Sunday, June 05, 2011

Search Engine Optimization Scam and Bogus claims

If you own a web site or run a business, I am pretty sure that at some point of time, you will get phone calls or email telling you that your website is not at the top of the search engine.  They are offering to put your site in the first page of Google search.

I know that is the case because I get that kind of phone calls almost on a daily basis.  They will also use the web form in your website touting the same message.  I venture to say that 99% of these kinds of solicitation are likely to be scams or plain bogus offers.  For a small business owner, it is very tempting to be able to put their website at the very top of Google search.  Most business owners are not tech savvy enough to know how SEO works and ultimately fall prey to the pitch.  Judging by the amount of solicitation I got, it must be a very lucrative business.

I am not here to talk about how SEO works.  There are plenty of legitimate businesses out there doing Search Engine Optimization and are very good at it.  I just want to state a simple fact that the algorithm that Google uses in indexing sites is essentially a black box.  Nobody outside of Google will know exactly how the algorithm works.  The logic here is very simple.  If the algorithm is known to everyone, then everybody will make their sites rank number one in Google.  If everybody is number one, who is going to be number two?

You know someone is scamming you when they actually guarantee your website will be number one.  It is too good to be true and therefore it is likely not true.  I can promise anyone that I can make their website at the top of the search engine and I can prove it.  If I put the phrase "rotten stinky blue strawberries" in someone's web page and I do a Google search for "rotten stinky blue strawberries", guess whose site is going to come up?  It probably be the first one on the search results.  What exactly does that achieve? Absolutely nothing.  Nobody is going to search for "rotten stinky blue strawberries"
It therefore server absolutely no purpose what so ever.

The point I am making here is that the results of a search and how they are presented to you are dependent on the search phrase you are using plus a whole bunch of other contributing factors that are used in Google's algorithm.  I will challenge anyone to put my site in the top of Google's search results if I type the word "shoes" in the search box.  It is not going to happen.

In the nut shell, next time, if someone offers to make your website appear in the first page of the search results for a certain amount of money, the very first question that you are going to ask them is "Using what search terms or phrases?"  If they don't have any idea what you are talking about, it is time to hang up the phone.

1 comment:

geocliks said...

Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

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