Over the years that I have been practicing search engine optimization (SEO), I have heard the most outrageous claims from prospective clients who, shall I say, just don’t get it. Some of these claims are followed up by a chuckle I just can’t hold in, followed by an apology of course, and other times I have to spend an hour explaining the purpose of SEO and debunking their preconceived notions of our trade. I like to think that these myths or rumors about SEO have infiltrated people’s minds due to black hat SEO firms and Indian firms “reaching out and trying to sell SEO.” Would these people just get out of the industry please? Here are 7 of the most asinine things things I hear about SEO.
- 1. SEO is voodoo
Perhaps the Voodoo thinker was confused by the terms Black Hat SEO and Black Magic? Or maybe they think I print out pictures of my competitions’ websites and play darts against my office door. The reality of it is that SEO is both an art and a science, and it takes a trained professional to understand what is important and relevant to the search engines, as well as what can get a business in trouble with the search engines. There is no magic or voodoo about it – it takes skill, experience, and a willingness to be flexible as competition and the industry change.
2. SEOs controls how people search
I would like to think that I have made such a large impact on the online community that I control how they search. (I will use my Voodoo and make you go to my website). However, this just simply isn’t true. We base our strategies off of how the user searches, especially in terms of keywords. The user, in fact, controls the way an SEO firm develops a list of perfectly targeted and highly trafficked list of keywords to optimize for.
3. Google rotates the #1 position so that people can get a “taste” of what it’s like to be on top. In turn, this will make people work harder
Google does “rotate” rankings, but they do this strategically and only to the extent that they change their algorithm. Google is too smart and too well respected to play such games with people as letting them “taste” the #1 position. Search engine placement is based off of an algorithm, and simply put for the purpose of this blog posting, well respected sites with social authority, good reputation, earned respect of the major search engines as well as other trusted sites, and quality links will rank on top. (We all know the major factors and you can read a different blog post about it).
4. The Indian firm guaranteed me a #1 position in 30 days!
I have found Indian firms to be guilty more often of this one than search engine optimization services Singapore, where things are done more white hat. Google is very explicit in its Webmaster Tools SEO help page that no firm can guarantee a #1 or any other ranking on Google. Any firm alleging a special relationship with Google or making any such outlandish guarantees should be avoided like the plague. Furthermore, any firm making any assertion that SEO results should be measured in days, as opposed to months, is either completely ignorant or outright lying to you. In either case, such firms should be avoided.
5. How many directories are you going to submit me to?
Oh, geez. How many times have I heard this? Directory submissions are absolutely worthless. Any firm stating that repeated directory submissions is a key (or even nominal) part of its strategy is going to do nothing for you. SEO requires solid on-page optimization, fresh, regular content, promotion of that content, natural link building, and social media. Directory submissions do not count as link building, as any links obtained from most directories will pass little to any authority, or page rank, to your site.
6. The Indian firm guaranteed me X number of links per month.
Now let’s group together all the asinine comments about the offshore SEO firms. You know, the ones that pay people a dollar day, write crap filled content, and can’t complete a sentence using proper grammar or punctuation. It’s true, these firms do charge $50 a month and guarantee a #1 position. This can’t be debunked. What I can debunk is the fact that these companies are so full of it and they have no moral standing among quality search engine optimization companies. Their strategies often entail building low quality links, writing horrible, grammatically incorrect, and even irrelevant content, and/or building links on directories or through link exchanges. They also make promises they cannot keep such as guaranteeing a #1 position, in 30 days no less, and I hear that they basically take a client’s money and no results are ever achieved. As the firms are offshore, it is impossible for their clients to recover on this guarantee.
7. My budget is $50…What can I get for that?
Moving on to the people that think SEO can be purchased for $50 a month. Any budget you present to a search engine optimization company under $2,000.00 per month is insulting in my opinion, and for any competitive type of keyprhase, even that would be considered insulting. Do these people really think our time, knowledge, and money spent for a college degree is worth $50 a month?! Why should I work for $50 to make you a million dollars on the Internet? And honestly, if something sounds too good to be true…it is. SEO takes time, expertise, commitment and money. This is just something that people will have to budget for given the nature of how the Internet has changed our lives and the way we conduct business.
It’s amazing what people think about SEO, but I don’t blame them. It could be that they haven’t discovered the many benefits of a well thought out SEO campaign, their thoughts have been infiltrated by unethical firms, or perhaps they are just skeptics. Either way, I enjoy being able to discuss my love about search engine optimization and the truth behind what it is we do.
About the Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization company located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.