If I could shake Google Penguin’s hand, I would.

Without doubt one of the most challenging aspects of growing the agency over the past few years has been attempting to strike a balance  between doing the right thing for the client and the right thing for SEO. What do I mean by this? Simple… why recommend white hat techniques when you know they are going to lose out to black hat strategies?

Why is this frustrating?

1. We only practice white hat techniques so we have inevitably lost out to some clever black hat strategies in the past.

2. Google is telling porkies. For years Google have told us how to practice SEO, yet for years the best practice guidelines have fallen on deaf ears. as people within the industry have found new and imaginative ways to pull the wool over Google’s eyes and achieve amazing rankings.

3. Clients don’t really care about how it’s done, they just want results. I don’t blame them either. We have lost clients in the past because  black hat agencies have promised to achieve better results, even though we know that their rise up the rankings will only ever be short lived.

So where do you draw the line? What if a client who spends a lot of money with your agency says they want x amount of links per month or else? Recently, a client’s account manager was replaced.

The client’s existing strategy was to focus on the quantity of links over the quality, despite the fact this was not our recommended course of action. For months, the SEO team here have been preaching the validity of quality over quantity. The client, however, was adamant that it was a numbers game and  numbers was where we should focus our efforts. Soon after starting, the new internal SEO sent an email asking why we were targeting quantity over quality. I felt like tearing my hair out because we knew the history of the account.  I could understand his questions, but where do you draw the line? Interesting predicament…

So what is the answer? I don’t mean to sound like Tony Blair… but for me it is education, education, education.

For years we have built up trust with our clients, and I believe now more than ever that this trust is like an unbreakable bond. Everything we have been preaching for years is now starting to pay off and pay off handsomely.

Rankings have never been higher, client retention is rock solid, we are winning clients who suffered from Penguin at other agencies, and we have even had job applications from people who were desperate to get out of their black hat led agency (who, unfortunately, will remain nameless)!

So thank you Google, for finally practicing what we have been preaching and letting good overcome evil.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how SEO, content and PR are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user demands and search algorithms, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and technology across all inbound channels. Where could a 4Ps content marketing strategy take your business?