There are no short cuts. There are no ‘easy ways’ to make a living online. You cannot make it to the top of the organic search engine results for just $50 per month. There is no secret sauce.
In every industry there are cowboys. Search is no different.
Sadly, many businesses are scammed because they get drawn in. They leave their common sense at the door.
So what is the truth about SEO?
1. You cannot buy an organic ranking on a search engine.
Even if you could, (which you can’t) you probably couldn’t afford it anyway. However, you can pay to advertise on search engines – this is called PPC or Paid Search. That’s what many of the $50 per month guys are actually offering. Alternatively, they may be offering you the opportunity to rank 1st organically for your brand name. You’ll probably find you already rank 1st for that anyway.
2. There’s no such thing as a Google / Yahoo / MSN Approved SEO
None of the major search engines offer training or qualifications in SEO. Anyone who claims to be Google / Yahoo / MSN approved or qualified is misleading you.
Somewhat confusingly, the major search engines do offer training in PPC or Paid Search, and, if you want to undertake PPC or Paid Search then by all means pick a qualified company or individual to run your campaign for you. Just be aware, that those qualifications they’re parading around have no bearing whatsoever on their SEO ability.
3. There are no guarantees
This is perhaps the most important point. Be extremely wary of anyone offering you guaranteed first page or first position rankings. Why?
Because there’s not an SEO on the planet who can control the search engine’s algorithms. And frankly, if you can’t control the algorithm, you can’t guarantee a ranking.
Search engines are understandably precious about the algorithms which they use to rank web pages. They have to be. They don’t share them. They make constant tweaks and refinements to try to return the most relevant results for users search queries.
Many who offer guarantees are again actually just offering you the first place in the PPC or Paid Search listings - not the same thing at all.
4. It makes no odds who you know at Google
Seriously. The notion that various Google employees sit around manipulating search results for their mates is nothing but a nonsense.
No one has a ‘special relationship’ with anyone at Google. Well, actually – I’m sure they do – the guys and gals at Google have wives / girlfriends / husbands / boyfriends and so on, but that a different kind of ’special relationship’, right?
It can be difficult to know who to trust and who to believe. Our advice? Read around the subject. Take the time to educate yourself and keep your wits about you. Oh, and if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.
Image credit Peter Blanchard