Thank you for letting us back in your index. Our home page is creeping back on the first page for our brand name – our internal pages are rushing back in, and traffic is returning.
[update: 4:30pst - home page ranks #1 again for "iacquire"]
You taught us a powerful lesson – it’s not one that we will soon forget. But the battle scars have only made us stronger. They’ve forced us to take a step back, and ask the right questions. Questions like, “Forget what we think we know and forget what the industry or others have told us, if we really want to plan a strategy for our customer to dominate natural search, and we want that strategy to be long-standing, powerful, and unbreakable… how do we do that?” The answer to that question echoes in our updated services, and that’s not B.S. We’re a reinvigorated agency – our transparency is total – and we are fully confident in the strategies we are recommending. Rather than divert the story we plan to tell you about The Future of iAcquire in an upcoming post.
In case you had missed it, iAcquire had a bit of a parting of the ways with Google back in late May. Google’s war on paid links came close to home when we were accused of buying links for clients, which subsequently led to Google’s big hand swinging hard on the back of our head. We admitted that for some clients we had allowed the use of financial compensation as one of our many tactics to build links. I mean, it’s hard to build links, and clients want to be aggressive and they want to rank.
We didn’t have a network per se – we setup unique and quality relationships between relevant publishers and customers at scale. And, in cases we allowed for financial compensation when that’s what motivated the publisher. Often clients don’t want to invest into heavy duty content marketing, and the other requirements that come with long term, large scale intelligent off-page SEO. I don’t blame them. I don’t blame us. Ultimately, we were gently or perhaps strongly reminded that Google holds the cards, and it’s their index.
For those customers that have wanted to stay aggressive and not seek better ways to win in search; we can no longer offer the brute force model facilitated by payments to webmasters. Playing by the rules is something we are doing, and we’ve all but broken our own backs to make things right post de-indexation. We had to part ways with some amazing employees, and some amazing clients, and it hurt. It hurt bad. We’ve taken some hard losses, but ultimately it expedited our goal of moving iAcquire from being viewed by some as a link acquisition vendor to being a strategic content creation and distribution partner.
We Did Something About It
We’ve tripled down on the creative/content department. We bolstered our video and data visualization capabilities. We beefed up our content team, and hired magazine editors, newspaper editors, journalists, content strategists and idea generators. We’ve added a Strategy capability which includes market research and social strategy. Now we have idea sessions, and the office is buzzing like never before – people are having a blast. We’ve really become a creative shop, but surely haven’t lost that strong competency of outreach and relationship development – it’s one of the things that truly separates us.
Content marketing was already cannibalizing other areas of our business, and we’d defined that division of our business as where we’d be investing our future resources anyway. This became the catalyst for us to get more aggressive with that evolution.
Over the last several weeks we’ve had our best and brightest on the road, meeting with clients – not just those that had bought links in the past, but also those that hadn’t. We had a strong wake up call – it was a wake up call to the entire industry. There are several industry vets working at iAcquire. Among the group there are deep relationships throughout all of SEO – in-house, agency-side, consultant. Google’s move on iAcquire echoed loud across the chasm of Search.
Few of you can say that when you saw iAcquire in the press you didn’t say “oh crap, that’s a big move – let’s do an audit of our own policies.” And, you can’t tell me your clients didn’t start asking questions about your own services and tactics. We got called to the table, and we had to pay the piper. Whatever the reason, I’ll reiterate the same; “Short term strategies are just that – short term. If you really want to make your brand shine in organic search you have to do things the right way – and if you’re playing ball with the big boys you have to be serious about your total strategy. Go big or go home.”
Fast tracking the evolution of our content marketing solution was the best thing we ever did, and we can’t wait to tell you more about it in the Future of iAcquire post.
To all of our friends, clients, and colleagues – thank you for sticking with us, and not abandoning us. You knew we have always done great work for our customers – we’re glad you didn’t run away. Your support has given us hope that SEO has grown up, and, I for one am excited about the next chapter of iAcquire, and our industry. Right now I’m pretending to take a much needed vacation (shhh, don’t tell my wife and kids), but it’s hard. It’s hard because I can’t wait to get back – times are so exciting now in our industry, and all I want to do is create, improve, learn, and grow. That statement is one that is shared by my business partners. We still aren’t perfect, but we’ve turned a big corner, and we’re happy to be recognized for that effort. We’ve got a lot more we want to show you so stay tuned.
Thanks Google – Glad to be Home.