware of the ever changing nature of what we do.
That's good advice.
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Old 01-06-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
The SEO companies that have flexible offerings and business models that they can quicly adjust for changes will survive - others that have fixed their entire business on the current (short termed) situation may very well suffer - or close down. There is really nothing new in that
I am definately seeing that and don't believe there will be a 'downward spiral', agree with oilman in that there will be a LOT more consolidation. I'm fielding more inquiries than ever to join in house teams or sell my lil ole consulting company and quite frankly, it really makes you wonder what could be next if so much demand for our services is out there.

I also agree with seobook about the niche players and those that develop a particular expertise, we have evolved from basic seo to a much more complex services company based upon an ever changing marketplace and client demands, I cant imagine jumping in now and trying to focus on just achieving rankings when there is obviously so much more to this game.

I personally think that 2005 will definately be one for the books.
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Old 01-07-2005   #15
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As more Marketing firms get tired of outsourcing the SEO/SEM work, they're going to make offers to those self employed SEO's, that they cannot refuse, and they'll leave working from home or for a small firm for the large firm.

The industry will grow, but only at the top. The little SEO's at the bottom will just get sucked up by the bigger players (with a few of the bigger players getting purchased from above.)
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Old 01-07-2005   #16
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lol! Nice post!
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Old 01-08-2005   #17
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The little SEO's at the bottom will just get sucked up by the bigger players (with a few of the bigger players getting purchased from above.)
Not from where I sit. The vast majority of businesses are SMEs. Who will service them? Not the giant ahencies, that is for damned sure.

The larger the business gets, the more small players will exist. Fulltime SEOs? Probably not, but there will be a massive increase in those offerring SEO services and, yes, many will be rather small.

No real need to fear IMHO, in fact quite the opposite.
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Old 01-09-2005   #18
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Looks like many of us share disagreement with the same quote:
Quote:
The industry will grow, but only at the top. The little SEO's at the bottom will just get sucked up by the bigger players (with a few of the bigger players getting purchased from above.)
You see, I believe that while the big players can only look forward to more work, it is the smaller players and sole-SEOs who gain the most.

After all, the sole SEO is going to have more options and choices than ever before. They'll still have the same-size clients and contracts available to them as now, but also a chance (admittedly small) at the bigger jobs too if they can actually put together a logical and sensible business case for themselves.

New choices include a greater variety of potential employers if they'd prefer to lose some of the headaches and risks of being self employed. In addition, even big companies may still outsource to smaller companies if (again) the business case is there for that.

In addition, for the small SEO just starting out, there'll be a whole lot more chances to take a job with a larger company to learn skills and gain experience. Indeed, as recruitment for all this growth comes about, you can certainly expect that real qualifications will rise in demand, and that said demand will lead to an increased range of learning opportunities and providers. We're already seeing that I believe, with Dan Theis' latest project, for just one example.
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