SEO: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
I seem to have created quite a stir, on a particular SEO forum recently. In fact, rumor has it, at one point, my article, "Google's Trap, DMOZ's Nap, And Yahoo!'s Crap" was the hottest topic discussed on this particular forum.
The aforementioned article was also bestowed the title of, "Worst SEO Article Ever" by someone on the forum.
Why all the animus? I have no idea. Perhaps they view me as a threat to their livelihood. Whatever the reason, certain SEO's seem to be taking my articles personally. That's their problem!
My articles are not aimed directly at SEO's or search engines per se. My articles are aimed at the people who utilize their services.
I'm trying to get these people to realize, they can't depend solely on search engines and search engine optimization. You have to have a multi-pronged attack.
I don't depend on the search engines! I never have. I refuse to play that game. My traffic comes from the dozens of articles I've written that have been picked up and published on popular web sites all over the Internet. I also get traffic via word of mouth, newsletters and ezines that my articles are published in, and a few other secret methods that I use.
And you can do the same thing. You just have to get out of that search engine mindset.
There are many other proven and effective ways to market your web site. Here are just a few: e-zines, newsletters, forums, online magazines, sponsor listings on other web sites, exchanging links.
Here are a few offline options: magazines, direct mail, shopper newspapers, cable television, radio, flyers, hospital newsletters, card decks, trade journals and directories, bulletin boards, tabloid newspapers.
Yes, I know Google and Yahoo! are the biggest, most powerful search engine and directory on the planet! Forget about them! Why? Because despite what certain corrupt SEO's may claim, they CANNOT guarantee you a top ten listing in either Google or Yahoo!
No legitimate SEO would ever make that kind of guarantee in the first place. They couldn't, because they know they wouldn't be able to deliver on that promise. Now they may be able to get you to the top of the search engines with certain less popular keywords. However, what good does it do you to rank number one for keywords that nobody searches for?
I want to make one thing perfectly clear, right now. I am not suggesting that all SEO's are corrupt. I don't believe that for a second. There are many fine, honest and hardworking SEO's out there, who are doing a wonderful job for their clients.
I have the utmost respect for people like Jill Whalen, Bruce Clay, Robert Woodhead and many, many other fine and reputable SEO experts. These individuals don't over-hype their services or your expectations.
They also have excellent rankings on the search engines. So, they definitely know what they're doing.
Then, there's the other end of the spectrum--the companies that give good SEO's like the aforementioned a bad name. I'm sure you've all seen some of these headlines:
"Top 10 and Top 20 Rankings Guaranteed!"
"Guaranteed Number 1 Ranking!"
"Guaranteed Top Ranking!"
"Top 10 Placement Guaranteed!"
Well, the next time you see this kind of advertisement, make a mental note to check out that company's ranking. You'll be shocked at what you find out. Some of these companies making these outrageous claims are ranked at number 3 million. That's not an exaggeration!
Now let me point out something very important to you. A company's search engine ranking doesn't always tell the whole story. I know of many companies making a nice living on the Internet that aren't ranked that highly in the search engines. You probably know a few yourself. You may even be one of those companies.
However, if you're considering hiring an SEO, I think where they rank is very important. Why? Because if they aren't capable of getting their own web site a high ranking, how can they possibly achieve a high ranking for someone else? They can't!
You should bear that in mind, when checking out SEO's.
Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit his website at: http://www.lets-make-money.net