By Joshua Ballard


I read an interesting statement this week, one that resonated and made sense in all the right ways. “I think of link building the same way I would my retirement account.”

The quote is from Nathan Gotch and it relates to whether or not PBN’s are worth using still.

The central premise is that you cannot build a PBN without there being at least some risk involved, just as you cannot invest in your retirement without there being risk involved. All investments come with associated risks.

This got me thinking about financial planners and the role they play within retirement savings. It occurred to me that in many ways, an SEO should treat their client’s link building efforts in much the same way that a financial planner treats their client’s retirement savings.

This got me searching for more parallels between an SEO and a financial planner; here are just three of them.

1) They have a deep knowledge of a cluttered industry and their clients pay to gain access to this knowledge and direction

Just as there are plenty of ‘uncles’ or friends out there who think they know a thing or two about the stock market and managing an investment portfolio, there are plenty of people out there who are willing to share their 2 cents and advice on SEO.

Whether it be someone in their immediate friend circle that has put on the ‘expert’ hat and decided to guide them, or potentially one of the numerous Facebook ads with consultants outlining their “x step program to 6 figure SEO returns”.

The trust that a client puts into their SEO is about making sure that they are getting professional advice, and finding someone who will stake their own reputation on the advice that they hand out.

This is not always going to be easy, as there are constantly forces within a client’s sphere of influence that are making suggestions. An SEO really needs to cut through all the noise and show why it is that they can be trusted.

2) They are in charge of managing long-term investment of real time assets and cash flow

SEO is the long game, much like your retirement planning. There is no point in a financial planner that makes you millions in a few years, but then runs your retirement savings into the ground by the time you need it.

People do not go to a financial planner wanting to be rich tomorrow, they go because they want to make sure their finances are stable and set for the future. Perhaps a difference here can quite often be that SEO clients do not necessarily see the connection between SEO and their retirement savings.

It is up to both of these professionals to direct existing surpluses of resources towards ensuring a further abundance in the future. The financial planner uses your existing wealth to create additional wealth. The SEO uses your existing money, time and expertise to yield returns on your website’s visibility well into the future.

3) They both outline strategies with a breakdown of investment cost, expected return and any risks involved.

A great deal of the time, people go to one of these professionals because they do not want to invest the time and resources into studying the industry, so they are just looking for someone that they trust to represent their best interests.

In the same way that you would expect your financial planner to give their statement of advice and outline a risk vs reward profile for each decision, an SEO should be engaging in a similar practice.


Wherever you sit on various risky practices within your field, the ethics of the matter only comes down to whether or not your client is fully aware of the risks present in your tactics.

It is an SEO’s job to outline all of the costs versus potential rewards. It is also their responsibility to let their client know if they are using any risky practices or not within the proposal they are bringing forward.

Source:: Search Engine Watch RSS