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Should I fire my SEO team?

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Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 3:05 AM
If old style SEO is dead then should I fire my 2 SEO guys?

My sites suffered a massive drop during penguin 2.0 & then a fatal blow on Oct 4 by penguin 2.1. We got no manual penalty but the site lost 90% of the traffic. Now I am a technically sound person but my SEO was run exclusively by 2 SEO staff members. Post this fiasco, I ran through the posts and took help of some experts who all basically said the same thing: 1. Remove all bad links ( we never purchased links but the team supposedly did use social bookmarking etc), 2. Put fresh content (again we did not copy any content but did paste same content on various sites) & 3. Do natural link building (Questionable advise since link building by default is unnatural.

So I hired a content writer full time & had some senior people post content to some top sites and this month end had some decent improvement. This summarises
1. I believe that SEO in old form is dead. Only thing that will work now is content and that too by sensible business people from same industry.
2. On page SEO is pretty basic & is now done by any half decent web designer

Now the question is: What do I ask my SEO team to do. So far I had them remove spammy links, help content staff etc. but for future I can trust only domain experts & content writers to post content not link builders. Please give your opinion on this, if possible give some ideas on what technical SEO staff can do, at least say yes or no.

Thanks in advance.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Suzanneh 12/2/13 3:14 AM
>>So I hired a content writer full time & had some senior people post content to some top sites and this month end had some decent improvement. 

So you're doing article marketing?  That's just as bad...

Your first step is to thoroughly read the guidelines:

Webmaster Guidelines: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en&topic=2370419&ctx=topic



Natural link building is all about having a kick ass site that people want to talk about, link to and hold up as an example of a useful site.  That's what you need to focus on.

If you want more detailed help, a URL should be posted.  You can use a URL shortener like goo.gl, if you wish.

Suzanne

Re: Should I fire my SEO team? black belt 12/2/13 3:18 AM
We don't know what the SEO team did without links for your site. The rules have been around for a while and you can see them here:


I'm not sure what you directed them to do or how they represented their services. If you're telling me that they created spammy backlinks then I'd say that they probably violated the above "Link Schemes" issue. Did they represent themselves to be white hat only? Some people hire a team to get steroid induced returns and know they take on the risk of detection. Steering clear is the only sure fire way to ensure that you don't suffer from crippling repercussions. So this would not only include your team but probably yourself since some of your own direction might be the cause of your problems in the past and going forward. You should become more familiar with the new school as well. 

Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 3:46 AM
Thanks for the inputs Suzanne. The content writer is making sensible content and we are promoting our expertise online rather than link building. So we are in safe grounds for future. I did not give the URL as that would deviate from the real question. Is there any possible work that I can give technical / SEO guys working for me or is that form of SEO over & dead?
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 3:51 AM
Thanks Black Belt Level 12
As a business owner I do feel responsible but the fact is that I always kept saying use only white hat to which the answer was always yes. I agree with what google is doing as the SEO guys had misused this link building to create a monster. I see the same happening with Google Author now.

Again my question remains, is there any need of technical SEO people now as natural site development would require content writers and domain experts rather that techies. What do you say?

Re: Should I fire my SEO team? black belt 12/2/13 4:00 AM
On Monday, December 2, 2013 6:51:24 AM UTC-5, Raj Web wrote:

Again my question remains, is there any need of technical SEO people now as natural site development would require content writers and domain experts rather that techies. What do you say?

Hiring writers for the sake of putting out "stuff for SEO" is inherently a useless exercise. Google will continue to refine its algorithm to determine who is dumping useless crap for the sake of gaining better positions. If your site doesn't need the additional content or it isn't appropriate, spend it on another area, e.g. marketing and promotion, pay per click, etc. Some industries do not lend themselves well for extra content, e.g. a blog on a brand of panty hose isn't exactly going to set the world afire.  You need to make the right choices for your specific business and website.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 4:17 AM
Agreed. Sensible, relevant and need content is important. So you agree that technical SEO staff is obsolete and I should proceed with the firing? Or can u think of any use for them.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? black belt 12/2/13 4:28 AM
On Monday, December 2, 2013 7:17:23 AM UTC-5, Raj Web wrote:
Agreed. Sensible, relevant and need content is important. So you agree that technical SEO staff is obsolete and I should proceed with the firing? Or can u think of any use for them.

I haven't seen their work. I can't tell you what to do. All I can say is that the creation of spammy backlinks is against the rules. It's not a white hat practice. I would probably suggest to you that you have a discussion with them about what you've found out here and from others. If you don't like the answers you're receiving and feel that your confidence in their competence has been lost, then there isn't a point in continuing your relationship.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 8:48 AM
Thanks Black Belt for taking out time to answer. However why do you assume that everyone is a novice and can't differentiate between good site promotion and spammy links. I have been saying repeatedly that this happened while I was not watching and now I am. So I am finding that there is nothing that tech seos can do. I am looking at validation or contradiction of the same. That is the only question. My websites or what happened is not relevant.

Re: Should I fire my SEO team? SN11 12/2/13 10:13 AM
I would if I were you. SEO as we knew it, is over.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? black belt 12/2/13 10:36 AM
On Monday, December 2, 2013 11:48:22 AM UTC-5, Raj Web wrote:
Thanks Black Belt for taking out time to answer. However why do you assume that everyone is a novice and can't differentiate between good site promotion and spammy links. I have been saying repeatedly that this happened while I was not watching and now I am. So I am finding that there is nothing that tech seos can do. I am looking at validation or contradiction of the same. That is the only question. My websites or what happened is not relevant.

Lots of different people come here and I'm giving people you want to fire the benefit of the doubt that these are your experts and you're learning. I don't know what happened and this statement in particular confuses me:
 
So I hired a content writer full time & had some senior people post content to some top sites and this month end had some decent improvement. This summarises

Essentially you would appear to have engaged in blatant unnatural link building "after this fiasco." So you knew about it and engaged in another violation which may or may not catch up to you should Google track down these pay to play sites who place articles for you. It's why I have difficulty knowing the other side and what really happened.  The term "natural link building" doesn't prevent you from contacting others to cover your website, to take note of your articles, your products, services, etc. appearing on your website. I don't know if there was any conversation on this matter or just an email you're questioning.

So in short, I'm not jumping to any conclusions. There are so many parts to a website which an excellent technical SEO can help and you may not even know it. There unfortunately isn't a specific guideline as to all of these factors. If you feel you really have mastered enough of this so that there is no job remaining, then you have your answer. If you may not be at that level then the best answer is "I don't really know all the details but I can tell you that if they initiated the effort responsible for the spammy backlinks then that is a problem and you should use your best judgment in what that tells you." Hope it makes things clear.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Ashley 12/2/13 10:44 AM
I don't even know what a "domain expert" is. 
And you think you're doing articles to "spread expertise" but that's BS. It's link building. If the articles are that fantastic - they belong on your own site and nowhere else!


Stop building links and blaming others. Like black belt mentioned - Google's guidelines have been published for a very long time. It's up to you to read and apply them. It's not rocket science. 


Fire whoever you want to fire. It's your business. But the thing is - I'd just ignore the word SEO and focus on making a really great website. Who cares what you call the person that does that - team/personal titles MEAN NOTHING. Honestly; I think you're better off re-educating yourself and getting your team onboard than firing people. You clearly are misunderstood on what Google is looking for. 
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 9:51 PM
Thanks Ashley & Black Belt for your thoughts. What you are saying is not too different from what I am.

Simply put, the only thing that will matter & work now is to create extraordinary sites with engaging content. Period. Any technical persons (apart from a web designer) are of no use as far as SEO is concerned. By domain experts I meant people who are working in the same industry as the website and can give unique & needed information / content etc. This is supported by Google under their Google Author program where they also want industry experts. So only content, no link building.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Corruption Private 12/2/13 10:58 PM
The term you are after is Industry experts.

Your team would of realized that there was a growing importance among the world of Social Media when it came to SEO and they tried to be active there. They would not have known how it would go. Lots of trained experts were caught off guard there. The question is how did they respond?

You seem to have already selected their replacements and just want us to salve your conscience before firing them or to allow you to blame us if it is the wrong choice. I will not do so.
Tell me, what are going to do when Panda hits for putting those articles from your site out to other sites? Fire the guys you just hired?
These days a SEO expert needs to know proper link building methods, social marketing, designing content and designing the website.

They say link building is dying or dead. Well, they have been saying that for about ten years and it's still going. These are people who have worked for you for years. It is not far to sack them without giving them a chance to pull their act together.

Incidentally, you would have been hit by Panda as well because of the content you mentioned that you copied and pasted to other sites.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/2/13 11:20 PM
Thanks Corruption Private for your thoughts. Actually I am trying to find any work that can still be done by SEO guys. The idea is that I am trying to find some reason to not fire my people but am unable to do so as anything that you do outside creating a great web site is an issue. By the way, Google does not matter. You just need to create relevant content and post it sensibly. It was a lapse of common sense & initiative by Google that allowed the entire SEO industry to come up. It should never have been allowed to spread like this. Now imagine the consequence when thousand of Junior & Mid Level SEO's will find themselves redundant. The top ones will still manage to tweak the system.

Again if you have any thoughts on what an SEO team can do which would be ethical, I would love to hear them.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? black belt 12/3/13 12:27 AM
IMHO you're working this backwards and Corruption Private makes some good points. This is your SEO team. You ask them what services they can provide to you. Then you determine whether it's prudent and, if so, whether they are competent. Asking for others to come up with ideas for you so that you can ask them (so that they can say "yes, we can do that") is self-defeating.

I'm also getting the feeling that you're convinced that there isn't much that an SEO professional can do once you think you've mastered the technical on-page/on-site. What a person or team can do will vary and depends upon the individual capabilities of the professional and/or team. Some are also good with what is called "off-site" although I prefer to think of it as marketing and promotion via legitimate means which the end result is creating buzz and indirectly backlinks.

So in short, we can't really answer your question for you. As they say, GIGO and we're far removed from being able to speak specifically about your situation, just in a series of hypotheticals and rules that seem to be undisputed.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? StevieD_Web 12/3/13 12:33 AM
>Again if you have any thoughts on what an SEO team can do which would be ethical, I would love to hear them.

They should be your advisers rather than actively implementing.  The should evaluate and make recommendations.   A passive job. Oh, and a job focused on the website itself and the search engines secondarily.

One area they should be advising any website owner is in the areas of site navigation and user interaction.  Is the site fundamentally sound, can visitors traverse from point A to point B within the site without confusion?  And ultimately does the site structure benefit or impede the search engine bot ?

Do page titles make sense for the visitor relative the content and what changes should be made to the titles for the benefit of the visitor and ultimately the search engine bot?

Catch the pattern?

Conversely, most SEO firms have become all about doing.  Doing as in link building.  Doing as in generating fake social media buzz.   Do, Do, Do.   The reasons are simple, there is more $ (and easier $) in doing rather than advising.  
(unknown) 12/4/13 8:10 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? utilitiesindia 12/4/13 8:12 PM
Raj Web how can your site improve now unless another Penguine update is run?
 
I've two sites slapped by Penguine. For one site which was slapped in Apr 2013 it won't come out Penguine even if I disavow all the backlinked domains( finally I'm moving the same site to a new site).
 
In short you should tell your site here for full picture. You've shown only half picture here.

Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Lysis 12/5/13 6:50 AM
I'm all for firing them.

You can blame me. I like negative attention.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? deal4yourwheels 12/5/13 7:52 AM
I'm all for firing them.

 Abit harsh? at xmas time. 

Ideally,  as many people have stated, they should be a more advisory role, as if something happens or if something goes wrong. They are able to fix it. (I don't think you need two people for that).

Could you not change one of the SEO guys roles? as many SEO guys have different talents?

In saying this, getting fired is a daily threat for any SEO/Digital marketing guy (even the good ones, as once the job is done. They just get rid and get someone cheaper to maintain it).
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Lysis 12/5/13 8:42 AM
I've got ice running through my veins. Especially when it comes to SEOs.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? deal4yourwheels 12/5/13 8:51 AM
They the IT version of car salesperson...................sell their own mother for front page of Google.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Lysis 12/5/13 9:10 AM
Yep. I can't think of another industry where you can claim to know something and wipe out a business and just walk away. The problem is that most of what the frauds do show improvement for a few months until the algorithm catches up with it, but the SEO has already been paid and took off.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Ashley 12/5/13 9:11 AM
A firing might be a blessing in disguise. :)

Raj, you seem nice but I guarantee I couldn't work for you! 
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Ben Griffiths 12/5/13 9:12 AM
Investment banking.
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Joseph Montoya 12/5/13 9:35 AM
yes you should
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Raj Web 12/12/13 1:48 AM
Thanks guys for your inputs. I gave my guys a week to submit a Penguin proof SEO plan & they came up with naught. Almost everything that an SEO person does off-site today is questionable as it amounts to unnatural link building. So techies are on notice while we are hiring content writers with relevant industry experience. 
Re: Should I fire my SEO team? Corruption Private 12/12/13 4:03 PM
>They the IT version of car salesperson...................
sell their own mother for front page of Google.
Some of the ads I have seen make me think they have literally done that, and their sisters.
>I can't think of another industry where you can claim to know something and wipe out a business and just walk away.
Politics

Raj, Penguin proof can be virtually impossible. I don't know how your links are, but try to keep at least one to keep the web fungus (badlinks that occur without link building) down. Also, they know the link business while I doubt the content writers do. Their job will also be to lessen the damage from before.
If the content writers send your articles to other websites to draw people to your site, there is a risk that will cause Penguin as well, in addition to Panda.

All our advise has been given without seeing your site. Give us your web address and we may be able to give you better advise.
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