Being a Top SEO Consultant (even the Best SEO Consultant?) in the San Francisco Bay Area – Some Thoughts

Summer is here, and I am busy re-organizing my portfolio of websites. The JM Internet Group (my corporate website) will be focusing on ‘SEO Company,’ ‘San Francisco,’ and of course training. My new blog (SEO Tips Blog), will focus on the micro searches coming from how my students ask questions, and how I answer them. This website ( will continue to focus on branded searches such as Jason McDonald, but will expand to SEO consultant searches for the greater San Francisco Bay Area. That provokes the thought: what does it mean to be the best SEO consultant?

By Jason McDonald
Senior SEO Instructor – JM Internet Group
Posted: June 9, 2013

Best, Top-rated, Top SEO Consultants – What’s in a Name?

Being the Best SEO Consultant in San Francisco?Shakespeare, of course asked, ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet II, ii, 1-2). His point was that the words themselves are not as important as the reality beneath. That is certainly true for Romeo and Juliet, and it is certain true for the search engine optimization consulting community.

How so? Well, first of all, everyone claims to be the best, and many of the top-rated systems are little more than vanity circles. The SEO community is certainly rather incestuous, with the top bloggers talking about each other, and everyone trying his or her very best to be blessed by Matt Cutts, Google’s Webspam team captain. But does being high in the standards of this very nefarious community help you as a small business owner? Even in San Francisco, an area with a lot of Internet activity and much competition, what does that mean – the ‘Best’ SEO consultant in San Francisco?

Not much, unless you get objective. Not much unless that so-called best SEO consultant can actually help you implement search engine optimization step-by-step. Not much unless that so-called best SEO consultant can help you avoid danger (Penguin and Panda) without falling prey to just throwing money at Google (AdWords).

My Strategy of Best: Doing it WITH clients and not FOR clients

I have a client, whom I have been bugging to get a ‘tagline.’ A succinct statement of what his company does so people instantly get it. Then I thought – hey, what’s my tagline. And I realized that a really good tag line to explain my philosophy of search engine optimization was this:

I do SEO with you, not for you

What do I mean by this? I mean that philosophically I can’t really do SEO ‘for’ a company without its active participation. This starts with defining keywords – as only you know your business, and only you know your potential customer searches. Beyond that, we have to work together (with each other) to implement strong SEO-friendly content, as well as build legitimate links in a post-Penguin world.

Other SEO companies and consultants still insist that they can do all of this ‘for’ you – by doing some hocus pocus black magic, without your knowledge. That wasn’t very possible a while back, and it is increasingly less so in today’s SEO environment.

So doing SEO with you implies that I can’t be the ‘best’ SEO consultant in every industry and with every personality type. I can only be my best as a consultant when you work with me, and together WE are the best SEO consultant (team) in San Francisco. Client participation, you see, is even more important today than it was just a few weeks ago.