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Posts by Bruce Clay


July 16, 2012

The Cost of SEO: How Much Should You Pay?

A Handmade Sign Selling Search Engine Optimization

As with most service-based industries, there aren’t any “guidelines” about what SEO should cost. It’s built on market demand, the competitive landscape and what makes sense for the individual business. And as a business, there are obviously different factors at play. A one-person organization based from home with an Internet connection and cell phone has a different cost structure than a large service-based agency. So the factors that go into the guidelines must account for the significant cost differentials.

Add to that the fact that there is no set of agreed-upon “standards” for service and the measurement of performance. This becomes confusing to the potential client on what they are supposed to be buying. I have seen a lot of sites that have a long list of deliverables without any quantifiable set of measurements.

“I will edit eight pages per month” is not ROI, and is obviously easy to perform. That said, there are many companies claiming to do SEO that simply punch down a list of tasks without any results other than that you paid for the tasks to be done.

As a consumer, it is a matter of risk.

If you’re in the research stage of shopping for SEO, this post is meant to give some insight into the cost of SEO, and what you’re buying when you pay for search engine optimization.

Read more of The Cost of SEO: How Much Should You Pay?.




May 29, 2012

SEO Community Watch: Why We’re All Responsible for a Quality Industry

Since Google’s Penguin update, links have been in the spotlight. It has always been our position that proper links are earned, not purchased. Earning is tied to quality, and quality takes resources and expertise. A link is a definite byproduct of being an expert and having content worth the link. Anything else is simply not OK.

I thought it was time to write this post; a post on why protecting our SEO community is everybody’s job. But first, I’ll touch on the background of the issue: quality SEO versus deceptive SEO, so anyone who might be new to the topic is brought up to speed.

Read more of SEO Community Watch: Why We’re All Responsible for a Quality Industry.




February 1, 2012

Bruce Clay Inc.’s Statement on Local Paid Inclusion

bruce clay inc logo

Late Monday, we announced the service “Local Paid Inclusion,” which we said gives local merchants higher rankings in the Places and local search results in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. We believed that the service offering was finalized between our backend partner and the aforementioned search engines. So far, we have determined that it is not […]




January 31, 2011

Purchased Link Penalties: There’s No Time to Waste

Fellow search marketers: Please understand that if Google does not win the fight on paid links, eventually the top rankings will belong to sites that spend the most money on links. This hurts almost every SEO and certainly hurts every one of our clients.

An explicitly clear warning for all online business owners:

This post is a formal summary of the issue we have seen explode recently regarding “purchased links.” For the benefit of everyone, I am turning the volume knob on this warning all of the way to 11. And, no, I am not crying wolf.

Read more from Purchased Link Penalties: There’s No Time to Waste.




July 30, 2009

SEO is in the Details: Bruce Busts the Boondoggle

bottle of snake oil

SEO is not snake oil, not a boondoggle, not a waste. That SEO is snake oil is a point of view that’s been argued over the years, sometimes even endorsed by well-known industry insiders. That’s not to say that there’s no one selling sub-standard SEO services and thus giving the profession a bad name. But […]




February 16, 2009

ROI for SEO: Proving Value to the CFO

You’ve probably heard it before. After weeks of back and forth, everyone’s finally on board with the search engine optimization project. All of the executives are supporting this important initiative, but you as the SEO must still produce some measurable return on investment for your client. So what will you say when, just before the […]




September 23, 2008

Blogger evolution

Two and a half years ago Susan and I thought that we needed a blogger to help get the word out about our beliefs and support for our still emerging industry. We were in need of a new writer. The industry and business was growing, opportunities to comment constructively and with a bit of humor […]




July 9, 2008

Bruce’s Guide to Appropriate Use of Flash

There has been a lot of controversy over our post about Flash not being the SEO solution that a great many people hoped. Our statements, along with many other intelligent voices, claim that Flash is not off the hook yet as a search engine-unfriendly technology. What I find amazing is that so many designers just […]




May 24, 2006

Thirty Pieces of Silver: How Lane’s Gifts lawyers sold out

The continued furor over the $90 million click fraud settlement exposes a truth that must be acknowledged. The advertisers who were wronged by click fraud through AdWords had insult added to injury by the pitiful and inadequate settlement accepted by the Lane’s Gifts and Collectibles lawyers on the behalf of all class action case participants. […]




January 3, 2006

The Year in Preview

I am certain that 2006 will behave in a traditional manner, and be unlike any year before it. We have had growth and consolidation, and a great many surprises along the way, and there is no reason to expect that 2006 will be any different. In the year to come, many patents that were filed […]




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