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SEO Case from Melbourne (Australia)

This is a free SEO white paper about a Melbourne Australia plumbing company that had hired a Melbourne SEO Company to do the search engine optimization for their simply flash based website. The website was registered with Dotster in 2007, it was 2 years old at the time the client contacted us. The entire site was in flash. Essentially, it was a one page website. When he approached the SEO company in Melbourne, they were told having a purely flash website is no problem at all, as search engines reply mostly on backlinks. When we looked at the source code of the site, granted there is not much you can do with a purely flash website, unless of course you drop the movie into actual HTML files, and add content on those HTML pages. However, the Melbourne SEO firm apparently sold that service as an add-on, and our plumbing client company felt $AUD6,000 was too much money for basic HTML pages. What surprised us is there were not meta tags on the site. The site has a simple title tag, which had the URL in it, and that's it. So what did the SEO Melbourne based SEO company do? Apparently, they scraped content, spun it into articles, and plastered it all over the Internet to get back links! Moreover, they posted gibberish content into tens of thousands of blogs.

One has to be mindful that Google engineers are also on the same forums, and are reading the same articles about backlink building as everyone else. They have tons of code in place to catch people who do anything like massive forum posts, massive blog posts, and massive article back links. They even have code that is checking the grammar and overall uniqueness of content. If your content is weak, or is gibberish, Google crawlers will know about it! Yet, this SEO in Melbourne felt it was okay to scrape content and blast it all over the Internet. Here is how they got the content. Apparently, they have a script that goes out to Project Gutenberg and scrapes content from several known books. They then spin that content to include the client's targeted key phrases, and convert those targeted key phrase into anchor text that points to the client's homepage. The client had 48,550 back links from unique domains pointing to their Melbourne plumbing site! I mean, assuming it was the most popular plumbing company in the world; it still could not have 48,550 natural backlinks pointing to it, as it is still just a local plumbing company with a single page on their website. Unless that plumbing company offers all of their plumbing services for free, there is no reason why so many sites should be linking to such a site, unless some automation was involved.

As it is usually the case, the plumbing site did well for a few weeks. They were ranked #1 for various plumbing related key phrases. However, as it is usually the case, Google robots caught up and penalized this plumbing company's website.

The client was now unable to find themselves for their own company name. So, they promptly asked for a refund from the Melbourne SEO company, and of course they refused. The client filed a chargeback and began looking for a different SEO provider. That is what the client found us online and completed our contact form. We replied and asked the client if he was willing to start with a new site, since the old site was completely in flash. He replied with a yes, and further added that he had no access to the site, so he couldn't make any changes to it even if he knew how.

So we asked the client to go to a popular template website and pick out a template. He did, and we customized that template for him. He loved his new site, as we even sent him detailed instructions on how he can make basic changes to his site, like add or remove text and images. We then implemented our SEO to the client's website and waited. In 4 months the client shot up to the first page with the new site, and his company started getting online leads again.

Here is What We Learned:

It takes a few weeks for Google to catch up with you if you do any type of black hat SEO. Nowadays, we don't even see sites like that even pop up on the first page for a few days, let alone a few weeks. Google is now much better at catching automated backlinks. We cannot stress enough about good content written on sites that have lots of different pages that organizes that content clearly, so that the search engines get fed what they need. Without content everything stops. It is imperative that a site use flash as sparingly as possible, instead use videos, images, and of course lots and lots of good content.

SEO Lesson:

Stop trying to game search engines! You simply cannot do so. SEO nowadays is almost counter intuitive. The most SEO you do, the worse the results get. That is why we employ what we call subtle SEO. Less is more. You just need to have unique content, written for humans, a good site that organizes that content. Of course, you still need natural backlinks provided by humans, and not machines. You also need a social media presence. So it is a good idea to have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. Ignore any type of SEO that incorporates social bookmarking, article spinning, article submission, forum/blog posts. They will do far more harm than good!

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