Why is Great SEO so Expensive?

Mar 21st

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Why SEO is Expensive.

Published: March 21, 2013

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Comments

March 26, 2013 - 7:26am

Actually in my opinion when you consider what you get from great SEO - a prime location in the worlds biggest marketplace. Its not expensive at all! Here is a comparison I made just 2 days ago that proves the point webmar-design.com/blog/cheap-seo-rude-awakening

March 26, 2013 - 10:46pm

...comment spamming is still cheap, no?

Your link has been removed.

March 30, 2013 - 12:15am

Hi Aaron,
I merely joined the discussion and provided my own insight on the same topic. Have you even read it or are you so full of yourself you don't care for anyone else's opinion? "Sharing is caring" huh?
If you don't want people to join the discussion you should disable comments.
Kindly remove my account as I will not participate on a site where I am called a spammer.

March 30, 2013 - 7:30am

1.) marginal relevancy
2.) link drop
3.) your post wasn't expounding on the above topic, but was marginally relevant at best
4.) further, the post wasn't really adding anything to the page, but rather acting as ad copy to try to get people to click on your link
5.) you just signed up and left a marginally relevant link drop in your first post

A person does not need to be full of themselves to recognize a spam comment when they see one. And when people are called out for that sort of activity, they shouldn't pretend to be taking the high road.

March 30, 2013 - 8:20am

If you didn't like my comment you were free to delete it. Name calling was not necessary and completely out of line. The irony is that today I came back to this post so I can get the embed code for the info graphic. In any case I did not sign up for this so "Kindly remove my account as I will not participate on a site where I am called a spammer." as well as, all my comments etc.

March 30, 2013 - 11:31am

...scumbag when they try to abuse you, and then try to hold the "I was going to..." stuff over your head when they are called out for it.

Thanks for the confirmation.

March 26, 2013 - 7:26pm

Great SEO is expensive, and return is diminishing. As Google marks up more content & includes more ads, the value of attaining high rankings plummets. Do you see any market effects in these conditions?

March 26, 2013 - 11:16pm

...I mean, the trend is certainly Google squeezing more water out of a rock.

It, of course, impacts some markets more adversely than others. And even within a particular niche/vertical there are still going to be different degrees of impact on different keywords. Some keywords & some sectors still have years of glory ahead of them, while others are already poor investments unless you are already strongly in the game based on factors outside of what has been traditionally viewed as SEO (and thus can still get a decent stream of traffic flow without needing to lever up on risk & cost in your SEO strategy).

The flip side of the increasing % of searchers clicking ads (due to broader ad coverage, bigger ad units, the rise of vertical search, etc.) is the combination of growth & efficiency

  • as search clicks get more expensive, companies improve conversion rates & lifetime customer value
  • even though Google monetizes a greater % of search clicks, the total number of raw searches keeps increasing
  • some websites are also becoming starting points for various types of vertical search...many product searches start at Amazon.com rather than Google
March 27, 2013 - 9:26pm

All good points Aaron. Something I find particularly interesting that you mentioned is the relative value of certain keywords. If I were Google, and considering invading a niche, the niche must be valuable enough to sustain the costs of entering the market and building a product. Google gets involved with the highest value verticals because it sustains the cost of entry. Conversely, Google ignores the valueless verticals.

As this trend has ran its course over the years (google just did it again in the auto industry), one can't help but ask "Whats next? will Google invade my vertical?" Speaking from this model, we can expect Google to not go after low value keyword verticals, but those aren't great places to make a business for online marketers either.

These points lead me to believe that in 2013 and beyond, the niche to choose is a profitable niche just low enough to stay off of Google's radar. Finding the sweet spot with low competition from others and low interest from Google is the place to be.

March 29, 2013 - 4:43am

...agree with your thesis there.

The only thing I would say about "hiding beyond their reach" is the concept of floating verticals. Some of their broader verticals apply to other markets & can be used across markets, delivering a glancing blow to other markets without directly diving into them. Some examples...

  • ads impact just about any market with commercial intent. and even after you build a strong brand Google continues to sell ads against your trademark keywords to competitors.
  • product search is relevant to just about anything in ecommerce (& now Google is testing offline 1-day deliver services)
  • local is relevant to travel + restaurants + other types of commerce
  • video content is relevant to music & video games & movies (and video sales + video rentals + music sales + subscription music streaming services) ... this is only made more powerful by YouTube's unaudited data influencing the Billboard top lists, Google requiring secrecy on partner revenue share deals & Google investing directly into buying equity slices of various aggregators / publishers
  • Google+'s identity graph allows Google to patch in further personalization & reviews, that are again relevant to almost anything that is in any way commercial
  • Knowledge Graph allows Google to extract surface level information from almost any market, without and direct & specific investment into it

And as Google sucks the life out of various markets, they can then buy out a nearly dead legacy brand & promote it front & center to revitalize their version of it, further squeezing the remaining players.

Once any vertical/market/information format gets weak enough Google can lean into striking predatory deals & leverage that content in their index. When the book lawsuits are finally over & after a few more publishers die I would expect Google to strike up some deals with book publishers to feature their books more aggressively within the general search index. The ones who give Google the most revenue will get more exposure. Those who hold out for better deals will be (not?) found by searchers on page 3 or 4 of the search results. ;)

April 2, 2013 - 2:34pm

...about floating verticals quite like that. Ugh what an evil little application. Floating verticals are much more dangerous to us all than Google cherry picking high margin verticals. That slice of the pie will just keep getting a little larger.

webtriangle
March 27, 2013 - 2:55am

The great SEO is expensive but valueable also.

March 28, 2013 - 4:22pm

Great article! I shared it on my Empower Network blog. empowernetwork.com/stuburdette/

April 10, 2013 - 8:03am

I wish i could print it and put it over my office door lol,
This is exactly what we are trying to convey to our clients, in many cases prospecting clients will come to us and after the initial meeting when we give them the offer for the job they will say that they have met with companies with much lower budgets.
I must say that are certainly not in the HIGH price range of the market but this is what required to have White-Hat SEO done and by people who know it.
There were some times when i did some market research for SEO across a lot of companies, many of the lower budget ones either use automated tools which i will not name here but you can guess what hat they are wearing, or they work with "SEO Management programs" as i like to call them like IBP / WebCEO, and while they do not know about SEO they follow the program blindly.

People need to realize that you cannot both Hire a good SEO team and let them spend time (as SEO is a marathon run) on you without paying the costs, the only alternative therefore is either a junior team but more likely Automation which is undoubtedly what google is trying to fight the most right now (as it has to be spam).

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