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How Do You Rank Local Businesses? SEO Questions

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by kebertt, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

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    I have 3 clients I'm going to meet with on Tuesday and I want to get everything straight before getting the check. I've done a local SEO site in the past and it was a breeze, my main question is should I use black hat OR white hat methods? ...Or a bit of both?

    All of my clients generally have keywords (way) under 1000 exact searches so ranking them on the first page shouldn't be a problem. I figure I can easily rank their sites with services on BHW or a couple fiver gigs. After their website is ranked for the targeted keywords what do you do to maintain it other than monitoring it?I've noticed that they generally don't need much work if you keep up with G's algorithm changes. Will a simple drip feed work to keep it high in the SERPs?
     
  2. cocococo

    cocococo Senior Member

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    Don;t ever use blackhat on client's site, you have risk penalizing their site. If your in this business you shuld know many ways to rank your site using highly quality backlinks.
     
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  3. sanjeev2010

    sanjeev2010 Junior Member

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    +1 to what cocococo said, white hat all the way on sites that don't belong to you!
     
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  4. ViperVin

    ViperVin Regular Member

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    High PR blog posts + high PR social bookmarks is pretty much all I use to easily rank my local clients. Just monitor their rankings with any tools and if their site drops a bit, just do another SB submission. :)
     
  5. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

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    I figured white hat was the way to go.... But then I started wondering - If it was a competitive niche and my competitors were clearly using Blackhat methods, shouldn't I provide them with the services to rank best?

    Side note - all of my clients sites are created by me, on my hosting.

    Is it really that bad to throw a small amount of diverse links (social bookmarks, web 2.0, contextual backlinks, etc.) at my website using blackhat methods every week or so?
     
  6. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    I think a more balanced answer to your question leaves the door open for grey & blackhat methods, with a healthy dash of common sense.

    First thing to do is analyze the competition and see what they are doing, and then do what they do. If they can get away with it (and use it against your client) then you can too.

    Some "local" SEO isn't local at all, but rather a nation-wide strategy to dominate <keyword> + <Major City>, such as "plumber minneapolis", or "auto repair Los Angeles". If you start looking at the "heavy hitters", you'll find all manner of national-level, black-hat backlinks, link pyramids, so in this respect "Local SEO" is no different than just "plain old" SEO, it just happens to have the name of a geographical area associated with the primary kw.

    Even more significant is that the SEO infrastructure behind all these artificially-elevated businesses are not connected to the businesses at all. I assume the businesses are paying for having their URLs on the "national" SEO businesses money site, and that SEO business can kick one off and put another on with little or no effort.

    For example, some high-level SEO guy might "own" "Computer Repair" and then set about claiming every metropolitan area in the US, i.e. "Computer Repair Tampa Bay", "Computer Repair Indianapolis" etc... You might find "vvv.computerrepair.indianapolis.org" and "vvv.computerrepair.indianapolis.net" as High PR, heavily backlinked, well-cited websites with almost no valid reason for their existance other than to provide juice to the local businesses that purchase their SEO.

    So, that's your so-called "local" competition, and I think it's a mistake to assume that local means "neighborly" and somehow magically the "golden rule" is going to make everything wonderful. My experience is that these local businesses have frequently purchased some heavy-duty tom-thuggery, and if you don't respond in kind, they are going to eat your lunch, steal your wife and sell your children into slavery.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  7. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

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    Excellent input, especially because I am in fact targetting businesses located in cities. If I were my client and paying thousands of dollars every year to rank my business website I would want every method possible used, as long as it didn't have any bad repercussions in the long run.

    I think you also pointed out a great final verdict. I'm going to do the common white hat methods for the initial link juice to get it going, then will pump in some black hat to really show the results.
     
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  8. vegas23

    vegas23 Regular Member

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    I've black-hatted my local clients to #1 with no issues, I think the golden rule is don't go crazy with it.

    Find where they are ranked initially, throw a couple of small fiverr gigs at them (link pyramids, edu bookmarks) and see where they end up. Build it slowly, make it look natural.
     
  9. scarer

    scarer BANNED BANNED

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    edu Pyramid will be a fine idea :)
     
  10. implayer

    implayer Registered Member

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    After the sites are ranked on first page, i would reinvest some of the earnings into a few autamated backlinking service, spread your links across blog, comments, directories - add a few each day depending on niche and be sure to use random anchor text. That should keep them at the top
     
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  11. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

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    Can you recommend any automated back linking services?
     
  12. josefra

    josefra Newbie

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    Right I would do the same and don't forget to have patience

    ;-)
     
  13. 3ntH3ad

    3ntH3ad Newbie

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    I came across this thread and realized that no one was discussing the impact that the Google algorithm updates have had on the SERPs and ranking in general. DO the Farmer, Panda and now the Penguin updates sound familiar? These are updates from Google designed to combat exactly the blackhat tactics you are describing. Forget about all of that. You WILL be penalized. Like it or not, we have to play ball with Google (regardless of our personal opinions of them or their practices). The recent updates are focusing on getting rid of webspam, keyword stuffing and trying to game the system. If you wouldn't do something on your own site, why would you do it to a client's site?

    There is no quick way to get to #1 (usually). Stick to organic white hat tactics and you will secure long term rankings that will stick. Forget about masses of backlinks. Instead try for fewer quality links. Post content on the company blog and site with valuable content that people want to read and share. I have watched many seo companies come and go. The ones that remain are the whitehat ones. I guarantee it. Don't believe me? Check out Beanstalk SEO. They have consistently been ranking in the top 5 for years, while I see companies like RankPay disappear after being penalized by Google for black hat tactics.

    This is what Beanstalk seo services have to say regarding their tactics:

    "These tactics are considered black-hat for a reason. This page is to note the tactics that you will hear about from other SEO's. These are not legitimate tactics and while some may work in the short term, they WILL get your website penalized and/or banned eventually."

    They also discuss their usage of white-hat tactics:
    "What Is White-Hat SEO? Any SEO tactic that maintains the integrity of your website and the SERPs (search engine results pages) is considered a "white-hat" search engine optimization tactic. These are the only tactics that we will use whenever applicable and which enhance rather than detract from your website and from the rankings."


    ** I think josefra's main question was about ranking locally. My suggestions are these:
    1. make sure to set up a Google Places account with valid information for the business and make it professional
    2. in your keyword research, target terms that are specific to the location (eg. "hotel services, Texas")
    3. build content to on the site to match your keywords
    4. build local backlinks to the site from relevant, quality sites
    I hope this puts you on the right path and hope that all SEOs will work towards a spam free web which benefits everyone using it. :)
     
  14. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    Good post, more or less, but I don't think blackhat necessarily means thousands of links, etc... I regularly make a practice of finding editable sites that list my client's competitors, and I change the URL to my client.

    Blackhat? Yes.
    Is Google going to de-index my client because some anonymous person changed a URL from one business's listing to another?
    If yes, then I'll start changing one competitor's URLs to another competitor's URLs, get them ALL de-listed and my client will secure #1 by default.
    Else, I'll just keep plugging along, the little SEO engine that could because I:

    THINK I can, I think can, I think I can, I think I can....

    Again, I go back to my original post. It's a matter of balance. No need to do more blackhat SEO than is necessary. Most Locals buy a one-time SEO deal, and it sits there in it's original state. So I can change what I like to what I want and the Local business doesn't know any better, and their SEO guy isn't getting paid anymore, so why would he care?

    Also, if your client is #6 and #1 is doing "A", and #2 is doing "B" and #3 is doing "C", then do A, B and C, because that's what it takes to get the job done. Google says this buy how it ranks the businesses. Leadership is by example, and if Google says the #1 site is "doing it right" then who is the #6 site (or anyone else) to argue? I find the whole namby-pamby white hat seo "the sky is falling" routine to be quite tiresome, btw. A good percentage of the people attempt to achieve social relevance by telling everyone else what they are supposed to be afraid of, and it's a means of redirection. I am afraid of stupid people that have power, and parasites that are too scared and/or lazy to get off their ass and DO something. Fortune favors the Bold.

    [video=youtube_share;WLKbcrC0krQ]http://youtu.be/WLKbcrC0krQ[/video]
     
  15. lancer81

    lancer81 Newbie

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    High PR from authoritative backlinks will lead your client site...... so be careful about quality backlinks
     
  16. udt89

    udt89 Regular Member

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    What tools do you guys use to see what your competition is doing?