July 17, 2018

GlassHat.com: Search Academy MD Matt Collis Advises Not To Waste Money On SEO

Interesting news today from Matt Collis and the Search Academy team in Sydney concerning their new SEO planning platform, GlassHat.com and how this proprietary platform will help drive efficiencies within an SEO program, and more importantly drive better results.

I’ll have more information on this new platform as it comes to light, but in the meantime I have republished the full press release below.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Jul 16, 2012 – Recent statistical research from Search Academy, the Sydney-based SEO firm, provides strong evidence on how many Australian advertisers may be wasting their time on Search Engine Optimisation.

The issue, according to Managing Director Matthew Collis, is that most SEO firms “conduct SEO solely on the recommendations of an associated guru or based on generic industry perceptions, effectively putting your SEO on their ‘one size fits all’ SEO conveyor belt. Organisations such as SEOMoz provide compelling evidence towards what all the influencing factors are towards a website’s ranking, yet if you take a look one step deeper you might be enlightened to learn that the list of priorities change for every industry, client, and keyword”.

Collis draws up on examples such as the consumer electronics sector, which when analyzed by his firm demonstrates there is more value to be gained in Social Media activities than any other aspect on or off the website. This compares dramatically with the Health sector, where users less often share information on Social Media sites than in consumer electronics, where the SEO value is found predominantly in authoritative and detailed content.

“It makes sense when you think about it, but to date we are not aware of any client that is being provided with a data-led, systematic approach to discovering what the right SEO priorities for their business are” Collis says. It seems, when left to being advised by an SEO firm as to which activities to undertake, the response if often related to the services they sell – for example, almost without exception every SEO firm will point to content and link building as important factors, but their services are sold in accordance with how they have been packaged rather than towards that client’s specific priorities.

“The simple fact for many advertisers is they could easily be buying services they do not need, and in the worst-case scenario be buying services that are damaging rather than improving their rank”. Collis goes on to explain “if you perform in-depth analysis up front, as we do, you might find that you already have too many low quality in-bound links and that it is your site’s page load time that needs improved as the priority. We have never come across two clients or keywords that require the same project plan, and in many cases the statistical analysis provides surprising insights which buck commonly held SEO beliefs”.

“Search Academy’s services are driven by a proprietary methodology which has been developed into a full service software platform called GlassHat. We take reliable and highly correlated data from a variety of sources such as Majestic SEO (for inbound link data), website scraping, Social Media APIs, and Search Engine ranking tools. We then put through a series of rigorous statistical tests to determine which will affect our client’s website ranking the most. We then turn that into an Activity Plan which is updated on a monthly basis so it reflects any search engine algorithm or competitive landscape changes”.

Companies currently buying SEO services, which is not based upon bespoke SEO research, may well be wasting money on these services, in the same way as someone who ignores a road map wastes time and petrol.

About Search Academy:
Search Academy is the centre of excellence in search marketing – advice is available ‘on demand’, at accessible rates and with full transparency, flexibility, and control over the work carried out.

Search Academy helps business owners, heads of marketing and Search Campaign Managers to improve their understanding of the benefits that SEO, SEM and Social Media can have for their organization.

Google Release Penguin Update 1.1

In case you missed it, Matt Cutts announced an update to the Penguin Algo on Friday. Nothing major it seems, only impacting 0.1% of English language searches (so if you are part of that 0.1%, congratulations you win a t-shirt).

It’s interesting for a number of of other reasons though. As Barry Schwartz ponted out, all the speculation that that updates were occurring since the Penguin update was first rolled out were wrong! It also highlights that for all those naive enough to think that this was the last of the spam attacks and were counting there lucky stars because their sites are still ranking… I reckon it’s only a matter of time.

The Google Panda Update, One Year Later {Infographic}

Just over one year ago (on Feb 23/24th, 2011) Google announced the first, and now infamous, Panda update.

To “celebrate” this momentous occasion, Search Engine Land and BlueGlass have collaborated to bring us this shiny new infographic.

If you’re interested in more detail regarding the Panda update I also encourage you to take some time out to read the full post on SEL.


Google Panda Update Infographic

Google Panda Update - One Year On

SEO: Is your site actually rank worthy?

Before you try and tell me that the 23 sites who rank above you on Google for ‘large blue widgets’ are all spam and don’t deserve to be there… Have a look at your site again…

I hear this all the time, and read it in forums every day.

People complain endlessly that they can’t get to the first page on Google, let alone in the top X results, and they swear that they should be there and claim injustice that they are not.. blah blah blah.


Actually read these other sites and appreciate their content and their uniqueness.

Most importantly of all, try to understand what it is about the site that makes it useful to users.

Business Graph
That is a big reason why they’re ranking above you.

And no, paying a large amount of money to comment spammers over the last 12 months does not earn you the right to rank well…

When looking at the top 20 sites for a given search term ignore ~30% of the sites that are no more worthy of rank than yours is  (they may have suspect link profiles and overly optimised content. Don’t stress, these are not the sites you want to worry about, they’ll get what’s coming to them one day perhaps.) Look instead at the shining stars in your market and learn from them, don’t copy them, learn.

Build your own sites content to be useful and unique and you’ll be amazed at the SEO results you see.