SEO Snakeoil Salesman is a pretty provocative headline – and intentionally so. I started developing websites in the late 1990s, just when Google was taking over the world of search. I vividly remember an article in my local newspaper with a businessman claiming that he had “cracked” the Google search algorithm.
This was the first time I had heard of a company offering services to get you to ‘number one on Google’. The birth of the SEO Company.
Reading further he “‘proved” his concept by showing how he got a company to number one in Google searches.
The company he was referring to sold Kangaroo Poop. If like me, you can immediately see the hilarity in this article and the ineptitude of the local reporter in not seeing through this guff – then you see where this lesson is going.
For those of you who don’t get it. The search term Buy Kangaroo Poop only had one company in the world (at that time in 1999, a lot more today) that sold Kangaroo Poop online, so getting to number one was not really “cracking” the Google algorithm.
If the reporter had asked some more pressing questions – they would have quickly realized that this was not at all what it seemed and that this person was just talking nonsense. However, he did get on the front page of the local newspaper.
SEO Snake Oil Salesman
Snake oil is a term used to describe deceptive marketing, health care fraud, or a scam. After 20 years in this business and even with friends that call themselves “SEO experts”, I still think it is nearly entirely a scam. I would not recommend an SEO company to anyone. Not 20 years ago, not today, not ever! To me, the same type of people get caught in this trap time and time again, people looking for short-term fixes.
You do not need an SEO Company
If you follow some simple rules, you don’t need a dedicated SEO company at all and you definitely are just wasting money if you are not creating content on a regular basis. You see, SEO is just optimizing the content you already have, so if you aren’t creating new content, you won’t get any real benefit other than spending a few days getting yourself set up correctly.
The best advice I can offer anyone would be to concentrate on creating content on a regular basis targeted to the audience you want to attract. Do this every week for two years (not as easy as it sounds) and you will have a successful site in pretty much any industry. Most people cannot stick at it though. And that is where SEO companies pounce.
SEO Company False Promises
Do you ever receive SPAM emails with “we will get you number one in Google” in the subject field? What a ridiculous proposition, number one for what term? Number one for what location?
If your business name is Dr. Luciano Julian’s Functional Medicine Clinic Port Moresby – quite a unique combination – then you already should be number one locally under that exact search term, but that term is not a money maker.
What you may want is the first page of Google locally under the search term “Functional Medicine Clinic in Port Moresby”. This data is readily available to you if your site is set up correctly.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results. Many companies promise to provide this service, but nearly all of them do not deliver on their promises – not even close. These are some of the promises made;
- Guaranteed ranking: No company can guarantee a specific ranking for a keyword, keyphrase or your website. The algorithms used by search engines are constantly changing, making it difficult to predict where a website will rank.
- Quick results: SEO is a long-term strategy and it takes time to see results. Be wary of companies that promise immediate results, as they may use tactics that are against search engine guidelines and can harm your website’s ranking in the long run.
- Use of Black Hat SEO tactics: Some companies may use unethical tactics such as keyword stuffing or link farming to try to manipulate search engine rankings. These tactics can lead to a penalty from search engines and harm your website’s ranking in the long run.
SEO Companies Modus Operandi
One thing is for sure, they are getting better at getting control over you and your website. They make it sound so convincing too. Here is how they do it!
The first thing they will do is create a report. Nearly all of these reports are from SEO Tool Software that will show hundreds if not thousands of errors on any site with a lot of content. These errors range from what they call serious (broken links, duplicate content) to not-so-serious things like bad backlinks and ratios.
They will create a plan for you, one that impresses you with its depth. Nearly all of these are just generated from SEO tools they subscribe to with their logo in the header. It will include boosting your Local SEO as well as organic results. What it will not be is specific about the actual results.
They will also talk about posting articles to 3rd party websites that link back to yours to improve your PageRank. They of course do not tell you that Google already knows that all of these sites are just there for that specific reason. So no boost at all. But it makes you feel good.
The next phase is control. If they can convince you to put all your eggs in their basket then they have got you hook line and sinker. They will usually try to get all of your website management, hosting, marketing, and SEO in one bundle and convince you that they are giving you such a great deal, you will need to sign a long-term contract with them.
The pain is what you are left with, an expensive SEO company that will not deliver any of its promises and will blame every failure on someone else. You are left with a long-term contract you cannot get out of and locked out of your own website until you pay them off.
My only advice is the same as I have been saying for well over a decade. Stay away from SEO companies, period. They all cannot deliver on anything they promise. They cost over $ thousands per month for basically doing nothing except getting you setup correctly. Which anyone can do!
Instead, create a website with content updated on a regular basis targeted to the audience you want to attract.
Do this over the long term (years) and it will reward your business for many years to come.
Hiring for SEO
If you need to hire someone for SEO, it is just for feathering the cap, that is getting the setup correct, setting up the post SEO title and SEO Description, and then making sure it is posted across all your social media.
At Yakadanda we can guide you on getting your SEO set up correctly and even provide the help you need to do this yourself with just a few additional minutes per blog post.