Category Archives: Expert SEO

Why You Need To Use an Expert in SEO

Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson share some raw statistics and insights into why taking shortcuts or quick fixes with your SEO strategy just doesn’t work and is not worthwhile. Think long term, think smart.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss why you should use an expert in seo for your website.

 

Transcript

Ian: Good morning, hello. How are you going? I am Ian Hopkinson and this is Andrew Radics. Is there any reason you’re dressed like Steve Jobs today?

Andrew: Ah, no. Is there any reason you are?

Ian: *Laughing*

Andrew: This is actually navy. It’s not black, it’s navy.

Ian: We didn’t plan this. How are we all today? We are actually going to talk about why you need ‘Expert SEO’. Why do we need expert SEO?

Andrew: Well put it this way.

Ian:  As opposed to ‘amatuer’ SEO.

Andrew: Well, the problem is, is there are so many people who think that they are experts. What happens is that these so called experts can actually ruin your rankings for your website. Worst of all they can actually really make Google think, OK, your site has too many SPAM links coming in, so then they actually rank you further, and further down the ladder which is not something you want. So just because someone says that they are an expert, doesn’t mean that they are an expert. It’s simple.

Ian: There was a time where people thought that was what it was all about. Sort of like getting likes on your Facebook page, the more likes you get the better it is. But it’s not about that, it’s about quality. Google has made that really clear now with the new updates they have done.

Andrew: Well just on that too, just a recent update, Penguin 4.0, they made it more about branding now so instead of worrying too much about keywords, Google worries about your ‘brand’ being out there a lot more. So, if any SEO  company or anybody doing SEO for you now says ok well, we need to target your keywords. Every single anchor text that you have has to be a keyword and we need to do this keyword and we need to do that keyword and so on and so on. Don’t pay any attention to that, because that’s becoming really old school now as well. Especially with the latest update a few weeks ago.

Ian: And people want to, I guess, everybody is pushing and talking about content at the moment. Obviously pushing content and it used to be about stack the content with as many keywords as possible, but it’s not about that anymore, is it?

Andrew: No, those days are definitely long gone. It’s about quality, everything is about quality, user friendliness, all that sort of that sort of thing is what google and no doubt the other search engines are looking for.

Ian: What other search engines

Andrew: Ooh.. well lets say that say an SEO company says they will submit your website a hundred search engines. And everybody whom I ask, can you name me 10, I say I can name you about 4.

Ian: Yeah, it’s a futile exercise in a way isn’t it?

Andrew: Yes, it is

Ian: So some examples of… I guess trying to take a shortcut or not use someone who knows what they are doing, what happens?

Andrew: Well, not so long ago somebody rang me and said I used to be on page one for most of my keywords. And this is a guy, who had a website for 10 years and sold furniture, and was ranking pretty high for most of the keywords. Then all of a sudden, he just stopped ranking, his key words, his site just disappeared from the first page altogether. So, we had a look at it, we did what they call a backlink profile, just to see where their links were coming from, and there were thousands upon thousands of rubbish links from totally unrelated type of sites and even like gambling sites, porn sites and viagra sites. All of those kind of things that have nothing to do with furniture. So, eventually he got penalised. And so, he said how much is it going to cost to fix all of this? I said, well, we can go through, see if we can delete most of those links but its gonna take forever, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. So, his only choice with his budget was to actually start all over again. So he had to re-register his URL from .com.au to .net.au and even that took him a bit of effort because somebody had reserved that domain name, thinking that one day, this guy is going to want it.  So it ended up costing him a lot of money. And and all of that because he went with a company that did spam tactics. Really, that’s what most link building is about, well that’s what cheap SEO companies think that’s what it is about but it’s not.

Ian: So this is a great example of where someone has decided that they are going to take the cheaper option, and that cheaper option, who knows, lets pull a figure out of a hat, $250 a month. And that person goes great, that sounds really good.

Andrew: I think he said he is paying $99 a month.

Ian: $99 a month. And potentially, again I am just pulling a figure out of a hat, it could have cost him $5000 to have his website fixed, to have all of those links disemboweled, the time it takes to recover your reputation with Google. It is ridiculous I think if a lot of people realise that before they were making these decisions, they obviously would take more time to understand what it is they are actually getting. We do have quite a few clients when we put together these proposals say ‘oh my god it is that much money?’. And I guess that’s what some of these cheaper SEO companies have done, is sort of put value in peoples minds, $99 or whatever it is, they think they are getting the same thing, than if they actually go with a company that is going to do it manually, and not use all of those automated software tactics. So there is a bit of a disconnect there with what the value of what this actually is.

Andrew: Yes! There is. And the biggest shame of it all is that, if you use a so called expert SEO company who really isn’t, who is using tactics that are so outdated in the new Google environment, this is what you are missing out on.

Ian: This is good, lets get into the figures. Pick up the glasses.

Andrew: Yeah I need to wear these now because all of the work I do has ruined my eyes.

Ian: *Laugh*

Andrew: Just kidding, OK. In Australia alone, there are about 96% of homes who actually use their mobiles devices to search for local businesses. 96%. And if you’re not listed in Google for whatever reason it is, you are missing out on all of that traffic!

Ian: Just on that, I was walking through one of those alleys, I think it was Little Collins street in Melbourne yesterday, and I was looking around and people were having a coffee and having lunch and what not, and everybody was looking down at their device whether it was an iPad or an iPhone and I thought, you just don’t think about it all the time but all of these people are searching for something whether it’s a local business or an answer to something. We are really heavy, heavy users of this stuff, that it’s almost an extension of our body now.

Andrew: We are, we are. I get to work fairly early in the morning and we have a view of the local train station and you look out the window and people are standing on the platform looking down at something, they’re all looking at their smart phones. And I think my god, what happened to conversations.

Ian: We’ve turned into these robot sort of things.

Andrew: We are always plugged into something. But, the good thing for business is that people are plugged in, and according to these figures here, that 68% of people looking at their smart phones are looking at some sort of product. 51% of people are looking at restaurants, pubs and bars. 47% of people are looking at travel related sites. 39% of people are looking for new job offers.

Ian: You are on the train platform on your way to work, planning your holiday and looking for another job.

Andrew: Exactly. And 34% of people are looking for somewhere else to live. So people are looking for housing, apartments…

Ian: Yeah, before you looked at the coffee shop.

Andrew: 90% of smartphone owners have looked for something on their smartphone locally, a restaurant or pizza shop or whatever it is, and a whopping 86% of those people have taken some sort of action.  Whether it be physically going into that shop, emailing, calling them, looking at their actual website when they get home, or even on their iPad or smartphone. 67% of those people have physically gone into the store. 22% have recommended to their friends, and a whopping 41% of people actually bought something.

Ian: The important thing there obviously how these people get on the radar. This is local search yes?

Andrew: Local or organic search.

Ian: In the case of a local business, like a coffee shop, that A,B,C,D, those red droplets that come up on that first page, how do people get there? Is that a Google Plus page or a Places page?

Andrew: Yes, it used to be called Google Places and now Google changed its name to Google Plus so now it is incorporated.

Ian: So it is the same thing?

Andrew: Yes, and there is a method to actually set that up properly so if you want to be seen you need to get a person or company that knows what they are doing to actually set them up.

Ian: Someone whose eyesight needs to deteriorate more?

Andrew:  Yes, yes. No I can see that, I can see that.

Ian: You’re going to get the laser treatment aren’t you?

Andrew: Yeah, but that’s a scary thought.

Ian: That’s another Google Hangout?

Andrew: Not on SEO though.

Ian: That’s right. So other stats, got any more for us?

Andrew: I have one more. 78% of people who have a smartphone actually research whatever product they are after while they are in the store.

Ian: Ok that’s pretty funny, so they’re in the store talking to the salesperson, checking the price and checking whether the products online.

Andrew: Well a lot of the time, let’s face it, nobody trusts a salesperson because they will tell you whatever they want to tell you, so whatever you want to hear about the product just to make you buy it.

Ian: Yeah, or they don’t know what they are talking about or they are not properly trained.

Andrew: Then the good thing these days is on various electronic products is a QR code, and all you need to do is scan the code on your smartphone, and that will take you to the website of the manufacturer that will then show you the stats of that product. Rather than listen to a salesperson who doesn’t know what they are talking about or just trying to sell you something because they need the commission.

Ian: Right, so not only are we walking around with our smartphones, running into telegraph poles but we are going to be in shops not only talking to the salesperson, scanning the QR code getting a little video intro about the product?

Andrew: Yeah, definitely!

Ian: Then the poor salesperson I suppose, it just changes their role slightly so they are there to answer the smaller questions.. until they come up with a QR that links them to the FAQ section. Good bye salespeople.

Andrew: So, the bottom line simply is if you choose an SEO company or an individual or whoever it is who really don’t know what they’re doing, then you are missing out on all of that traffic, all of that potential to make a sale. Whether you have an online store, the physical store or any form of web presence. If you are not there on Google, virtually on the first page, because as the stats say 98% of people don’t go past the first page, so if you are not on the first page somewhere then you are missing out.

Ian: Well then summing up, obviously like any other aspect of your business, what you’ve got to go out and do, is go and do the research. Find someone who knows what they are doing, ask around to get referrals, testimonials, whatever it is that you have to do, make sure the person who is doing it for you is an expert. It is going to be the best value for money for you to do that in the first place, as opposed to just grabbing the first $99 a month, or whatever offer it is that comes along. Whether it is local SEO, or on your website, get an expert and do the research. Thats our wrap for today, do you have anything to add?

Andrew: No, you have covered it quite well, but obviously if you need any help or advice just email us at [email protected].

Ian: And Andrew the blue juice, cheers! No just in case you were wondering we not actually going to drink it! It is just a prop in case you were concerned about our health.

Alright guys, thank you very much, we’ll see you soon!

 

How Not to Get Burned by SEO

Don’t Get Burned By Cheap SEO sounds like a rather dramatic title, but very often we hear stories related to us about websites being dropped from the searches because of cheap and nasty SEO practices. The question you could ask is what are some of these cheap SEO tactics and how can you safeguard your website against them?

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss some of the reasons why it is important to educate yourself on what cheap SEO tactics are and what you can do about it.

 

Transcript:

Ian: Good morning.

Andrew: Good morning!

Ian: How are we all?

Andrew: Well I’m fine. Don’t know about everyone else but I’m alright.

Ian: Good? Good to hear. One day they’re going to yell back through ‘no we’re not all well stop saying that!’ I’m Ian Hopkinson.

Andrew: And I’m Andrew Radics.

Ian: Andrew Radics of course, what are we drinking here?

Andrew: Well by the looks of it, it’s a vast improvement from that slop the guy downstairs made for us last week. This is not bad.

Ian: You know what, it’s freezing cold here in Melbourne and we’ve got these very tropical looking drinks which makes you feel a little bit warmer. So yeah, it’s good in theory. Now just on another note, we had a discussion the other day, you said that you needed to shave for the hangout, was it the last hangout? I think it was. Anyway, to alleviate any discussion about whether we shave or not shave, our lawyer has prepared a contract which tells you on what days you should shave and basically if you don’t comply, there’s a whole list of ramifications, so if you wouldn’t mind signing, well actually have a read first.

Andrew: Are you serious?

Ian: Well this is really funny because I haven’t actually shaved today, well I haven’t shaved for a few days.

Andrew: I was going to say, this is coming from a guy who hasn’t shaved for a few days?!

Ian: Now the contracts coming back in the other direction… so anyway have a think about that.

Andrew: I just thought about it. My people will get in touch with your people.

Ian: Alright if I have to sign a contract to shave more often then I’ll do that as well. We’ll come up with some sort of mutual shaving agreement.

Andrew: Yeah, see, look, I’m shaved!

Ian: Yeah, I’m not so it’s probably a bit ironic. Anyway, don’t get burned by cheap SEO. There’s going to be three points to this today, they are; research, research and research. We’ve been talking about this a lot but don’t get caught up with these emails that come through from exotic lands or nonexotic lands that tell you that for $50 you are going to get these 20 things. Don’t get caught up with that, don’t think that because of these emails or because people have being doing things in an unprofessional way that that is synonymous with SEO, because it’s not.

Andrew: It’s not SEO.

Ian: No.

Andrew: It’s funny you should bring this topic up today because last night on my little iPad, I was looking through videos from Google or Mac customers who are search engine spam experts if you like. He was saying, if you really think about it it makes a lot of sense. People who put up various link building software and all this sort of stuff saying to you, use this program, use this software and we’ll get you to number one etc. Do you really think that these people’s time would be better spent using that program that they have to get themselves to number 1 with all their affiliated projects and money making schemes rather than selling you a program that will get you to the top. It doesn’t make sense. So that sort of stuff is snake oil, they claim that to be SEO but that is not SEO, that’s far from it.

Ian: I just find it amusing that some of these examples we talked about the other day of emails coming through that don’t even have a website themselves. It would be like someone who is not known as an actor or been in Hollywood or any involvement in the film industry saying ‘come along to my acting course, I’ll teach you how to act’. Sorry, who are you? where’s your credibility, where’s your reputation, where’s your experience? You haven’t proven any of that to me, you’ve sent me an email from a hotmail address, you don’t have a website, basically you don’t exist and yet you’re telling me that you can put me on the map. What? Sorry but something in my brain just short circuited trying to understand why that is something that I want to buy, that I want to pay for.

Andrew: I’ve always thought that if a ‘SEO’ company sends you an email advertising their services to you, not always, but pretty much you should be wary of it because a good SEO company does not need to go out there and send emails to total strangers who haven’t even had a look at your website. If you see an ad for an SEO company that’s fine, I’m talking about direct emails, phone calls, any kind of cold selling like that, generally I’d keep away from them. Like Ian said, anyone that sends you anything from a gmail address, hotmail address or yahoo or any free emailing service, warning bells, absolute warning bells.

Ian: Absolutely. But yeah, short and sweet, do your research, there’s so much online about SEO, the problem is that a lot of it is a bit misleading. But ask around, anyone who does SEO or has had SEO done on their website, watch videos, do some reading, don’t just jump into this cheap deal because it sounds so good, if it sounds too good to be true then as we always say, it probably is. Just don’t jump into it, don’t get burned, it’s just too little too late when you’ve got 5000 junk backlinks that you have to then disembowel, or have someone like us come along and do this whole ‘fix it’ thing. Don’t do that, just save yourself a whole lot of heartache and do some research. Don’t get burned by cheap SEO. Or bad contracts about whether you should shave or not before hangouts.

Andrew: That’s harassment you know that, that is harassment.

Ian: I’m going to countersue your countersuing.

Andrew: I thought I left all this stuff behind by becoming my own boss and now my bloody partner is trying to make me sign contracts. Harassment buddy, harassment.

Ian: Harassment, yeah. I’ll tell you what, those drinks we had the other day those purple drinks, that was harassment I’m glad we got rid of the bar guy.

Andrew: Our lab makes better drinks than a bar.

Ian: I wonder what’s in these, we may have to do an audit.

Andrew: They’re red can you see that.

Ian: Questions, queries, worries about the drinks, the shaving contracts, or SEO go to madscientistdigital.com. Andrew Radics thank you very much once again and we’ll speak to you all soon. We are going to once again remind you that you can get a digital health check if you go to our homepage and click on the big red button, we’ll look at your site, we’ll give you advice, give you some guidance. It’s absolutely free, do that if you’re worried or you’ve got questions and concerns about where you’re headed with your SEO.

Andrew: Cool.

Ian: Sales pitch over.

Andrew: Well done.

Ian: And that must be the 11 o’clock train and I now have to go to the Apple store.

Andrew: Yeah to fix our little Mac.

Ian: That’s for another hangout, we’re not going to go into it.

12 Deadly Sins Or Signs of Cheap SEO

SEO (search engine optimisation) is much more than just naming pages and creating generic keyword phrases. When considering hiring a company or an individual to optimise your website, you have to keep in mind what we here at Mad Scientist Digital have been saying for a long time now: to mechanically create meta data is extremely easy, but to do it well requires practice and experience.

Out of the hundreds if not thousands of people offering SEO services, a very small percentage have the real skills necessary to SEO a website. In this video, we present 12 ‘deadly signs’ of a cheap SEO company and the reasons to avoid them.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss 12 Deadly Sins Or Signs of Cheap SEO.

 

 

 

Transcript

Ian: What are we talking about Andrew? Why are we looking at this? What! The True Blood picture why are we looking at that?

Andrew: Quite easy. Quite simple.

Ian: Why did it flash off the screen? Is this a gremlin?

Andrew: No it’s just bad direction.

Ian: Oh wait that’s a different movie, different show.

Andrew: Ok, how’s this for a tie-in, we’re talking about 12 deadly sins, we’re talking about death, tombstones. True Blood, last episode the other night, it’s all over but I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m sorry but the last episode absolutely sucked. It sucked. I sat there thinking that’s it?! This is it?! I was so disappointed, I mean i love True Blood, see look I even made red drinks.

Ian: Do you know what’s really disappointing? That I’ve only seen the first episode, that’s all I’ve seen of True Blood, and I’m so excited about the show and now you’re telling me the last episode sucked, well now I’m not going to watch the rest of the series.

Andrew: Well there’s 7 seasons, watch up to the end of season 3 and that’s probably all you need to see.

Ian: Do you have nightmares after you watch the show?

Andrew: No! Completely the opposite actually…

Ian: Well cheers to that. Cheers to that True Blood.

Andrew: Cheers to that. It was fun.

Ian: It was fun.

Andrew: It was fun but. Oh, good lord, that’s a nasty bit of blood.

Ian: I was just putting it back in. Hopefully it didn’t go into the oxygen.

Andrew: I think that was a druggie’s blood, makes me cry.

Ian: So anyway, True Blood.

Andrew: That’s it. It’s over.

Ian: It’s over.

Andrew: What are we talking about. We’re talking about 12 deadly sins from bad SEO companies. Is that what we’re talking about?

Ian: We are and 12 is probably cutting it down to a nice, neat and tidy number, there a probably several hundred but we’ll cover a few of the ones that we haven’t been banging on about in other hangouts.

Andrew: Yeah, it seems our most popular videos are about bad or cheap SEO’s so why not let’s make some more.

Ian: Why not.

Andrew: Ok, there are 12, obviously there’s a hell of a lot more but these are 12 big ones. Anybody who offers you a free trial service for their SEO, never, ever, ever fall for that one.

Ian: Is this one of the ones who say we’ll give you a free trial and only when you’re on the first page then you start paying.

Andrew: Yes but in the mean time what you’ve done is you’ve handed them over all your passwords and access information to your website and all your other accounts as well. It’s like giving them your car keys or your ATM password it’s stupid, never do it. Number 2, underpriced or overpriced services, now.

Ian: I love it when you take your glasses off that means something’s going down. You mean business.

Andrew: Something is going down. Everybody knows of sites like, oh I guess we can mention them, everybody knows about them,  elance, then you’ve got fiverr.com, oDesk and all those other ones. When I first started out, I looked for work on those sites. So what you do is you log in as a member, and then you look for people who have posted various jobs where they want SEO done on their website or social bookmarking, or whatever it is. So then you start bidding on it, and then by the time you start bidding there’s about 50 or 60 people who have bidded $1 per hour or some crap figure like that. Don’t go on those websites! Don’t post on those websites for SEO work being done on your websites through those sort of channels because you’re just going to get scraps, you’re going to get rubbish work.

Ian: They’ve bastardised the industry!

Andrew: They certainly have. That’s nothing to do with elance and the rest of them, good on them for coming up with a business model that’s great but from an SEO point of view… I mean there’s other stuff on there too, you can get your website done, you can do videos and all these sorts of things, that’s great. But we’re talking about something that can potentially damage your website and your ranking history. Plain and simple.

Ian: Well more than likely it will damage your website and your reputation, it’s just a matter of how much.

Andrew: Yes exactly. Number 3, we promise your site will be indexed in 48 hours. No professional SEO guy or company will ever promise you that because you can’t make that promise. It’s like walking up to Google, knocking on the door and saying hey index my site now. It’s never going to happen.

Ian: That’s what these guys do, they just go up to mountain view and knock on the door and they say hey Matt Cutts, what’s the deal man?

Andrew: Or they say I know someone at Google, which is another point but yeah.

Ian: I’ve got an inside man at google and his name is Matt Cutts

Andrew: If they promise you they’ll index your site within 48 hours, run away because that’s not within their control and that’s not for them to promise. Number 4, we can guarantee a pagerank of X. No, pagerank or whatever or top ranking in X amount of time, once again they can’t guarantee that, they can’t promise you that because it’s not in their control. Sometimes it takes a long, long time before you even get a pagerank of 1, much less anything higher than that, and it’s not up to them.

Ian: Yes, although we got a page ranking of 2 pretty quickly but we won’t go into that.

Andrew: We won’t go into that. I wasn’t going to touch on that but seeing you brought it up, there are ways to strengthen…

Ian: I know, I like to just throw in the odd tooting our own horn sort of thing.

Andrew: But the problem is that low ranking pages can still appear high in search and high ranking pages may not appear at all. So pagerank these days, just forget about it, it’s still a metric that Google might use for sure but even according to Google, they don’t place much emphasis on it anymore. Number 5, massive search engine submission, god we’ve talked about this so many times!

Ian: Dozens of search engines!!!

Andrew: How many search engines can you name? How many can you name? How many can you name?

Ian: Bing, Yahoo, ask.com, Ask, Jeeves, Google, The Streisand Effect… it’s got it’s own search engine that we’re creating.

Andrew: Yeah, Mad Scientist Digital. Yeah anyway, thousands, that’s a load of nonsense. So yeah, forget about that and even Google, Yahoo, MSN or even Bing say not to send tons of submissions as it can actually hurt you. Once you’re in there, you’re in there and you don’t need to keep submitting your site.

Ian: Yeah otherwise Matt Cutts will just slam the door in your face!

Andrew: Number 6. Hundreds or thousands of links to your site, well once again such claims will actually hurt your website because its not quantity it’s quality of the links that you get. So saying to you that we’ll build 10,000 a week or 10,000 a month, run away, once again, run away! Number 7, avoid companies that ask for your copyrights to SEO and meta data. This one has always confused me, meta data for your website is unique to your website.

Ian: It doesn’t have to be copywritten!

Andrew: No. And they don’t have to give you rights to it either because it doesn’t number 1 belong to them and number 2, it’s public information! To get the meta data from any website right click > view page source and bang there’s all the meta data, there you go, take it at will!

So for an SEO company to say oh well we own that well so bloody what!

Ian: We should put some subliminal messages in now so when people right click we’ll say I’m glad you’ve visited here because here’s our meta data, hello!!

Andrew: The problem is, that they’re asking for copyrights for your SEO, in other words anything that they write for them. The problem with that is is that if you sign that, you are giving them the rights to republish that content elsewhere for another client, so then you’re going to have duplicate content issues and all this sort of stuff. So if anybody asks for that don’t sign it just once again, walk away or run away if you want to, that’s just nonsense. Number 8, flat rate or low monthly fee to optimise and promote your website, I can understand the flat rate bit but low monthly fee I cannot understand. It’s a time consuming process to do high quality SEO work.

Ian: It is. It’s an everyday activity.

Andrew: Some SEO consultancy companies charge up to $1000 per hour because you are buying their knowledge, their experience and their time. To properly analyse someone’s website to try and figure out what’s going on with it and how to fix it and how to make it rise in the search engines takes a bit of time. If you’ve got a fly by night company saying for $99 a month will do this, this, this and this, 30 or 40 things for you. Well you’ve got to wonder, what’s the quality of that going to be.

Ian: Very poor.

Andrew: Quality over quantity is always the key. Number 9, companies that will not answer your questions. This is something we just heard the other day, somebody rang in and said we’re getting SEO work done by company X but their effectiveness has stopped for the last six months. We’ve asked them what’s going on, they don’t answer us, they don’t reply, they come up with some nonsense saying that Google has de-indexed a lot of your old things, now we’ve got to build some more and all this sort of “bull”.

Ian: Is this the company that the client had paid them upfront for months?

Andrew: No, well there you go that’s another thing.

Ian: That’s another company, that was company Y, they’ve got really original names for the companies.

Andrew: We’ll call this one 8A, don’t pay upfront for 12 months. That is just stupid, that is just bad business, if an SEO company says: “Yes we can do this for you but 12 months up front please”, don’t do it because it’s likely you won’t hear back from them, and if you do, it’ll be things like this, they won’t be answering your questions.

Ian: One day you might call them and nobody picks up the phone or the phone rings out.

Andrew: Yeah, they’re on holiday in the Bahamas or something with your money.

Ian: That’s it.

Andrew: Number 10, we know someone, well good for you I know a lot of people!

Ian: Is that what that says?

Andrew: That’s what it says. But the actual title should be, ‘We know someone in Google.’ You hear that a lot, ‘oh we know somebody in Google and they have the latest information.’

Ian: We do.

Andrew: Not going to happen.

Ian: Yeah we do, we know lots of people in Google.

Andrew: We do?

Ian: Yeah but we’re not going to ask them for help, none of this stuff.

Andrew: Why wasn’t I told.

Ian: Should we go into who we know? No let’s not.

Andrew: Well we know Matt Cutts, no we don’t.

Ian: I feel like I do, I watch his videos everyday.

Andrew: Number 11, oh by the way nobody knows anybody in Google who is going to give them information because Google employees are so tied up in their confidentiality contracts that they’re going to get sued to the max if they divulge anything.

Ian: Of course.

Andrew: It’s not going to happen so don’t believe anybody who says oh I know somebody in Google.

Ian: Yes. There’s no divulging, that’s pretty much all the contract says.

Andrew: Yep, just like ours, 10 pages saying that if you divulge any of our information we’ll sue you, Number 11.

Ian: I didn’t read that part.

Andrew: It takes you with your lawyer background, 10 pages to say something that it takes me 10 seconds to say. That’s what it is.

Ian: Look, it’s lawyer speak. It’s all definitions most of these contracts anyway, defining what these words mean. Anyway, carry on.

Andrew: Number 11, we’ve only got two more to go, unsolicited SEO offers. Simply meaning, we get them here and I’m sure you guys get them too, emails, phone calls, letters offering you SEO. Any self respecting SEO company who is worth it’s weight in gold, I was going to say salt but no, gold is more expensive.

Ian: These days yes.

Andrew: Will not send you an email, will not ring you up over the phone offering you SEO services and will not send you stuff through the mail.

Ian: No, they won’t.

Andrew: It’s not the way it’s done. The way we work is 90% through referral, 10% is through some sort of speaking engagements through seminars or whatever else.

Ian: Yeah that’s it.

Andrew: We don’t sit there and make phone calls, we don’t get anybody who works here to sit there and make telemarketing phone calls, we don’t send you letters, we certainly don’t send you emails offering you our services.

Ian: But we do make annoying videos.

Andrew: But we make annoying videos. Last but not least, threats and extortion campaigns.

Ian: Oh, they’re always good. Create the fear.

Andrew: The way these scammers work is they send you an email saying I want to discuss this with you live, can I call you at and they actually quote your mobile number or your telephone number which they get off your website. They give you the impression of oh these people know where I live so I better talk to them.

Ian: Yep and they tell you how bad your website is and they haven’t even looked at it.

Andrew:Yep, it is all done by software.

Ian: We get the same emails.

Your website is terrible and is not ranking very well. And we are saying:”Hey, look we are ranking next to you. On the first page of cheap SEO!”

Andrew:Exactly! If you do happen to get these type of emails threatening you. Saying that if you don’t go with them they will do something go to the internet Crime Complaints Center.

Ian: We like that idea. Another idea I heard on that you can reply with one of those lottery emails. So you reply back to them, offering them a share, in your billion dollars that you’d just won in a lottery. And if they wouldn’t mind starting the process of by entering their bank account details. That normally shuts them up.

Andrew: Alright, is that what you do! I just ignore them!

Ian: And they go: “Hang on this is an email I sent out a month ago!”

Andrew: Either that or I reply “F off!”

Ian: I don’t know what the F stands for maybe you guys will tell us.

Andrew: Don’t get tempted. We are fine.

Ian: Andrew, I am very excited that the last true blood episode sucked. But that’s alright I’ll get the other 700 episodes a go.

Andrew: No, it is only 11 or twelve in a season. It’s not like the old Buffy days. When there were 24 episodes per season. Those days are gone.

Ian: That’s right. Budget cuts…

Andrew: No, I think is because they are putting a lot more money into the visual effects of TV shows now: Sci-Fi or whatever, than they used to.

Ian:They are kind of like movie budgets. I think 24 and shows like that really upped the ante. But that is another hangout.

Andrew: That’s another hangout.

Ian:Thank you Andrew, illustrious commentary as always…

Andrew: R.I.P true blood!

Ian: Any comments? Get in touch with us! And the video description. I don’t even know what I am saying here. I am confusing myself. I am “cheersing” myself. What is going on?

Andrew: Complaints. Queries. Concerns…

Ian: Probably for our mental health.

See you soon! Cheers!

Andrew:Bye!

Restaurant Owner Sues Google Over Map Listings Sabotage

Inaccurate Google Maps listing showed restaurant was closed on weekends, allegedly sending the business into administration

A Washington DC restaurant owner is suing Google for an incorrect Google Maps listing that led to a sudden decline in customers and forced it to lay off staff and close its doors.

The 40-year-old Serbian Crown restaurant, owned and operated by the Italian immigrant Rene Bertagna, was located in a wealthy suburb of Virginia nestled among estates and houses and known for its exotic meats, including lion.

It suffered a 75% drop in customers on the weekend in early 2012. Bertagna was forced to lay off staff and eventually close the restaurant in April 2013. He says he was totally unaware of his Google Maps listing until a regular pointed out the mistake.

“A customer called me and said: ‘Why are you closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday? What’s going on?’” Bertagna told Wired.

The Google Maps listing had falsely shown Serbian Crown shut over the weekend and Monday, previously the restaurant’s busiest days, which kept it profitable.

Serbian Crown Restaurant

Google didn’t do enough

Bertagna blames Google for allowing the Google Places listing for the Serbian Crown to be sabotaged and not doing enough to verify the changes, suing the search company in Virginia federal court. Bertagna claims that he had never used the internet or Google Maps.

He eventually hired an internet consultant, who took control of the Google Places listing and corrected the information, but it wasn’t enough to save the business.

The Serbian Crown had mixed reviews, with much less than favourable in recent years, across reviews sites including Trip Advisor, where one “senior reviewer” known as TravelTime4Us called it “the worst overpriced meal I have ever had”.

This is not the first time Google Maps listings have been sabotaged. Thousands of hotel listings on Google Maps and Google+ were hijacked in January, changing their listings to point to an external site.

Anyone can make a change

Anyone with a Google+ account can submit a change to any detail of a Google+ Local page, whether verified or not, including the listed website address, phone number, physical address or name of the place. Users can also mark the place as closed, as a duplicate or flag inappropriate reviews or photos.

The changes are submitted for review before being implemented on the listing, but that has not stopped abuse in the past.

Google sees its business listings using commercial mailing list databases, including infoUSA and Axciom. Business can then claim a listing and curate it for free, adding detail and photos. If a business ignores a listing, as in Bertagna’s case, users can submit community edits and change details without the business’s knowledge.

Malicious edits are rare these days, according to the internet consultant Mike Blumenthal who tracks these sabotage attempts on his blog, as Google has made an extra effort to quash them since 2011.

The suit is unlikely to result in any meaningful impact on Google because of the crowdsourced nature of Google Maps, which under US law gives internet service providers broad immunity against claims fuelled by user-generated content.

Google declined to comment beyond its lawyers’ statement that “the Serbian Crown should not be permitted to vex Google or this court with such meritless claims”, in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in June.

Thanks to Samuel Gibbs at The Guardian for this great article

Who Is Andrew Radics

Andrew is our master of Search Engine Optimization and Online Reputation Management.  He has a deep understanding of how to get the right traffic to websites without paying search engines for placement.

 

 

Transcript:

Ian: SEO myths debunked, Andrew Radics! Hang on… this video is about you.

Andrew: Yeah that’s why I look bored already. Here we go.

Ian: I like this idea actually. I like this idea, it wasn’t ours so we can’t take credit for it but Andrew what’s your 5 year plan?

Andrew: Someone I knew once said, “not working with you!”

Ian: That person got the job didn’t they.

Andrew: They did.

Ian: They did. We’re not going to go into the future, we’re going to delve into the past. So how far back do we go?

Andrew: Not too far, some of it’s a bit…

Ian: Obviously SEO is your expertise primarily, how did you get into SEO?

Andrew: Well, funny you should ask! No. I obviously have a management background, I’ve had a lot of management jobs throughout the years mainly in the telecom industry. I was working for one of the major telecom companies until February 2006. I decided I’d had enough, then I thought well what am I going to do so then I started this company called Professional Lifestyle Management, I thought it was a great idea. It was a virtual personal assistant type business, it took a while to get off the ground so  I had a website build back in the day when it costed an absolute fortune, I thought it’s great having this website but what do I do with it now. Someone said you need to do SEO on it and all that sort of stuff so I Googled it and from there I did a lot of experimentation, a lot of trial and error, a lot of big mistakes but then after I got past all of the rubbish that was out there and finally  came across something that actually worked I thought oh yeah, I’m pretty good at this.

Ian: So did that lead to doing some other sites for people?

Andrew: It did, someone that I was working with said oh can you do my site because I’ve spent all this money and it’s not doing anything. So I tried it, I charged him for it and it actually did really well, so I thought why not turn this into a business because it’s going to be more profitable than being a PA for someone else. So in 2009 I think, I started this company called The Expert SEO Company, I had all this stuff printed up I don’t know if you can see that, there’s my logo, everything was green, hence the green foam, stationary and everything.

Ian: You had a sort of Star Treky thing happening.

Andrew: Yeah I thought it was cool.

Ian: Yeah that’s right.

Andrew: So then I started that up, I moved into a small office in Chirnside Park and started from there basically.

Ian: Excellent.

Andrew: So it was a lot of trial and error, no official SEO school or anything like that because there is technically no such thing.

Ian: Google!

Andrew: Well yeah, lots of experience and like I said, trial and error on my own website, I’d never experiment on a client’s website obviously.

Ian: Yeah because you don’t want to get in trouble.

Andrew: Yeah because I’ve goofed up on my one site so many times but I said on another video, the Expert SEO website is still there and it’s still sitting on the first page.

Ian: Well that’s testimony to real work paying off.

Andrew: Yeah and then you found me because you were looking for an SEO guy for your business.

Ian: I did, I Googled you and you were at the top of the page.

Andrew: Yep, then we moved into here and we thought well, lets combine so we did that late last year and here we are.

Ian: You made it sound just so smooth and easy that whole history but it’s been a lot of hard work I can imagine.

Andrew: Oh it wasn’t, it wasn’t. It was easy. Trying to put two businesses together and make it into one. So yeah, that’s basically where I come from.

Ian: Excellent, well there you go. Andrew Radics in brief. Now you don’t have to read his bio.

Andrew: Nah don’t, it’s boring.

Ian: In fact if we could just make our whole website into a video like every single page, it seems to be what people are doing now. They don’t want to read, they just want to watch something, bit lazy is it? It’s just how we take the information in I guess.

Andrew: I think so, I think we’ve gotten to the point like you said, where people don’t read much, they watch videos a lot but then what happens when people get sick of videos? What’s the next step?

Ian: Mind boggles. Whatever it is, we’ll be there.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: As you have been with all the other things that have been happening in the last decade.

Andrew: We try, we try.

Ian: Alright, well done! Speak to you all soon. Thanks Andrew, Andrew Radics.

Andrew: Thanks  for listening!

Ian: I know you really mean that.

Who is Ian Hopkinson?

Ian is the original “mad scientist” – a digital creative who is passionate about the online market place and its potential to enable smaller businesses to compete on a global stage.

 

Transcript:

Ian: I’m Ian Hopkinson, this is Andrew Radics.

Andrew: Ian Hopkinson… Oh this video is about you!

Ian: Why?

Andrew: It has to be about you doesn’t it? It’s always about you…

Ian: Why is this video about me today?

Andrew: You tell me.

Ian: Okay, well I do get through quite a lot of conversations with clients, partners and they say ‘how do you know all this stuff, where does all of this come from?!’ So because people don’t like to read, it’s probably better just to have a video up on our bio page instead of two pages of biography. …Are we that old?

Andrew: Yeah well… So does that mean that I’m interviewing you now?

Ian: Of course, I guess so yeah.

Andrew: I better get into position.

Ian: You should.

Andrew: Now, Mr. Hopkinson tell us a bit about your background within the digital industry please?

Ian: The digital industry… Is that what I do? Are you mirroring what I do?

Andrew: Yeah absolutely.

Ian: Well I have been in digital since about 2009 officially. I was previously in the music industry which was where I learnt all of this stuff but we know how the music industry business model changed, it sort of all became about digital.

Andrew: That used to happen yeah.

Ian: So I moved to the States in 2003 I guess that was when I was getting settled there and that was around about the time that Napster dropped and then the iTunes thing happened so everybody was running around thinking so what happens now with digitised music?

Andrew: So is that why you got out of it?

Ian: It was a convergence of a whole lot of things including relationships, children and I think I had enough with the music industry, it sort of got to the point where I thought I’m putting a lot in and not getting a lot out.

Andrew: It’s a huge step from the music industry into digital. Why digital? What was the interest?

Ian: It was a bit of an obvious one because I’ve always been into computers in some shape or form, I actually did a course at uni in 1995 called Comp 101 and we did code language.

Andrew: Is that where you got this from? It’s the Internet Bible of 1995.

Ian: This was way before this book was thought of! Oh my goodness me, we should post that up online because that’s really funny to read. It was around about that time that I got my first Mac, it was an LC 630 ‘95. I think it was about $5000, that was a lot of money in those days and shortly after that I had an email address. But all that was very exciting to me, it always was and that combined with the entrepreneurial type spirit that I always had that I took with me into the music industry, it just became a really obvious choice to embrace that other side of my passion and move into digital.

Andrew: People often ask where did the name Mad Scientist Digital come from?

Ian: It was with a couple of buddies in LA that I worked on some start-ups with. Pretty much the way it grew was that we’d be having a meeting at 4 in the afternoon and we’d have all these problems that we needed to solve and in my enigmatic way I guess like a mad scientist, I wouldn’t sleep all that well and I’d come in the next morning at 9am with all of the solutions, and the guys used to say ‘you’ve been like a mad scientist, you’ve got all this worked out!’ You know I’d be doing this whole whiteboard session with arrows here and there and that’s how it came about. I guess it wasn’t until the first incarnation of this business happened to me that somebody said ‘can I have your business card?’ and I said, ‘I don’t have one.’ And then I thought, I don’t even have a business name and the next day they were wanting me to consult with them and I thought what am I going to call the business, Mad Scientist was just an obvious choice.

Andrew: Not a lot has changed, you’re still running around like an absolute lunatic. This morning he actually beat me into the office, I’m usually the first one here, this morning he was here and I don’t even want to know what time you got here this morning.

Ian: Well I did have one of those nights where there were lots of things bubbling away, I thought I need to get this solved, I need to start the week positively and get my head into gear. I thought I could lie in bed thinking about it or I could go into the office and get all of this in motion. I haven’t done as much of that in recent times because the business has grown to the point where we’ve got other people we work with and other responsibilities and schedules and things like that, we can’t be as fluid. I just said fluid – Mad Scientist…

Andrew: Move along, move along.

Ian: Yeah so that’s the thing really, I think that’s part of growing with a bigger business that you can’t come in with 2 hours sleep, you can’t do that.

Andrew: No.

Ian: You can’t be the classic Mad Scientist every day, that’s just not sustainable.

Andrew: Well, alcohol helps.

Ian: It does, although we’re drinking water.

Andrew: This is water.

Ian: Yes, anyway there you go.

Andrew: That’s a bit of an insight I guess.

Ian: A very strange, boring video for everyone, we’re normally laughing and joking about things but here we are talking about little old me. Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: That’s alright, you’re welcome.

Ian: Thanks for that.

Andrew: It’s nice to be the interviewer for a change.

Ian: Embarrassment over, I’ve got to get you back shortly.

Andrew: I’m sure.

Ian: Thanks all, questions, queries, worries; direct them to Andrew!

Andrew: Complaints to Ian.

Ian: Yeah, call my home number. My home number is…

Cheap SEO-How Effective Is It Really?

The cost of SEO services vary from SEO company to SEO company. But, if you have ever sat down and worked out what it costs a cheap SEO company per hour to perform the services they claim are being done on your website, most people will start wonder if they are being performed at all. The figures just do not add up!