I am still flooded every day by companies offering me their SEO services. Let me be very clear on this – they are not offering me web site development or content marketing, but specifically SEO services. And every now and then I decide to nibble at the bait and find out what they have to offer.

What amazes me is that the offerings haven’t changed that much from 2013 despite the big changes in 2014.

2014 Changes

SEOLast year saw some significant shifts in Google. The big ones included:

Of course many of the old requirements still exist. While keywords are no longer king, they still play a role.

But if you look at the list closely what you quickly see is that it is the construction of the site and the content of the site that are now critical.

The two things that really count

So by the end of 2015 there are two things that are now the key contributors for a successful site:

  1. A well designed site
  2. Good content

The problem with the first one is that it only needs to be done once, and for many a simple theme update will get them out of trouble. But these SEO people aren’t after a once off fee, they want to milk me month after month.

And as for good content, it just isn’t worth having my reputation damaged by poorly written content. As it is, I have enough friends who can pick the grammatical miskakes in my blogs but the samples I have seen have mistakes in every sentence. On top of that, I’m an expert in my field and others struggle to create good meaningful content.

So as a general rule of thumb, good content needs to be written in-house or by a professional.

Bad is really bad

Lookig back at the list we see that Google is penalising bad links and poor content. Penalising. That means that an “investment” in off-site SEO has actually damaged a site’s ranking. At this stage SEO was more than a waste of money, it was costing even more.

So what can be done?

And this is the crunch – what can be done?

An overhaul of a site is a good start and can be outsourced, but after that it’s hard work.

For me, I have a graduate writing daily articles for me on my foodandsafety.com.au site. Yes it’s outsourced, but it’s not to one of these SEO companies.

Will a true SEO company please step forward

What I would love to see is a good SEO company step forward. One that is prepared to focus on my site and on my content. One that has tricks on how to easily link my content across multiple platforms and leverage what I am doing.

And one that stops offering the buzz words of 2013.