The Biggest SEO Scam of All
While there are many ethical SEO firms serving Internet users today, a few notorious practitioners also exist. One of them called me just the other day.
"We can get your site to be number one in the search engines for the top 20 search terms you choose," promised the telemarketer. I don't usually give telemarketers the time of day, but somehow found this fellow to be intriguing. It was a cold and snowy day in Michigan right at the moment, and somehow I felt warmer just hearing him glow about the sunshine beaming through his own office windows.
"Show me results," I requested. So we cruised the web together, and he showed me some client sites that really did have top rankings. At first glance the sales spiel sounded rather inviting, but after taking some time to consider and evaluate his company, I determined that what this friendly young salesman offered was nothing more than a scam.
As I did my homework, several red flags jumped out at me. By researching his company on the Internet, I learned that they employed no less than 250 telemarketers soliciting SEO clients on a continual basis. With all due respect to the size of this company, I found it hard to believe that they could service the numerous SEO clients they were recruiting in a very meaningful way.
I asked the salesman about this the next time he called. He informed me that their SEO service was highly automated, built on proprietary technology that was so ahead of its time that no other firm could compete. In case you didn't catch it, the previous sentence contained red flag #2. In the words of the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably it."
The above was only the tip of the iceberg, however. Upon further questioning of my enthusiastic sales contact, I learned that it wasn't really my url that they wanted to promote. Their plan was much more beneficial--for themselves, that is. They would set-up urls to be doorway pages to my website. Their urls, not mine, would be optimized to get high in the search engines. They would maintain control of and ownership of the urls, so if I ever went out of business, they could sell all that traffic-and value I had paid so dearly for-to one of my competitors. Pretty nice deal for them. I pay them big bucks on an annual basis to drive traffic to a url which they-not me--own. Of course, I would benefit from whatever sales came through their url as long as I continued to ante up cash.
I had a good friend who fell prey to this scheme a few years back. An unscrupulous SEO "specialist" talked her into paying big bucks for a website with a url which the SEO firm owned and controlled. The SEO firm then billed my friend much more than they had originally contracted for. When she balked at the bill, they threatened to shut down traffic to the site.
While this firm also promised hordes of traffic and top search engine listings, the only significant traffic my friend ever got was garnered through pay-per-click. To make matters worse, the SEO firm hid links to their sites throughout the html of her website.
Another fault I found with the SEO firm mentioned first in this article was the search terms they crowed about taking first place for. To say the least, they were rather obscure. It's a pretty impressive accomplishment to come up first on the web for the search term "furniture" or even "log furniture". But if you design a page that brings up your company first on Google for a search of "Birmingham Tuscaloosa Avenue Dry Cleaners", big deal. And that's what this SEO firm was doing.
Although I never seriously considered dropping $3000 or whatever it was for their services, the final clincher came when I asked what type of traffic I could expect for digging into my pockets.
"I can get you an average of 100 hits per day," he told me. Then he showed me stats on some of their clients sites that had, over the course of a year, built up to 100 hits per day. I don't know about you, but I want a lot more than 100 unique hits per day on my website. I've achieved those kinds of numbers-and better-by myself. Why should I pay them for what I consider to be mediocre results?
Don't get me wrong. I do believe in SEO firms, and because of the success I've been having on some of my top search terms, may engage in that business myself someday. But after researching the issues carefully, I would warn fellow webmasters to beware of any SEO firm that:
? employs a boiler room full of telemarketers
? automates most or all of their services
? insists on gaining and retaining control of the url to be promoted
? focuses on lengthy and obscure search strings
? touts sites that are garnering a mere 100 hits per day as examples of their success.
Of all the bad practices mentioned above, the one I found most offensive was the idea that the SEO firm should own or control my url. While owning the url would seem like a good idea for the SEO firm (they could always collect their fees by threatening to shut down the site), it isn't so nifty for the client. If I pay a firm to build my business, I want them to do just that-build my business. To pay a firm to build traffic to a url they own is really like paying them to build their business-and that, in my opinion, is the biggest SEO scam of all.
Copyright 2005 Log Cabin Rustics
Cari Haus has been successfully selling rustic log furniture and beds on the Internet since 1997. Copyright 2005 by Cari Haus, website http://www.logcabinrustics.com/. Permission is granted to reprint this article, either online or in written publications, as long as the copyright information, this paragraph, and a link address or a link to the Log Cabin Rustics website is attached at the end of the article.
The Budget Webmaster?s 6 Step Guide to Improving Existing Rankings in Google
The Budget Webmaster's 6 Step Guide to Improving Existing Rankings in Google
The Search Engine Showdown
If you're anything like me, you have a favourite search engine and you're loyal to it. You never use any others (which made this research difficult for yours truly), insist yours is the be-all and end-all and you even go so far as to deny any shortcomings it may have. But is your search engine truly the best? Inspired by a great article at the BBC News (BBC News: Search Wars), we decided to compare the major search engines. Here's what we found.
Meta Tags - An Important Part of Every Web Page
Meta tags are an absolute must from a search engine optimisation perspective, there are many mistakes that can be made by not including these or even trying to 'spam' the SE's using them so heres a quick summary of the three main ones:
Feed me - Satisfy the Search Engines and Your Sites Visitors With Keyword-Rich Content
Search engines love content. Graphics may make your site look great, but a nice picture does not attract a search engine. Or a searcher for that matter. Good, relevant content does.
SEO Expert Guide - Proposition Development (part 2/10)
It is literally amazing how many people start their online business presence by buying a domain name (close to their business name) and building a brochure-ware page. Only later do they turn their mind to optimizing their site for (i) their audience and (ii) the way their audience find them. Fewer still take a long, hard look at what their competitors are doing first.
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
Its a matter of here today, gone tomorrow at the moment with Google so don't get complacent if you are on the first few pages of the searches. Its great, you are making money and think now you can relax and forget about it for a while. No chance, Keep up with linking and adding the odd page every week or two or you will disappear in a twinkling.
The Reality of Search Engine Submissions
Over the last few months, search engine submissions have changed dramatically. Now is the time to analyze the way we're submitting our Web pages and to rethink our submission strategies.
Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step 4: Content Optimization
Welcome to part four in this search engine positioning series. Last week we discussed the importance of the structure of your website and the best practices for creating an easily spidered and easily read site. In part four we will discuss content optimization.
Optimize Your Website or Get Lost In The Crowd!
It used to be that designing an attractive website to promote your company and products was fairly straightforward. After you designed your site and built a few keywords into the code, you would simply submit the site to the search engines or a directory, grab an iced tea and wait for the traffic.
Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is big business. If you rely on search engines to bring visitors to your business website, you need to rely on more than luck. Your business will lag far short of its potential unless your site is optimized and re-optimized for search engine results.
Adding Content To Your Site Every Day
If you have been a webmaster for more than a week, you've surely heard the saying "Content Is King". And it really is true! This article will explain why the regular addition of fresh content to your website is so crucial and explain several ways to do it easily and inexpensively (even free).
Its The Same Deal For Both Search Engines And Real Estate
It's all about location, location, location!
Meta Tags - What Are They and Which Search Engines Use Them?
Defining Meta Tags is much easier than explaining how they are used, and by which engines. The reason is very few engines clearly lay out what they do and do not look at, and how much emphasis they put on any one factor. So, we'll start with the easy part
Adding City Names At The End Of Your Keywords Can Bring You More Profits
In recent times, I have been closely studying keywords that have famous city names at the end of them and what I have discovered is nothing short of amazing. My research started off with pay-per-click ads. With Google Adsense the same keyword with only a city inserted at the end can attract substantially higher paying adsense ads to your site. That really surprised me and I went further and researched the kind of traffic the same keywords get for different well know American cities. Again I was in for a shock. Some cities have very high traffic for a certain keyword when you compare them to others for the same keyword.
Supply & Demand - Stop Attacking Good SEO Companies!
As I read the latest news online about what Google has done to many webmasters all over the world, I am left discussed towards some of the comments people are making against SEO Companies.
Affordable Small Business SEO: 5 Common SEO Errors and How to Fix Them
Don't put the cart before the horse.
Cracking the Google Code: Under the GoogleScope
Google's sweeping changes confirm the search giant has launched a full out assault against artificial link inflation & declared war against search engine spam in a continuing effort to provide the best search service in the world? and if you thought you cracked the Google Code and had Google all figured out ? guess again.
New MSN Search Engine: How Good is it?
If you have an online business or you just use Internet as one of your marketing tools, you know that how important are the search engines in your quest to get more targeted visitors to your website. The changes in search engine field can have unexpected outcome for your online endeavors. That's why it is important to be well-informed on impending progress in this sphere.
No Cost Search Engine Marketing
As a matter of fact, I recommend NOT wasting money on pay inclusion in most cases because it doesn't offer enough of an advantage (and many times the fees give you absolutely no advantage - the only exception are the few sites that guarantee placement within a specific timeline). Focus your online marketing and gain positive and targeted traffic without paying out for "expedited listings" or "submission software."
SEO Quickstart - 3 Things You can Do to Improve Search Engine Rankings Right Now
Increasing your search engine rankings should certainly be one of your main goals if you are looking to increase your targeted traffic. The reason for this is if you improve your search engine rankings, you'll increase the amount of visitors your website receives, and when you increase traffic to your site you are going to increase customers and sales. All of this potential has webmasters spending a lot of time and money getting their pages in the top 10 results on large, popular search engines like Google. There are only 10 spots on the first page of a search and thousands upon thousands of web pages are competing for these top spots. You have to put together an SEO marketing plan and include some of the proven ways to increase your search engine rankings today. Read the following suggestions, implement them in your marketing plan, and watch your traffic increase!
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