I’ve been seeing quite a few offers in email spam messages, offering me a “free” SEO Audit. I am sure many of my readers have also received similar offers, and perhaps you’re wondering if you should take up the offer. I mean.. it’s “free,” right? So why not?
It appears to me that most of these offers of a free SEO website audit originate in India (that’s not to say that there aren’t any legitimate SEO firms in India) where providing spam type backlink services has seemed to become an almost “cottage industry.” As I’ve reported previously, I have spoken with one of these “SEO experts” who offered a free audit of one of my websites, and the conversation was laughable. Clearly, the person knew very little about search engine optimization, or even how to get a clear picture of a website’s backlink profile.
So what is involved in one of these “free” audits anyhow? Well, from what I’ve seen, they mostly amount to a short report advising you of how many backlinks to your website that Google is reporting. This is pretty easy to do on your own, but in itself is not a real indicator of your backlink profile at all.
Where do these free “audits” get this backlink information? They simply use the ‘link operator’ in Google, for example [link:ianism.com]. Typing that in a Google search box, as of today, returns a grand total of “About 20 results.” And that even includes links from within ianism.com as well. Obviously, this is no where near accurate. Using other tools, I can discover that ianism.com more accurately has over 22,000 backlinks.
However, even this number does not tell the whole story, and further analysis can be done. The point is, these free SEO “audits” are pretty much useless by only providing the number of backlinks that is returned when using the link operator in Google.
Some of these free audits may contain some information that is helpful. They may be able to pick up on some technical aspects such as duplicate Title tags within a website, along with duplicate meta descriptions. This of course is good to know, but again, it does not tell the whole story. There is no analysis being conducted on those tags, and often if there is missing information, the free “audits” won’t report on that.
The SEO audits that we conduct go far more deeply into simply counting backlinks. Yes, duplicate title tags and meta descriptions are also important to note and fix, but there is far more to an SEO audit than that. Depending on the size of the site, there is usually at least 12 solid hours of work and analysis, and quite often much much more, when conducting and completing an audit. As Google has frequently pointed out, there are more than 200 factors that go toward determining where a site will rank, and while we don’t know what all of those factors are, or how precisely they are all weighted, we want to cover as many issues as possible.
Good search engine optimization starts with the website in question. Without a good base or foundation, while you might “fly” in the SERP’s for a time, it’s quite likely you’ll crash and burn if all you’ve done is hire a shoddy “cottage industry” SEO firm to build you some spammy backlink comments from low quality blog sites.
So no, I will not offer you a free SEO Audit. My time, as well as yours – and your website – is more valuable than “free.” And what we provide is far more than simply typing [link:yourwebsite.com] into Google.
If you’re interested in really seeing how your website is performing and what could be improved upon as well as knowing about critical and potential problems, contact me through my business website.