Podcast

Episode #56 – SEO For REI Month: The Mistakes That Are KILLING Your SEO

You’ve probably realized this already: You’re not the only investor trying to rank for relevant keywords in your market.

You’ve probably researched the best tips and the most important SEO strategies so you can snatch those top 3 spots from your competitors. Maybe you’ve even implemented all of it—only to still get ignored because you’re on page 2.

If that’s you, this episode is for you. Because even the best strategies, tactics and hacks won’t do anything for you if you’re making mistakes that make search engines hate your website.

Listen now if you’re ready to climb to page 1, reach the top 3 and collect free motivated seller leads on autopilot!

Show highlights include:

  • Why SEO is the same as real estate investing—and how treating both with the same mindset can explode your success in investing. ([13:54])
  • Why you can ignore 90% of the advice, skip nearly all of the work that comes along with it–and what actually moves the needle on your results and gets you signed contracts. ([18:35])
  • The biggest risk of bad SEO that’s way worse than just ending up on page 2 or 3 and can literally eradicate any progress you’ve made on your online marketing since you started your business. ([28:31])
  • Why you can’t “scam” Google anymore (and even if you can, you’ll see zero results from it). ([33:15])

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Sign up for the September giveaway to win $8800 worth of value for your REI business: https://adwordsnerds.com/contest/

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Ad Words Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.

Dan: Alright. Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week's REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here, from AdWordsNerds.com. Hope you are doing well, and we are in it, folks. This is the second week of our SEO September event, whatever you want to call it. We are dedicating the entire month of September to upping your game in the world of SEO. [0:01:05.8]

That's search engine optimization, so you can get leads and deals from Google for free and because of that, this whole month for this podcast, I'm bringing on Patti Dalessio. Patti - you met her last week, in last week's episode. She is the head of the SEO division of AdWordsNerds.com - one of my oldest friends in the business and one of the smartest and savviest people of SEO that you are ever going to meet. She is up-to-date. She goes to all the conferences. She knows all the big wigs. She talks to them. She is incredible. For the last couple of years, she has been working with me solely on SEO for real estate investors. So she has a ton of value to bring every time she comes on the show, and I can't wait. This episode is a really big one. We're going to be talking about the mistakes that are killing your SEO because… well, a lot of people, they're always focused on what they can do to grow and they always want to do more new things, but often the easiest way to grow, the fastest way to grow is just to stop doing the things that sabotage you. [0:02:08.2]

So we're going to be getting into that in-depth, but before we do that, I need to tell you about our contest for SEO September. We are doing a major giveaway. We are giving away almost $10,000 worth of SEO information, courses, coaching, resources, all sorts of amazing things. You can go and enter to win that contest for free at AdWordsNerds.com/contest. That's AdWordsNerds.com/contest. We are giving away my SEO for real estate investors master class, a 2-day live seminar. It's a $1500 value. I'm giving away a one-on-one SEO strategy session with Patti. I'm giving out a 1-hour private coaching call with Tom Croll, over $2500 value. I'm giving away a guest spot on this podcast, one year of Moz Local, one of the most important SEO tools that we pay for. [0:03:06.5]

We're giving away the Tech for REI Master Class from Dan Schwartz from Investofuse. Go check it out because you can enter multiple times. It's free to enter. We are picking one lucky real estate investor to get everything they need to blow up their SEO this year. So again, that's at AdWordsNerds.com/contest. Go there. Enter. If you're driving, pull over when you get to a safe place. Enter. It's going to be awesome. So without any further ado, let's get into this week's episode with Patti Dalessio.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of SEO and IPA. It's a fun weekly podcast where we talk about inbound marketing, entrepreneurship and more for cool real estate investors of all shapes, stripes and colors. As always, I am Daniel Barrett, here from AdWordsNerds.com, and with me, as always is the brains behind the operation and officially the only reason that anybody ever listens to the show and now the head of the SEO division at AdWordsNerds.com. It is Patti Dalessio. Patti, how are you, my wonderful friend? [0:04:14.2]

Patti: I am fantastic, my wonderful friend. How are you?

Dan: I am also doing very well. I was just saying everyone in my house is sick, except me, so I'm going to take that as a sign that I will never get sick again and definitely not that I'm going to sick just in a little bit. It's definitely that my… now my immune system is impenetrable That is what's happening right now. But…

Patti: You cannot get sick. You cannot get sick in the next few days.

Dan: I can't get sick at all. My youngest… my oldest son got sick first. He got sick. We were in Philadelphia for a family vacation. My oldest son got sick. He came down with a fever and we have been taking care of him. We're like, you know, he's laying in bed, watching a movie in this Air BNB that we're staying at. And we're like, okay, it's time to start getting ready for bed. They're like brushing their teeth. [0:05:00.6]

We walk into the bathroom and my youngest son is brushing his teeth with the oldest son's toothbrush that he had been brushing his diseased teeth with. So I'm like, look, I didn't do that, so I am probably fine. Right? As long as I didn't do that, I will probably be fine. But for everybody that's listening to this, if you did not listen to last week's episode, SEO or September, I should say, is SEO month. We are officially making September the month of improving the SEO of real estate investors everywhere. So all month, we are bringing SEO and IPA, a fun weekly hangout, where we talk about SEO with Patti, myself - we are bringing that into REI Marketing Nerds, specifically digging into search engine optimization for real estate investors, helping you up your SEO game - get in the game and make sure that you are tapping into this most valuable marketing channel of the next five years. That's what we are saying. So last week, we talked a lot about why SEO is so valuable, why it is so important, why if you are a real estate investor and you're going after motivated sellers, you really need to be thinking about and investing in this channel. [0:06:10.8]

We covered that in depth last week. So if you haven’t listened to last week's episode, go download it and listen to it. This week, we are talking about myths and misconceptions about search engine optimization because I think there's a lot of … there's … of all the marketing channels, and Patti, you can tell me why you think this is - but I really feel like of all the marketing channels, SEO is the one where there is the most misinformation. There is the most lack of understanding. There are like all these old chestnuts about SEO that people trot out that just aren’t true. I feel like there's more of that than like any other kind of marketing channel. Do you know … do you agree me, first of all, and then like why do you think that is?

Patti: Yeah. Absolutely. And you know, I mean, I don’t want to get all conspiracy theory, but I want to… I'm going to validate it. There is …

Dan: I demand that you get all Alex Jones on this podcast about SEO right now. I want to hear about… I want to hear about how it's all… this is all like the… an inside job. I want to know. [0:07:11.3]

Patti: It's all a lie. Well, you know, to validate that, there is a lack of control. Right? There is this algorithm that we can't really see. There's some choices that are being made, you know, about us and how we show and how we rank and in what order that we can't really manipulate. There was a time that there were some tactics where you could kind of play with that a little bit more and the algorithm is getting a lot, a lot smarter and there's a lot of highly technical things going on that we're probably not going to dive into, like latent semantic index and some of the extrapolation and page rank and a bunch of this. But…

Dan: Fancy stuff, basically.

Patti: Yeah. But you don’t want to get that… but no, there's a little bit of lack of control. I mean, ad words, it's complex, but you do understand what the levers are that you can pull. [0:08:05.0]

Dan: Right. It's very explicit in telling you what is happening and what you need to do.

Patti: Here's the rules. Here's your little scoreboard. Here's how you're doing. You're not bidding enough. You're not… you know, your quality score or whatever… and with SEO, things do… things do change. Algorithms do get updated. There is an entire industry around, you know… there's spot leaders. There's people making some guesses and doing a lot of testing and it's good to do testing but … what was the question?

Dan: Why is there so much misconception about?

Patti: [laughter]

Dan: My point is - nobody really knows. Google doesn’t publish a book where they say, "Here are all the ways we rank your website, everything we are trying to reverse engineer." Right? And I always think about there's this very famous kind of like behavioral psychology study with pigeons where they have a control group of pigeons where they feed them very consistently. [0:09:03.1]

So it's like every time the pigeon does x, they feed the pigeon a certain amount of food. Then they have another control group of pigeons where they just feed them totally random. Like it has nothing to do with anything. They just literally pick random times and feed them. What they noticed about the pigeons is the pigeons literally developed superstitions. So they did a little dance and they got fed, and so they start to do the dance every time. They start to do it all the time, trying to get fed, and actually even though the feeding is totally random, that behavior gets reinforced just by pure random chance and so they develop all these like weird tics and behaviors that are totally superstitious. They're like, oh, if I scratch my claw three times, I get fed and they will believe that forever, even though there's literally no evidence, like statistical evidence, that that's actually the case. SEO is very much the same thing. We're all pigeons. We're all trying to figure it out. [0:10:00.7]

Luckily, you know, we have data and we have statistics and we can be a little smarter than that, but there are people who will tell you, "Hey man, like the way you rank your website is all you got to do is… you know, you gotta put your first name in the URL and if you put your first name and your domain, you're going to rank. It's going to be amazing," and that person's not necessarily lying. They're not necessarily trying to deceive you. What they're doing is they did a thing and they got a result and now they're kind of turning around and telling other people about it, when in actuality, it may be the case that well, hey, if you do that, you might not get that same result. So there's a lot of confusion, a lot of misinformation. So this whole episode, we're going to dig into very common things that investors believe about SEO that just aren’t true or are a little different than people may expect.

So I want to dig into the first one, which is probably the biggest one, which is that an investor will say, "Well look, I understand that SEO is valuable - you know, Dan, I listen to you and Patti and your previous episode. I get that it's really valuable for some people, but my problem with SEO is that it's going to take forever. It takes forever. [0:11:10.9]

It takes too long. I'm going to have to do this for like multiple years. It's just going to take me too long and I need to do deals more quickly than that." So how would you respond to an investor that just says, "Hey like, I want to do SEO but I just don’t have the time. It's going to take way too long." How do you respond to that?

Patti: Yeah, well this one I get. Right? Because it's not nearly as fast as an AdWords ad. Right? It's not nearly as fast as jumping to the top of the line. There is work. It is a longer game. Also, and I can rank very quickly in most instances. You know, depending on what you’ve done and how much thought you've put into this previously or depending on how much work you did before. There's a lot of cases where I can get you ranking, especially mobile SEO, really, really fast, you know, where you are because you didn't have this structure and this foundation correct. [0:12:01.3]

But yeah, you need to, you know, there's a handful of stuff that you kind of need to do, but it is sort of a long game relatively, you know. Google needs to know you're there if they don’t. Right? But you need to get any technical obstacles out of the way. They need to find you. They need to rank you and qualify you know, all the rest. So there is a little bit of a time factor. It's not as bad as you think it is typically, and also, you know, what was the example that you were saying earlier? It's kind of like, well, my competitors are you know… it takes too long, so I'm just not going to do it all. Well, you know, you should diet today - it's like the diet metaphor.

Dan: Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. I was like, well if you're overweight and you need to lose weight in order to live and you're going to be like, "Well, it's going to take too long to lose the weight, so I'll just die."

Patti: Just die. Yeah.

Dan: There's a massive opportunity cause to not investing in the channel. So you're saying it's faster than a lot of people expect, and I think that's true. But even if it took you years to get it done, it doesn’t mean that it's not important for you to do. [0:13:06.8]

Some things are hard. In fact, I teach this in my coaching program. When I talk about online marketing, I say, like you have to expect that valuable things will be difficult to acquire. Right? The most valuable gemstones in the world are hard to get because they're valuable. Right? They're like behind a giant vault and there's guards and if you just want to walk in and steal it, it's just not going to happen. Right? Valuable things are difficult to acquire. It's like for your business, this is something that you need for the literal survival of your business. Right? Your competitors know this and are doing it and so yes, they're going after it. It might be difficult to acquire, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Right? SEO might be the long game. Investing is a long game. Literally, buy and hold investing is you buy a property and it ROIs over time. That's exactly what SEO … so avoiding something with such a potentially high ROI, such a potentially transformative effect on your business because it's going to take you time to do, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. [0:14:16.5]

Again, it's like saying, "Well, you know, my doctor says I'm going to have a heart attack if I don’t change my diet. So, guess I'm just going to have a heart attack." Right? Like I guess you could do that but you're not doing deals if you're dead. Right?

Patti: Right.

Dan: Write that - you're not doing any deals if you're dead. That's the title of the episode. I'm going to put … yeah… put it on the wall. Put it on the thing. So there's, you know, it's going to take too long. I think we have covered that. I think we just say well like the ROI is so significant, the opportunity cost of not doing this is so significant. It just kind of doesn’t matter if it's going to take a long time. It's still important to do and even on top of that, it's not going to take as long as you think it is. Like you said, you can often see rankings improve really substantially very, very quickly. [0:15:00.7]

So one of the other things that we'll hear a lot of the time is like, well, even if it's valuable, I'm look, I get it, like it's going to take a long time but it's still valuable. I physically don’t have time in the day because you're going to ask me to … I'm going to have to like blog every day. I'm going to have to like do the thing where I like get in the car and I'm talking to my phone and driving and endangering literally everyone on the road so I can do a Facebook Live or whatever - like you're going to ask me to do all … I'm going to have to write all this content and I don’t know what to write. So what would you say to someone that's just like, look, I just don’t physically have time to implement these things, even if I think it's worth it.

Patti: Right. Yeah. I think it is true it does take time to write content if you're going after, you know, if blogging is your tactic and I think there's a lot of things you can do within SEO that isn't you know writing four pages of a blog post. I would also say that you can't afford to wait on this. [0:16:01.6]

We know everyone's going to the Google machine. Right? They're typing in these content. If you're not there, you don’t exist. So you need to kind of make the time. Don't give me that face. I see it.

Dan: What?

Patti: I said don’t give me that face. I see your….

Dan: I'm not giving you a face. Sorry … I was breathing.

Patti: Is that it? Okay.

Dan: Is it okay if I breathe on this podcast, Patti? Is that alright with you? Well, I was also going to say so a huge chunk of what SEO is does not have to be done every day, every week, every month. There are big things that you can do that will make a very substantial impact that you can do and be done with - like your local SEO, getting yourself on Google maps, getting some reviews. These are things that you can do that, yes, there's benefit to constantly coming back and doing it again, but you will still get benefit from just fixing a lot of these foundational issues and being done. Right?

Patti: Yes. Yes. And you know, there is some of it that has longtime value. You know, we're talking about link building and you know, what that's all about. But yeah, I think taking the time since you're not paying for every click after this, this is … you're paying it forward. [0:17:12.0]

Right? You're kind of getting your ducks in a row, getting your foundation down, getting some content. I mean, Google is not crawling blank pages on your website. So there is a bar that you need to hit. Right? There is some content that has to be crawled that Google can kind of hook into and interpret and then serve up when people are looking for you. So, this isn't volumes. This isn't, like you said, every day, but I think you have to explain your services and what you do and how it goes a little bit. I think a lot of our clients come to us with that. I think they're getting some of that stuff right.

Dan: Yeah. So this was a big thing - when we launched the SEO division, there was a lot of stuff that people were teaching and it was just kind of accepted practice for real estate investors. A big part of what we have done is look across all of our clients, look across the people that are dominating their markets, look across the predominant websites in the industry - really do a lot of original research into hey, like, so people say x works? [0:18:15.3]

Let's actually test this and see if it makes a difference. One of the things that we have really noticed is that there's all this stuff out there that says look, you need a million links and you need to blog every day and you need a million pieces of content. What we have seen actually move the needle and actually matter in terms of real leads, real deals, real data - right - is not so much having a million of anything. It's having a few very high quality things. So having a few very high quality links, having a few very high quality pieces of content, having a few very high quality pages. These things where there's not a ton of them, but they're really, really good - that is usually what we see really move the needle with Google, rather than saying I'm going to publish just 100 low quality blog posts every week. [0:19:04.3]

So this doesn’t have to be something where you spend 10 hours on it a week. It really doesn’t. You can spend an hour a week, a couple of hours a month. If you're doing that consistently, you are going to consistently outperform the people in your market that are not doing anything or are trying to do a million low quality things. So I don’t think it has to be this super time intensive, time sucking process. I think it can be… you just have to be smart about what you're doing.

Patti: Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Be purposeful. Right? Who am I writing this for? Who am I attracting?

Dan: Yeah, I mean, so many of these blog posts that investors are writing - no one is ever going to read them. Literally, no one is ever going to read them. They're written for nobody.

Patti: And are you just kind of … you know, there are some people that are a little bit prolific. It's their thing. They like to write, but are you monitoring that? Are you looking? Can you see the visitors? Are people coming in that way? Are they searching for stuff? A lot of this is also trackable. So, we have got all this access to so many of this too. Right? Realtime data. [0:20:06.0]

Are you an investor who wants to dominate your local market? Do you want more leads and deals online? Then download your copy of the Motivated Seller Blueprint absolutely free at www.AdWordsNerd.com/gift. What are you waiting for? Go to www.AdWordsNerd.com/gift right now to get your copy of the Motivated Seller Blueprint.

Dan: What would you say to someone who is well, okay, I get that the value and the long game. I get that it doesn’t have to be a bunch of time, but look, I've looked out in my market. I have competitors in my market that are doing a bunch of SEO. I've got big websites in my market. Everyone's … all the spots are already taken. What would you say to someone that's just like, look, I want to do this but the competition is so deep and they're richer than me and they're more established than me and I just won't ever be able to compete. [0:21:10.8]
What would you say to someone who is seeing, looking out at their competitive landscape and seeing that?

Patti: Yeah. I think that there are, just generally speaking, there are some markets that are harder to break into. I can name them; I won't. But there are markets that are really, really competitive and if you're in it, you know it. But you can almost always compete, I would say. I say that… I, you know, I've been doing SEO for quite a long time. I think I'm very competitive when it comes to different stuff ... I like those kind of …. You know, for me, I have that, you know, that's just a bit of my life. I think that you can. I think that you can absolutely always get above competitors. I think you can see what they're doing and there's always angles to play. [0:22:00.5]

There are always some SEO tactics that you can use to compete in this. That is the good thing about Google. As of right now, especially, I think it's true for real estate investors, there's not, you know, a couple of national brands, but no one is owning it. A lot of this is a local need. It is a local search. You have your geographies that you are targeting and that is up. That is available to you.

Dan: Yeah. I think it's … one of them … this is something too that I've talked about. In fact, I think I spent an entire episode on this, but the bar is very low for real estate investors. Right? In almost every aspect of what real estate investors do, the bar has been set very, very low in terms of client experience, in terms of website design, in terms of website copy and in terms of SEO. Investor have historically been very driven for a short-term ROI and they've done things in line with that. [0:23:00.3]

They're trying to get the most for the cheapest. What that's done is create an environment where Google is ranking them, but comparatively, everybody is pretty much the same. If you can go out and just systematically do a slightly better job, you will break into even an incredibly crowded market, and that's usually way easier than you think it's going to be. Because your competition may have just spent money on the lowest quality, cheapest stuff that they can get. If that's the case, it's like, look, even just by doing a little stuff that's high quality, really thinking about it, being intentional, being intentional about your content, being intentional about where you get links from, being intentional about who you listen to, where you learn from, you can very quickly outpace the competition. Right? It's like if you can look out on a race track and if everybody's got a mile head start, from you, for the marathon, it's like, yeah, that might be depressing but if you're racing against a bunch of turtles, you're still going to win. [0:24:06.8]

You can still catch up. They're all still turtles. Right? It's like just don’t fall asleep. I don't know. What's the tortoise and the hare? He goes and falls asleep or he gets drunk or I don’t … don’t do that. Right? That was a really weird metaphor. I hope that reached to everybody. Just remember that look, even if you have a competitive landscape, it doesn’t mean you can't catch up. I mentioned this in that, and I want to talk about this - we run into this a lot. It's very understandable to me that we run into it. Let's talk about the cost of SEO and low cost SEO, in particular, because I would wager - I bet you everybody listening to this has had someone call them and say, "Hey, I noticed in Google your website wasn’t number one. I can help you get to number 1. It'll be $300 a month" or you've gone on a website like Fiverr or something and had someone be like, look, for $10, I can build you 100 links or whatever it is. [0:25:05.0]

Like talk about the SEO kind of industry and talk about like low cost versus the options that are going to cost more have a higher investment. Like what is the difference between these and why would I ever choose a higher cost option versus a lower cost option?

Patti: Yeah, well. I mean, there's the old adage, you get what you pay for and you really do with SEO. Bottom feeding SEOs…

Dan: Wow. Immediately coming out swinging and calling them "bottom feeders." You heard it here first, folks. Patti pulls no punches.

Patti: Listen, I am a very serious SEO. I've been in this industry for a while. I take it very seriously. I attend several conferences a year. I am tapped into Google's, you know, they're putting out patents and we're all exploring what that means. Like there's a lot to know. There's a lot to pick up. Not everybody has to be that way, but myself, Jeremiah, we're very serious SEOs. We take it seriously. [0:26:04.0]

Having said that, there is a bit of low barb entry to people calling themselves SEOs. It's … there's a pretty dirty side to the pool, but the tactics that they are doing are…

Dan: No, I was just remembering recently I took my family to the pond that I swam in as a child where I grew up. There was a birthday party there. We went in and I was like, it's exactly the same. It looks exactly the same. The dock was exactly… I walked out on this whole …. They have this whole like dock and I was like, oh … the feel of it on my feet and the sound that it made were all like incredibly nostalgic. I was like, oh, and my kids are playing in this pond. It's amazing. I went to go like wipe, like to sort of swat away a leaf and it was a little piece of … it was a little poop. It was a little human poop. I was like, you know what? This is what I forgot about that pond life, that local pond life where the kids go swimming. [0:27:05.2]
It's … there's a dirty side to the pool. That's what made me think of it. Anyway, I want you to take that as a metaphor for SEO and just be like, look, it's all fun and games until a piece of poop comes to you.

Patti: Too many poops in the pool.

Dan: Anyway, guys. This is why this podcast is doing so well - the highest quality podcast and real estate investor marketing. Please continue. So you were saying, look, there's sort of a part of this industry where it's like very low barrier to entry. So I get that. I get it to a certain extent. I'm like yeah, you get what you pay for. But what could it hurt to try the cheaper option?

Patti: You would be surprised. If you do enough of the bad stuff, and I've seen this - I've personally seen this. I've personally cleaned up after bad SEO work where a lot of bad links were built. I don’t know if you want to talk about PBNs now, but that's something that we see a lot when looking at link profiles of either competitors or clients that are having a hard time all of a sudden and they don’t know what's up. [0:28:07.5]

They have a lot of bad links coming to them that they paid for, which is a really bad tactic that I see, that I see people doing. I think that there's a lot of onsite bad tactics that SEOs are doing. It can actually, it can literally get you kicked off Google. Your domain name would, you would have to throw it out and start all over.

Dan: Yeah. That's the big takeaway is it's not that, you know, like bad SEO just isn't effective. It's that bad SEO can literally permanently hurt you. Right? It's the equivalent of you could go to CVS and pick up a prescription and pay whatever your prescription cost is and get the official drug that is in the little orange bottle that your doctor prescribed to you or in the alleyway, there's a dude that's like, hey, I made these pills at home. [0:29:00.1]

They do the totally same thing and it's only like $10. You'd be like, what's the harm? What could the harm be? What… literally, there's significant….never take the alley pill guy. Alley pill guy …. SEO is exactly the same way. It's the bad stuff can really, really hurt you because Google's priority is to penalize people that are trying to manipulate it in a way that's going to be bad for searchers. Right? The Google has monetary incentives to knock you out of the park if you are trying to do things that it thinks are bad. There's a real downside risk to this. It's not just that like, well I tried it and it didn't really work. It's like you can really damage your business in ways.

Patti: Yeah. You absolutely can. You can, you know, I mean, getting kicked off Google is probably the worst thing that can happen. Your whole domain could get kicked off or you could just be penalized in a way that you're no longer being shown. You're page five of six. You literally… which is kind of the same thing. Like you just don’t exist. You really need to be careful. [0:30:09.0]

Dan: Yeah. You just think about that in terms of deals lost. Right? If you are ranking in Google and you're getting leads and deals from SEO and then you are dropped off the face of the planet because you did some sort of shady SEO thing or somebody you hired that you didn't even know they were doing it, that's potentially tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to your business. Right? The cheap stuff is not cheap when you think about the cost of it for the long term. Let's talk about links a little bit. We mentioned links in terms of low quality and this is probably one of the defining characteristics I would say of low quality SEO. Can you get into a little bit… like I mean, explain to people what a link is in terms of SEO and why it's important and then talk about how people build links and how that can really help you or hurt you. [0:30:59.7]

Patti: Yeah. When we're talking about links or the activity of link building, we're talking about other people's websites, other websites that are mentioning you and linking to your website. Right? So if we kind of pull the lens back and look at how Google works and this idea of crawling and what that is - it's literally Google starting at one website and then following all the links off of that website and kind of crawling in a web formation. If I create a website today and no one ever links to it, it's sort of like, it's kind of like an island. That idea of being an island that no one else links to and no one else thinks is good enough to mention and it doesn’t live anywhere else, you know, in this ecosystem that is Google - that sends a message and that message is it's not a very authoritative website. It doesn’t have much to say. It's not being mentioned anywhere else. To increase that authority of your domain or your website or your pages, you want to have other sites link to you. [0:32:00.1]

There's ways to do that. It is challenging and you can go after particular signals. Right? Local signals. You want local places to link to you and then there's some other national and some other business citations and directories to link to you. All of this paints a picture for Google and makes the case as to why you should rank above your competitors. Google has this kind of split second to make those choices as to who ranks where, who's one, who's two, who's three, who's four … and you want to make sure that your reputation, your linking reputation, your linking profile is mirroring you as a business and your scoreboard on that is good. You want to do the activities that it takes to get people to link to you.

Dan: : Yeah. Absolutely. Let's talk about… so that's what links are, and that's why they're good. You mentioned PBNs, which stands for private blog networks. Let's talk about, so like, very common thing is for an investor to get an offer that says like hey, pay me a certain amount per month and I'll build you 10 links a month or 50 links a month or whatever. [0:33:05.9]

So what's wrong with that? If I'm an investor and I'm like hey, links are going to help me rank in Google, what's wrong with me paying someone to get 50 links a month?

Patti: Yeah. Well and it kind of makes sense. If you're going to jog the system and if you can't otherwise get these valuable links, you can say, oh, well I'm just going to create another website and link to my site. Or if I'm going to sell it, I'm going to create a couple of websites and sell those links that are coming out. The thing is it became so popular, people trying to scam Google, that Google knows what that looks like. They know what these private blog networks looks like. There's very little content. There's trash ads. They have crazy domain names that are not very meaningful. You can see this. If you look up, say a site that has this, you'll see a lot of trash and you can tell that they paid somebody to build these links and there's even tools that you can use that will rank these websites and show what their spam scores are. [0:34:04.6]

So you can really dive into these. You go, oh, it's a PBN. It's garbage. Then if you read what it is saying, there's nothing there. There's no reason for that site to really exist. PBNs are bad and it's in the guidelines. Google says do not use PBNs.

Dan: Right. One of the few things that Google literally specifically calls out and says do not use these - if you use these, we will know it.

Patti: We will penalize you. Yeah.

Dan: It's sort of like if you go on Twitter and someone has a million followers and you're like, wow, I'm really impressed. But then if you look at their followers, none of their followers follow anyone else. None of their followers have ever tweeted. None of their followers have pictures. You're like, oh, these are all fake accounts. Right? So it's almost exactly like that. Google will find you and they will penalize you.

Patti: Because they know. Right? They're following these links. So yeah, PBNs are bad. Good links are worth getting. Like…[0:35:02.3]

Dan: Worth getting. Here's the point that I would really want to make to everybody out there. Good links are worth getting and they are hard to get. Part of the thing, the reason that SEO people use PBN or low quality SEO people will use PBN just because it's easy and they can point to it and say, look, Mr. Client, Mr. Real Estate Investor, Mr. and Mrs. Real Estate Investor, I have done this work. I did 10 links, blah, blah, blah. But it's artificial. It's easy. It doesn’t mean anything, whereas getting legitimate links, let's say from media. So your local newspaper, your local news site, from big websites - those are hard to acquire. So low quality SEO people can't do that because they don’t charge enough to actually do the amount of work that it takes. Right? Yeah.

Patti: We have our tactics. Jeremiah is our link builder on our team and he does a great job. He is always looking for opportunities to get our clients links and to get mentions and it's a lot of …. It's about the relationships that you're building. [0:36:06.3]

So whether you're building relationships locally… you know, we'll probably talk about this in another call, but yeah, you're building those local links. That's sending a nice local message. If you're having relationships with people in the media or other high thought of websites or, you know, you can actually get your foot in the door and write good, helpful, real content with mentions back. That's kind of how this is done. It's who you know. It's 2019 and it comes down to who you know and who's going to link back to your website.

Dan: We'll put it this way. Right? Jeremiah, who is a person on our team that primarily does the link building, he is very smart, very well educated in SEO. That's all he does. Right? Also ran his own business. Right? Very successful dude on his own. That is his, basically, full-time job for every client that we bring on. We took an extremely high quality person and literally that's what he does. He busts his butt. [0:37:06.8]

We're still not building dozens and dozens of links because you… first of all, you don’t need to and second of all, that's because good links are hard to get. We talk about this. Right? Like the most valuable gemstones are hard to get. Right? This is kind of the definition of quality work is that it should be difficult. Right? So it's super, super important. I always say if someone's offering to build you a bunch of links at a low cost, it's a huge red flag. For me, it's a disqualifier. If we're working with anyone or seriously considering working with anyone, that is, to me, kind of like the sniff test for SEO. Yeah. You heard it here first or second or third, but I probably told you this multiple times on this podcast, but the more that we get this message out there, the better it's going to be. Guys, we have covered a ton of stuff in this episode. It's been a really deep episode. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. If you have questions about what we're talking about, I highly suggest that you come in. We have a free Facebook group. [0:38:01.9]

You can get there at AdWordsNerds.com/group. That's AdWordsNerds.com/group. Patti is in the group. I am in the group. We are going to be posting stuff all month. All month is SEO month, September. We're going to be posting stuff in there pretty much every week, answering questions. So if you have… if you're not sure about something, someone has made you a pitch, if someone's sent you something and you're just like, hey, I don't know if this is legit or it doesn’t jive with something you've heard about SEO, let us know in the group. Post in the group. Tag me. Tag Patti. We're happy to help you out and get into it with you. Patti, thank you so much. This was awesome. I am really glad you were able to come on here. We will be doing a couple more of these episodes, so they're … I'm telling you, people, there will be more Patti. You don’t need to panic. There will be more Patti on the show. I promise. Patti, thank you so much, as always.

Patti: Thank you, Dan.

Dan: Alright. Thanks, everybody.

I hope you enjoyed this episode with Patti Dalessio. All this month, we are going to be digging into SEO, so make sure you tune in next week for another episode with Patti. And if you didn't catch our first week's episode of September for SEO September, go back and check that one out as well. Remember, it is free to enter our massive SEO mega bundle giveaway. You can do that at AdWordsNerds.com/contest. That's AdWordsNerds.com/contest. AdWordsNerds.com/contest. Sorry, guys - I'm going to … I haven't had the most sleep I've ever had this week. So I hope you're having an awesome rest of your week. I hope you enjoy these episodes. We will see you next week for more SEO tips, tricks and strategies. Thanks, everybody – talk to you soon.

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