In Adam Audette‘s recent link building column (via Wiep’s link roundup), he claims to have failed at link building (or more accurately, client relations). The client – a major corporation with 10 big websites – wanted results in a short time frame, so instead of going for high quality links that take time to build, Adam went for “freebie” links like profile links in order to boost up particular URLs on client sites.
As a result, though the SEO results were there, Adam’s client saw unimpressive reports about the actual links, so they left.
Adam blames himself for abandoning his normal M.O. and going for the easy links.
Did Adam really make a mistake though?
Some clients have a short-term mindset, and education won’t change a thing for them. If they’re just a run-of-the-mill client, you can pass on them knowing that 10 more are just around the corner.
But there’s a limited supply of big-budget companies. Not as limited as most SEOs think, but still not that common.
So if a company with lots of money to spend on SEO wants to see results in the short term, should you turn the revenue away? Adam thinks the answer is a clear-cut “yes, turn it away.” I’m not sure the issue is so black and white. Consider the pros and cons.
1. Big short term revenue/profit boost
2. Relatively easy work, even though they don’t know it
3. The business results as measured in dollars of ROI will be there
1. A savvy SEO in their company may criticize your mediocre links and cause the gig to be lost after just a few months
2. You’ve invested time into a project with a short lifespan, when similar time could be better invested elsewhere.
At times, business calls for you to seize the opportunities you get and take the easy money. In this case, Adam didn’t do anything unethical – the work itself was just easy. And depending on how open-minded or close-minded the client was, education may not have persuaded them to take a longer-term approach. So if some company was going to make the money, and no one gets hurt / nothing unethical has to be done, why not be that company? What do you guys think?
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