You’ve seen the banner ads: “We will get you to the top of Google quickly!” ”Guaranteed High Rankings Fast with Our Services!” “We’ll make you No. 1 in no time!” Self-proclaimed SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) experts touting their expertise, proclaiming themselves to be the Pied Piper of Search Engine Results: they blow their flute and the high rankings simply follow.
Oh, if it were only so simple.
Yes, these companies might be able to quickly get you to No. 1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You’ll see success: with more traffic comes more business.
However, it won’t last long.
Companies that boast how they have the “magic formula” or the “secret recipe” to search engine marketing success are blowing hot air. And businesses swayed by these braggers often end up to be Internet marketing victims.
Say you own a restaurant in the Finger Lakes, NY region. Your specialty is Italian food. But, you find your business losing customers to the diner down the street, thanks to their aggressive marketing tactics. You decide to call XYZ Internet Marketing, which gloats about its amazing Internet successes. “We’ll get you to No. 1 on Google for ‘restaurant finger lakes,’” they tell you. They’re so convincing, how could you not believe them? A month later, your site is the top result for that query. Business picks up.
Then, business falls sharply. You find out your site is nowhere to be found on Google. You panic, wondering how this could happen. Then, you hear the term “Black Hat SEO” and wonder if that’s the reason why.
“Black Hat SEO” is everything that is wrong and unethical with SEO/SEM. Companies that specialize in these practices focus more on short-term gains, winning you over early, and once the bottom drops out, they’ll say, “Well, we just need to do this and everything will be fine!” Of course, it’s going to cost you more money, and the results will be nil.
True SEM professionals look at your industry’s market down the road, and will be straightforward with you:
- SEM/SEO is not an overnight process
- SEM/SEO is not a magic bullet
- SEM/SEO is a great effort
- SEM/SEO can and will take a while for results
- SEM/SEO patience can reap great rewards
Do the terms “honest” and “forthright” describe your SEO company? Or are they focusing more on the short term rather than the long term?