Can You Smell The Bullshit?

bullshit-free-zone-tabb-solutionsIf you are a small business owner, like TABB, it’s very likely that your inbox and voicemails are full of “Guaranteed Top Rankings in Google” Bullshit.

If you have a website, or even a blog, the comments are full of SEO spam.

We get the calls and our first response is “did you even take a moment and Google us?” Of course not. This is rapid fire dialing for dollars. Your Dollars.

So, while this SEO Guaranteed 1st page listing is a pox on the SEO Industry, we proudly present…

TABB’s Top 10 Guaranteed Rankings Fallacies.

  • As the premier SEO firm…”We have a “special relationship with Google” or “We are Google certified.”

Fact: While there is such a thing as Google Partners, Google does not have a certification for SEO, nor do they have “a special relationship” with any SEO firm. Best to consult Google. Here’s their take, and TABB encourages you to read the entire page. Per Google…

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.

  • “We’ll submit your website to over 100’s of search engines!”

Really? It would probably take me months and months to do all that myself.

How many search engines have you heard of? Better yet…How many do you use on a regular basis?

You’re not unique here. Most people use Google – about 3/4 of people in the US as a matter of fact. Bing and Yahoo share the other 1/4. Ask.com, Dogpile, Metacrawler, Duck, etc. – the small handful of remaining search engines collectively get about 2% of search traffic. And the few hundred others are spam sites that will clog your email box.

The fact is, there aren’t a few hundred search engines to worry about. That’s Bullshit. There are three. And if you’re really pressed, there is one – Google.

  • 500 Directory Links for $149.95″

Link building is just one of over 200 factors or so in the Google algorithm. Link building is also really, really hard. And just 1 or 2 good quality links will outweigh 100’s of low quality links.

So when someone comes along offering you 500 links for $150 you might be thinking why not? BUT….Ask yourself: if you were Google would you want it to be this easy for websites to achieve top rankings? Just drop a few hundred here or there on a few links and just like that, you’re at the top?

Of course not. It’s Bullshit. Ask the BBC or Mozilla, or JC Penny, or BMW, or any of the big boys that got penalized by Google and disappeared from page 1 for weeks and months (until it was all those low quality links were cleaned up at great expense). They scammed the big guys, now they’re scamming you.

  • “1st Page of Google in 48 Hours!”

Really? Sign me up! This scam preys on those in a hurry. The good news is you don’t have to hire them…you can hire anyone. You can even do it yourself!

  • Step 1: Sign up for AdWords
  • Step 2: Pick a keyword, any keyword
  • Step 3: Pay
  • Step 4:  Bingo! You’re on the first page (with hours to spare)

REAL SEO in 48 Hours? Bullshit.

SEO isn’t only a science, it’s also an art. This means any firm promising you results in a week or in a month is one to be totally avoided. Another sneaky way to get fast results is to employ “black hat” techniques. While these shortcuts might seem like a quicker pay off, they’re also a sure way to get your business sitting in the penalty box with Google. Genuine SEO takes time, and it’s an ongoing process. As the results continue to improve, the right firm will continue to keep yielding positive results month over month, year over year.

  • We’ve Cracked the Google Code

Holy Shit! Sign me up! This could be a movie. This is bigger than the formula for Coke! It’s like cracking a safe. Only the combination changes several time a week. Seriously. Major updates hit pretty often, but there are several minor updates a week and hundreds of tweaks each year. Even if the Zombie Apocalypse finally hits and Albert Einstein rises from the dead clutching the solved Google algorithm, it will change tomorrow. That’s guaranteed.

  • Link Directories

“I heard links are good, so why not?” If they talk about link directories, your SEO consultant/company is basically telling you that their link building strategy amounts to nothing more than a thin link exchange program. For an upfront fee, they scam clients (and Google with worthless incoming and outgoing links). Run. Run away. Run away screaming “run away!” so everyone else can hear you. See # 3 for the Google penalties.

  • Their Packages Are One Size Fits All – Or they have the Sears Good, Better, Best Approach

Most every time I click on an email (oddly, most come from Hotmail) the sites have 1-3 “SEO levels”, most all have a substantial “start-up fee” followed by high monthly fees.

Every business has a different website. Businesses have different needs, goals, target audience, and overall specific reasons to jump into the SEO. If you’re talking to a firm and their packages are “one size fits all,” go look for a better fit. Good firms need to really study your business, understand your objectives, research your competition, analyze your website, and only then can they put together a solution. Beware of firms that have ‘packages’ and sell you into one of them before doing a deep-dive into your business.

  • They “know someone at Google” or have an “inside connection at Google”.

i-smell-bullshit-tabb-solutionsWorse, we’ve even heard “We are calling from Google”. Right, right….BULLSHIT! Google doesn’t call any business. Period. You really think Google employees are selling SEO state secrets to your consultant? Or they moonlight with SEO firms? And even if any SEO firm was handed the over 200 variables in the algorithm, it’s not like it’s a freakin’ Betty Crocker recipe, plus along with the basic variables you’d need the miles of code and again it changes all the time. Doubt me? Google “google authorship” and the first result (a Google page) states that it no longer factors in searches. It was. But now it’s not. Same with Meta-Keywords. The algorithm changes almost daily.

  • Our methods are a “trade secret” or they use “proprietary software”

Of course some things are proprietary – you can’t expect companies and consultants to give up all their secrets. First, there should be a complete list of what they do, not exactly “how” but “what”. If your contract is full of fuzzy details, time to move on.

If you hitched a ride back to your car repair shop and the mechanic gave you a bill stating “secret car repairs $1700”, well you get the idea. And as far as software is concerned? No. That’s Bullshit. Anyone who has sat with a real SEO consultant for a day will tell you, there is no automation. And if it was a software engineer, they’d tell you there’s no way to automate it.

And lastly, this is the big one.

  • We Guarantee 1st page listings for 10 (or 50 or 100) keywords

These firms all have one thing in common. All these firms use the Google keyword # of returns for their “Guarantee”. The fine print? They only guarantee keyword searches for words that have under 1 million google returns.dr-evil

So…

Google “diapers” and you’ll see 85 million search returns. Google “Baby Diapers” 65 million returns. “Baby diapers in bulk”? 5.1 million. “Baby diapers in bulk by mail order” 4.7 million.  OK, a consumer item sold to a small part of the population doesn’t qualify… let’s try B2B.

There are 200,000 dentists in the US. Surely if I google “dental supplies” that will be under a million. Nope. 48 million returns. “Professional Dental Supplies”? Crap, 4 million. OK…B2B is out. Let’s try a skilled trade in the B2B world.

“Fire Engineering” 43 million. “Fire protection engineering” 36 million. “Fire protection engineering magazines”? Nope, out of luck, 1.5 million returns. Really? Over 1 million search return listings for Fire Protection engineering MAGAZINES? 

As a matter of fact, you’d be very hard pressed to look for anything that people actually look for that has under 1 million search returns on Google.

Do you think now that maybe, just maybe, these companies don’t guarantee shit? You’d be right.

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