How To Hire An SEO

by Jim March 1, 2017


Welcome back Rankers! How are you? Good?

Look, for years we’ve been told that SEO is dead, it’s old, it’s going out the window, you’ve got to get on to social, you’ve got to put all your money in there. “Don’t worry about SEO anymore, it’s gone, finished!” I even have an article here entitled, “Top 4 reasons why SEO is dead” – Entrepreneur Magazine. I read the article and it shows a fundamental misconception between social and SEO. This article is a little bit old now but many people are saying similar things.

Facebook has…faces. That’s why people want to use Facebook more than Google. No. People use Facebook for one reason and they use Google for something else. There are different reasons why people use these different platforms. Anyway, that just shows fundamental misconceptions on the symbiotic relationship between the two media.

It’s Alive!

Last week, Google confirmed that indeed SEO was not dead and when they brought out a video saying ‘How to hire an SEO’ because they’ve recently been through the process themselves.

They did a story on it last year where they hired their own SEO, which I found funny. Most of the Googlers I speak to understand SEO, but they don’t, unless they’re doing it every day on different sites and platforms, know the experience from the other side of the fence and all the things you have to do. So they went and hired an SEO.
Then they brought out this video. Some interesting things came out of this video. Over the years, I’ve done a few things on how to hire an SEO. The last one I did was in 2015. The reason I do these is because, as we all
know, there’s good SEO and there’s bad SEO, like most things. We do seem to have our fair share of ‘not good’ SEO in the industry.

Google’s Recommendations

A couple of things out of this video that I recommend you go and watch, even if you are an SEO. If you are thinking of hiring someone internally for your company, or even if you’re thinking of hiring an external firm. Have a look at this video as it tells you some good things to have a look at and gives you some expectations.

It Takes Time to SEO

One of the first things Google says in the video is that it takes time for SEO to work. Again, this is the first time we’ve ever heard them saying these things. Usually they don’t discuss SEO or hiring, or what to look for and those sorts of things. According to Google, and they should know, it will take 4 months to a year to see any benefit from SEO. They say you can see initial improvements early on, but haven’t gone into detail about what those initial improvements are. They do talk about looking at the difference between search and technical aspects of your website. They don’t clearly define what that is, but I would think it would be things like when they’re talking about search it would be the on-page elements. When they’re talking about technical, they’re talking about structural things I should think.

Initial Improvements

With the initial improvements, from our experience, what gets you some early wins is if your site is slow, then speed it up. That’ll give you a win straight up and we did one of those last Thursday, they jumped from number eleven to seven for one key phrase, and that was simply by changing the hosting. We’re also seeing a good uptick in their impressions.

Major structural things like sometimes you’ll see a noindex tag on a bunch of pages that shouldn’t have it. Google can’t index, or rank, those pages. Removing those sorts of things gets Google in there straight away. You can get some early wins from that.

You might be similarly blocked by robots.txt. You might be accidentally blocking Google from a large chunk of your site. Once unblocked, your rankings should jump. Then any other major errors such as having two versions of the same site, or having an old version of the site and the new version both live. Things like that. Any major problems like those that are fixed quickly will result in wins. That’s what we’re always looking for. Most people in this industry who are hiring SEO are very nervous if they haven’t done it before and you need to get those early wins. So they’re the sorts of things we would look for to achieve early wins.


Google has also said that it’s a good idea if you get a technical audit done on your site. Pay for one, and possibly even get one from two different companies so you can compare. They’ve said that what you’re looking for is for the SEO to identify the problem, explain the impact, and then explain what sort of solution would be applied in that situation. I think that’s a good idea. We do standalone audits for large companies that have their own in-house team and we’ll go back and tell them how they’ve gone on implementing the things we recommended in the audit. The actual audit itself is something we do informally when we get a new client on board if we’re doing the full service and not just an audit for them. It’s the roadmap of what you need to do, what you can do to have the biggest impact in the shortest possible time, and where you need to focus your attention. I do like the idea of getting it from more than one company. That’s clever.

Problem Example

Here is an example from the video of problem impact and solution:

Problem – duplication

If you think of the problem as being a duplication then the Impact – potential Panda issue
This is a quality issue so you’d probably be held back. In fact, February 7th felt a little like a Panda update.

The – Solution – noindex parameter URLs

The solution would be to noindex the parameter URLs that might be causing the duplication or nofollow the parameter URLs. Whatever is causing the duplication, remove it from the index.
Then for most sites, you have to wait for that to happen of course. One of the things that Google also says is that the larger the site, the longer it will take. The reason for that is simple, and that is that there are many other pages to crawl. So Google not only has to see the actual page that it wants to rank, it has to look at other pages on your site and how they relate to that page as well.
Hopefully that’s helpful. I will put the link in the description on YouTube and it will be in the blog as well. I’ll
see you all next week. Bye.

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