If you spend any amount of time cruising around the SEO corner of the ‘net, you are bound to find an ad that promises guaranteed top 10 rankings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. While it might seem like a tempting offer, let’s take a closer look at why, as in life, SEO carries no guarantees.
I recently found a woeful story of a real estate company that took the guaranteed top 10 rankings bait. The SEO firm they chose promised high rankings for 100 keyword terms. And after several months, this real estate company started piling up top 10 positions left and right. Before you know it, the company website was listed in Google’s top 10 for all 100 keyword phrases. So what’s the problem?
Well, even after the high keyword positioning, the real estate company saw no change in traffic to their website, and no new traffic meant no new customers to win over.
How could that be, you ask? Simple. When the real estate company did some double-checking, they learned that all of those guaranteed top 10 ranking terms were phrases that were each 5-6 words long, eliminating a lot of the online competition. It also eliminated a lot of traffic because nobody was searching for those terms, which is most likely why there weren’t many other web pages addressing those keywords.
In this case, they may as well have been optimizing for a term like “Mondo the Love Hammer,” and it wouldn’t have made a difference. If the term is not relevant to your organization, it doesn’t matter how high your website positions.
To make things worse, when they tried getting back in touch with their SEO firm, the firm had closed up shop and was nowhere to be found. Weeks later, the real estate company’s site was banned by Google for cloaking (i.e., hiding text to be seen only by search engines, not users).
This is the kind of behavior that gives SEO a bad name in some circles. A reputable SEO firm will work with you to establish keyword terms that fit your business goals and drive the kind of traffic your organization is looking for: targeted traffic.
Otherwise, you might as well be getting rankings for “Mondo the Love Hammer.” It will have the same impact on your bottom line.