See, Matt Cutts? Metafilter is trying to help you
July 7, 2014 10:29 AM   Subscribe

What is a reputable SEO firm/consultant in the United States or Canada that's current with the uselessness of 'traditional' SEO for small sites and educates/trains small business owners who have misconceptions about ranking in Google? It needs to be an actual person, not a guide/website, because the person who will receive this referral works that way.
posted by michaelh to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you looking for a person to specifically explain this to someone in your organization?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2014

Response by poster: It's for a family member who will waste her money on fast-talking consultants by default, but she's asking me for a recommendation, so I want to get in with a good one.
posted by michaelh at 10:37 AM on July 7, 2014

This is a really hard question to answer, and I would think that it's against MeFi guidelines to actually recommend an individual.

Anyway, for local SEO, you should be someone who focuses on citation quality, rather than citation quantity. There should be an emphasis with natural on-page SEO that is designed for UX (readers) first, but also pays attention to what search engines need. For local businesses, there should be familiarity with schema.

The person should also be familiar with the role of quality content that provides useful, relevant information, and appropriate ways to market that content.

Fundamentally, it's the 80/20 rule: less than 20% of your competitors are using "SEO best practices", so if you can master the basics (which are really just good web best practices, and engagement best practices) you will beat your competition.

What happened to MetaFilter was not particularly capricious. The algorithm issues that resulted in a decline in traffic correlated but did not necessarily cause a drop in revenue; relying on one source of revenue is always a risky proposition in a business world that is always changing.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2014

Mod note: You are certainly welcome to recommend specific people/companies, since that is the question.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:46 AM on July 7, 2014

My husband does information architecture/content strategy for large companies with names she would recognize, and his focus is on doing things the way that Google is actually probably looking for them to be done - basically "well-formed" information so it is searchable, and using terms that are popular (calling a hat a "hat" and a "cap" instead of a "head lid", to reduce it to simplest terms), and one of the things he does professionally is research to determine what the kids are calling things these days. He is available for consulting if you want to memail me.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:57 AM on July 7, 2014

There are people who claim to specialize in optimizing different kinds of sites, so what type of site is it?
posted by Dansaman at 11:34 AM on July 7, 2014

Hittail has a great course that goes over this:

SEO as you once knew it is dead. Find out how to thrive in a post-Penguin world in this ridiculously actionable (and totally free) 7-part email course.

It's clear, engaging and low on technospeak or generic b/s. The sign up form pop ups at the bottom of the home page.

(FYI post-penguin refers to the most recent google's search algorithm update that made traditional SEO useless).

Also agreeing with other posters that the nature of the business is key - some businesses have nothing to gain from SEO to begin with, e.g. innovative services or products that people do not know to search for are not a good fit for SEO, but no consultant whose bread and butter is SEO will tell you that.
posted by rada at 12:27 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The site is an information resource for expatriates living in a Middle Eastern country that sells advertising in an e-newsletter and maybe eventually on the site. It's already kind of popular, but the owner is wanting to rank better for people searching for things when they move to to the country and get established.
posted by michaelh at 12:31 PM on July 7, 2014

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