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Old 02-08-2006   #1
glengara
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BMW debacle good for SEO?

Could we have hoped for a better PR coup?
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Old 02-08-2006   #2
ewc21
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To me it's a good way to keep consumers be aware of what they will expect once they go for SEO companies who practice such things. That penalties are applicable whether it's a big company or a small potato.
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Old 02-08-2006   #3
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Maybe so, but with the widespread reporting next time I try to explain SEO to an "outsider", the person might even have heard of the BMW thing ;-)
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Old 02-08-2006   #4
bdnseo
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Good For Business

Personally I think the BMW debacle will if anything shed more light on the subject around corporate IT roundtables.

CEO's read the headline news and I am sure this story has many of them making some inquiries to ensure their company is immune to the same fate.

Maybe we will start to see more SEO managers hired in house and retained as a valuable team member rather than being outsourced to companies on the internet.

Anyone heard of 'SEO manager' hirings or can point me to a few larger company job postings in this industry for my reference if you are aware of them. I would like to get a better understanding of just how much exposure this industry has within the 'corporate' culture (did I just write that?).
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Old 02-08-2006   #5
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Sounds like you're looking for a new job, BDN ;-)
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Old 02-08-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glengara
Maybe so, but with the widespread reporting next time I try to explain SEO to an "outsider", the person might even have heard of the BMW thing ;-)
Exactly, even before they learn anything about SEO, they have heard the BMW news, which kinda makes them feel more anxious to try.
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Old 02-08-2006   #7
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I have found this news quite useful when explaining the difference between whitehat and blackhat SEO. Looks like its old news though.

Last edited by JohnW : 02-08-2006 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 02-08-2006   #8
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There is a multitude of similar cases amongst high profile sites. What is the policy on outing sites in here?
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Old 02-08-2006   #9
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I don't think pointing to legitimate news articles is going to be considered to be outing anyone. Re: outing - in general we don't want to give any info that would ID a questionable website.
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Old 02-10-2006   #10
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BMW debacle negatives for SEO could be turned into positives

As you said JohnW "I have found this news quite useful when explaining the difference between whitehat and blackhat SEO.

However what the SE's do or don't do is the most important factor in whether this BMW incident turns out good or bad for SEO in the long run, IMO.

Along those lines, I posted on 2/8/06 at 9:36 am this next post on Matt Cutts's blog, and I havn't seen it appear yet on any other computer except my own. I assume Matt hasn't had a chance to approve it yet:

"I have the greatest respect for Matt Cutts as I believe that as much as he represents Google, he is also a great intermediary to the Search Marketing Industry. This “ham in the sandwich” role (term of endearment to me, as I have always been one in my businesses) is very difficult for anyone, especially when he is trying his best, IMHO, to help both Google and SEO-SEM’s, while helping the advertisers and search users.

That said, I really wish the “appearance of” or the reality of actual favoritism to BMW and Ricoh did not happen. This indeed sends the wrong message to SEO’s, and even more importantly to the big brand client-advertisers. These may now say that since I probably will get preferential treatment, why not do “Black Hat” techniques and get as much “distance” out of it as I can. After all, Google thinks my web site to be so important to the search users, that they don’t want it banned for the usual longer time it takes to get reinstated. So “Big Brand” has got everything to gain and little or nothing to lose!

I personally have seen what “favoritism” can do within a company, or to a company. It is a “cancer”, IMO, that is as bad as a parent who picks one of his children to be his “favorite” while his other children suffer. Therefore, I feel that Google should treat everyone the same for the exact, specific violation(s) of their guidelines. I also believe that Google should publish a list of SEO companies that have been caught getting their client’s web sites banned (as “Dave” in these (Matt's blog) comments said). But, have a notation of all the dates that each banning occured, so that these SEO companies can be given a chance to change their strategies. SEO prospects can at least be able to see if it has been a long time since the “Black Hat” tactics were used, or since they were caught.

As far as Matt saying “Our main goal has to be to give the most relevant results to our users; there is currently a trade-off between
taking action to remove spam from our index vs. removing sites that lots of users look for with navigational queries.”, my suggestion is for Google to put up an “explanation page” when a site is banned explaining to the search users that the “banning” will hopefully be temporary, and that it was done for the search user’s long term benefit. Giving “tools” to webmasters, SEO’s and mom & pop web site owners is good, but doing that alone is handing over too much of the responsibility away from Google, IMO.

I believe that last part, since my premise is that the more all SEO people use, or are forced to use (by their client’s competitiveness), programming and analytics directed at the search engines only (”Black Hat”) vs. “Doing everything necessary to improve a website’s performance for it’s target audience.” (Stony deGeyter’s quote from: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...7&postcount=16 ), the chances of the overall online search user’s experience being good most of the time gets reduced, IMO.” By that I mean that if what Stoney says is true: “White: Honor SE guidelines; Black: “trick” search engines” and “White: Site marketability is important; Black: Top rankings at any cost”, and finally “White: Content driven; Black: Technology driven”, then the sometimes “forgotten”, but most important part of the whole Search Marketing equation (the online search user) MAY (not necessarily) be served something other than the best quality content on the top of the 1st SERP because of programming and analytic techniques.”

Lastly, Google needs to communicate more clearly, conspicuously, comprehensively, and comprehendably in their “Webmaster Guidelines”, in my opinion, without giving away too much detail of the specifics of their algorithm. For example, this (SEW) forum thread explains many “White Hat” search engine optimizer’s frustrations = http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=9765 ."

PLEASE FORGIVE THIS "WAY TOO LONG POST", but I just posted another follow up blog post on Matt Cutts's blog, and I'm assuming that it may be a while before Matt has a chance to approve it:

"Matt,

There is a post in threadwatch on this subject that talks about Danny Sullivan's somewhat apologetic "Google needs BMW in the index" argument (BTW, Danny is an effective, great "intermediary" who I hope realizes that I am praising him when I say he also assumes the role of the "ham in the sandwich" between SE's and the search mktg. community).

While I understand that general business concept, I feel Google needs MORE for their search users to understand what is best for them in the long run = web sites that are the most relevant to their intent, and quality content sites that are easily comprehended and navigable for humans, mostly, as well as SE robots.
Yes, many (not all) "Big Brand" sites have those qualities, but if Google's disciplinary actions are too weak or inconsistent, that could change with "cost saving" measures on the part of some "Big Brands", who may think more short term than long term. After all, who does Google need more, the Big Brands or the search users? I sure hope the search users still come first, as they are the ones who brought Google to the "Google Dance" in the first place.

I know that some users will be annoyed if they entered the exact "Big Brand Name" in the search box, and don't find it. So, why not let the Big Brands back in quickly (and do the same for small brands too) for ONLY searches that include the exact "Big Brand Name". For any searches like, say, "used German cars" or "German Automobiles", consider doing what I suggest in the next paragraph. These searchers are usually "prospects" who haven't decided which German brand they are interested in, or who can't remember the exact "Big Brand Name". Either way, they are important to the "brand".

The key for Google is open, honest, upfront, and good communication with Google's search users. So, there must be a way to substitute an educational "explanation listing link" from Google in the ranking position of the offending web site (don't know for sure, but hoping). This would serve the dual purpose of educating the Google search user as to why Google is temporarily not giving them access to that particular brand's site, while providing public humiliation for the brand due to either the person or (SEO) company who worked on their site or their own overzealous competitiveness.

Don't just have a Google "SEOs" page that says " a few unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results." Many times (maybe most of the time) it is the "end justifies the means" big and small brand advertiser who is the real problem. Search users need to understand this, and why "attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results" are bad for them."

End of Rant/Constructive Suggestions
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Old 02-10-2006   #11
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Not angling for new work

Not looking for a new job... I like being my own boss and working on projects that interest me (even at the cost of making less money believe it or not).

The only way to truly be successful is to call your own shots otherwise you are always somebody elses lackey.

I have worked for multi-national corporations and small startups alike and eventually moved out on my own and don't plan on looking back.

Having said all of that it couldn't hurt the credibility of our industry if some big companies added some high profile SEO talent to their roster.

No doubt we would hear about it here. If there were more standards and accreditations through "classroom testing" creating "professionals" to craft the descriptions and backlink anchor text for all of the pages on the web wouldn't information retrieval become easier with more relevant results (of course this assumes companies hire white hat talent).

Yes there is competition in every industry on the web, but if searching returned more relevant results more people would search and there would be a bigger market for everybody. People search the web for information and 99% of the time are not looking to buy anything anyway.

Is it any shock that information retrievers, information hub sites and free service providers are the most dominant brands on the net... think Google, Yahoo, CNN, BBC, Technorati, Hotmail ... and they all want you to get a membership and join their "community". They gain user's trust by providing information and wrap pay services and products around the information.

They get unsolicited backlinks for providing their "valuable service" and dominate SERPs for high traffic keyphrases.

None of this happens overnight without either an investment in time or money. A little investment in quality SEO talent can go a long way to mapping out a long term strategy for a successful sustained business.

There is a little "chicken and mouse" game going on though because a company has to believe that an SEO can actually produce results and with an industry that has no standarized reporting it can be difficult to gain credibility other than through referrals.

If we all work together to root out the bad seeds and provide good, well researched information free of gaurantees (don't be like a used car salesman) our industry may earn more respect moving forward.
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Old 02-10-2006   #12
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Question Will Advertisers & Traditional Ad Agencies Hire More & More SEO's?

"Maybe we will start to see more SEO managers hired in house and retained as a valuable team member rather than being outsourced to companies on the internet" = Very Possible "bdnseo"!

IMO, if more SEO-SEM's don't start learning, adopting and using more inexpensive offline "link driving" marketing tools like radio, newpaper's, yellow pages, trade journals, etc., then there is a danger that the "smaller than BMW" accounts will go to in-house or to traditional ad agencies who have "interactive" departments with their own in-house SEO-SEM's.

There is a big push with the ANA and the AAAA for "accountability", and there is no marketing tool as "accountable" (with specific details) as Internet Marketing, IMO. The fact that they developed "Ad-ID is proof of their determination for "accountability".

Actually, I hope that (absorption of many good SEO's) doesn't happen too much, though, as I am for the SEO-SEM entrepreneurs who add to the number of small, medium and large businesses in America.

Last edited by BKCB : 02-10-2006 at 08:28 PM.
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