JavaScript & SEO / Tech SEO Training / SEO Audits

Time for another roundup of recent writings and excursions. Recently I’ve blogged about JavaScript and SEO, gave a technical SEO training course, and opined on SEO site audits.

State of Digital: JavaScript and SEO – Crawling and Indexing

There’s a lot of confusion and misconceptions about JavaScript and SEO. These misconceptions mostly stem from a fundamental misunderstanding about how search engines work. In my latest post for State of Digital I’ve tried to explain the issue more in-depth and provide some context for why JavaScript frameworks are generally bad for SEO.

Yes, JavaScript content is indexed and ranked. But it is done so almost reluctantly. If you are serious about achieving success in organic search, it pays to make things as simple as possible. And that means serving content and links in plain HTML to search engines, so that they can be as efficient as possible when they crawl, index, and rank your webpages.

Learn Inbound: Technical SEO Course

Last week I delivered the first technical SEO training course with Learn Inbound. We had a packed room of attendees eager to learn about technical SEO, and the initial feedback has been brilliant. On average the attendants gave the course a score of 9.7 out of 10!

Learn Inbound technical SEO course on 27 August 2017

Due to popular demand, we’ve already set a date for the next course in Dublin: Friday 27 October. As before, there’s a limited number of places available and they’re selling quick. So if you want to learn about technical SEO, enrol today on the Learn Inbound site.

SEOmator: Free vs Paid SEO Audits

While I generally stopped contributing to expert roundup posts, this one was a topic I have strong opinions about so I couldn’t resist giving my input. The question was whether SEO providers should do SEO audits for free, as part of a client pitch, or if it should be a paid service.

The expert roundup contains the viewpoints of 42 SEO professionals, including yours truly. Here is my answer in full:

As the Joker says in The Dark Knight: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” I see many agencies providing what they call ‘SEO audits’ as part of their initial pitch to a client. Let me tell you, those are not audits. At best you’ll get a white label report from an SEO tool with the agency’s brand slapped on it, with little to no analysis put in to it. That is not an audit, and to call it that is an affront to the SEO industry.

SEO audits are a paid service for a very good reason. A real audit takes a lot of effort, analysis, expertise, and critical thinking. It’s not something you can churn out at a dime a dozen and throw in to client pitches for free. Real SEO audits are done by SEO professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable (and therefore expensive) and require deep-dives in to client sites (which is time consuming). That sort of service is too costly to provide for free.

Yes, by all means, have a bit of a poke around on a prospect’s website and identify some low-hanging fruit to prove you know your stuff. But don’t ever dare call that an SEO audit. When you see an agency provide an SEO audit for free, you’re not getting an SEO audit, and the agency is lying to you. Walk away.

Bonus: Technical SEO Challenge

For those of you that consider themselves technical SEO experts, Alexis Sanders from Merkle has put together a very tough technical SEO challenge. It’s basically an intricate puzzle you have to solve using all your technical skills and critical thinking abilities.

It’s definitely not easy, and it took me a few days to go through both levels of the challenge. But I finally managed it and earned a badge to show off! If you think you’re smart enough, give the challenge a go:

TechnicalSEO.Expert level 2 badge

Blogging, SEO, Technical


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