Matt Cutts of Google explains a bit why seo companies are lying to you when they claim they can guarantee number one rankings in Google for competitive terms….
What Matt didn’t touch on was diversity in search results Google aims for, or geolocation differences, personalisation re-ranking, or what the competition is doing, or tweaks to the algorithm, etc etc etc…. but it’s true no seo company can guarantee no1 rankings in Google, so don’t be duped.
Taking the analogy of a Horse Race, even if you know where the finish line is, even if you have spent ages examining the competition, and even if you have ‘fixed’ the race so that every other jockey is in on it……what if happens if your horse falls at the second last fence? What happens if it breaks a leg? What happens if it drops dead? What happens if another faster horse enters the race at the last minute from left-field? You’re No2.
And if you’re caught cheating – you won’t even be allowed to race.
Google is like a horse race, with hundreds of potential participants. It’s a horse race where;
- You don’t even know where the finish line is!
- You don’t get to see everything the competition is planning to win the race, what they did yesterday or what they will do tomorrow, whether that be address site issues, get those all important quality links or indeed hire a better search engine optimiser!
- It’s impossible to know how healthy your site is in comparison to the no2 site, assuming your site is no1.
- If you are caught cheating, your not allowed to compete in future.
It’s tiring to hear…
“sure I can guarantee a no1 listing, if you give me enough money”
Yeah, throw money at it.
Google Guidelines state;
“No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google“
For me this is the only absolute truth Google tells us. Matt Cutts of Google is on record as saying;
“someone walked up to me and pretended like he wanted to bribe me: $500,000 for a 1st place ranking. I turned him down, because no one can guarantee a #1 ranking, not even me.” Matt Cutts
Even the cleverest of the black hat seo brigade can’t capture very competitive key-terms for long. Google will eventually catch up – Google manually checks some of the most competitive ‘money terms’ when the algorithm misses it and if they don’t pass a human review – the site will be penalised, along with every other site in that bad neighbourhood.
If you’re in business, you’re obviously not stupid, or if you are, you won’t be in business very long.
A SEO can’t ever guarantee you top results just in the same way as an advertising agency can’t guarantee that next advert in the local press will get you sales. If you’re paying good money to a seo, you should expect good positions, but that’s it. To guarantee anything you need to know all the variables – even seo who claim you can guarantee no1 listings on less that competitive terms are fooling themselves. Google can take these positions away from them as quickly as a better seo with a better site with a better back-link profile. No1 in Google is not an absolute, it’s a floating point.
BEWARE COLD CALLING SEO COMPANIES, AND SPAM EMAILS
I received this today from a uk seo company – …xxxxxxxxxxxx - as it’s clear you didn’t even look at my site properly or you are purposely trying to mislead me in some matters - I thought I would review and respond here (IN MY HONEST OPINION AS A SEO):
My answers are in bold.
My name is xxxxxxxxx (Name Removed I will be nice). I’m a senior search consultant at Top 10 Guaranteed. We are part of an IT Group that has been established for over 10 years as a leading specialist in all aspects of online sales and marketing.
Excuse the unusual approach, however I am writing to inform you that I recently visited your website, hobo-web.co.uk, during a routine survey of web sites which would be capable of achieving higher search engine performance. Obviously resulting in an increase in online sales or the generation of high volumes of additional sales leads.
I am confident that this information will be of use to you, but if I have caused offence in any way through my approach I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. I’m hoping this will arouse your curiosity, since you are obviously attempting to gain new business through your website. (Well, i am offended a bit)
From my initial observations, your website is under performing in at least one of the major search engines such as – Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You probably are aware that most people don’t look past the first page of search results. I struggled to find you in the first couple of pages for highly relevant keyphrases, which means that you could be losing out on a significant amount of business. As such I did a bit more digging… (What, with a spoon? Anyway – most of my traffic is long-tail)
I ran a back-link check on your website first. Back-links are the number of times your site is linked to through another website. Your website has 76 back-links. Back-links also contribute towards your Google Pagerank score. Pagerank is Google telling us how trustworthy your site is. A higher score = higher search rankings. Right now your website has a Google Pagerank score of 0/10, which, when compared to other high ranking competitor websites, may be restricting your rankings. This can be down to many reasons which we can help resolve. (If you had even looked at my site you would see that this is 100% WRONG)
The next check I applied on your website was page indexing. Search engines like Google scan the information on your website and feed it back to their database. The Google formula is then applied to the data to determine where your website should rank. As such the more pages your website has indexed with quality unique content, the higher you can rank with Google. (THIS IS MISLEADING TO SAY THE LEAST – ADDING MORE PAGES TO MY SITE WILL IMPROVE TRAFFIC IF TARGETING MORE UNIQUE KEYPHRASES – NOT NECESSARILY RANKINGS FOR CURRENT TERMS) )Right now, your site has 582 pages indexed with Google, and Google is regarding some of that content as poor. (BOLLOCKS) This can be down to many reasons which we can help resolve. (WTF are you on about?) Finally I also identified that there could be a number of structural issues with your website which may be having a negative impact on your search rankings. (INDEED THERE WILL BE I AM TESTING THINGS – YOU CAN MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STRUCTURE OF NEARLY EVERY SITE)
So, here’s a recap of my findings of hobo-web.co.uk:
- Your Google Pagerank is 0/10 - (WRONG ACTUALLY it is PR5 (Nearly PR 6 as I have quite a few internal PR 5 pages FYI but PR is not something I even chase these days – this site had a PR 7 site 6 months after launching 4 years ago – check out SEOMOZ for proof – WHILE YOU ARE THERE I SUGGEST YOU SIGN UP FOR THEIR TOOLS or visit SEOBOOK, ASSISTANT or MAJESTIC SEO as they have obviously got better seo tools than you are using :D)
- You have 76 back-links (WRONG – You must be using Google to check backlinks – which is crazy as Google shows you only a % of the links to Hobo – Yahoo site explorer shows more – in fact over 20,000 back-links which is not bad as we have not engineered link building to this site for years – SO, you are either trying to mislead me, or are incompetent in my review of what you have told me as a professional seo)
- Your website has 582 pages indexed
- There are issues with content and site structure (EVERY SITE HAS ISSUES WITH CONTENT AND SITE STRUCTURE – TELL ME SPECIFICALLY WHAT CONTENT YOU ARE CONCERNED WITH PLEASE – I test a lot of things on this site – where else could I on such a well trafficked site?)
Let me expand on that by saying believe me, every page I want indexed on this site is indexed (well apart form one CANONICAL REDIRECT I SCREWED UP LAST MONTH cheers Google lol – I don’t have time to work this site any more I have my client sites to work on)
I have only scratched the surface of the factors impacting on your rankings. (YES – Apparently not even deep enough to get semi accurate data) Unlike some of our competitors, I wanted to do some initial work to identify that it would be worthwhile for you to talk to us before contacting you with my proposal. The best way to deal with any problem is to first apply a thorough diagnosis. It would, therefore, be a sensible next step for us to apply a more thorough diagnosis of why your website may not be ranking well before discussing with you what could be done about it.
THat’s funny – Google tells me there a lot of seo companies out there who do what you have done: “Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:”Dear google.com,I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.”
What we have to offer could prove to be the most value for money investment you could make for your business this year. In an economic climate that is difficult, to say the least, all businesses must invest in areas that will deliver maximum returns with minimal investment. Only strong search engine listings offer real growth opportunities as consumer trends change.
(WOW! YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING! – INVESTING IN SEO IS IN A BUSINESSES INTEREST.)
So what do we have to offer? Many factors now impact on how and where you will appear on the search engines. Unfortunately, most business people overlook the things that prevent them from performing well in the search engines and throw good money behind advertising without understanding what their web site really needs. Good SEO firms assess the needs of sites individually and address these by working on sites month on month. A one off fix just doesn’t work. As such we offer two approaches for you to consider.
We can produce a detailed 30-40 page Diagnostic Report for your site together with a personal telephone consultation with one of our SEO experts. Consultations explain the technicalities in our report in an easy to understand manner. Our normal price for this service is £499.00. If you are prepared to act this week we are prepared to offer this at a reduced one-off fee of £299.00. Following this consultation we can discuss how best to rectify the situation. (BASED ON INITIAL EMAIL CONTACT – I WOULDN’T PAY …xxxxxxx/ 10$ for your service)
Alternatively we could provide this detailed Diagnostic Report for your site completely free. For this you would need to commit to take up our 12 month optimisation and consultancy service prior to our work commencing. (EH, NO THANKS MATE) The service is based around promotion of specific agreed keyphrases after discussing how to put right all issues highlighted in our report. We can deliver first page search results in the major search engines. For this we charge as little as £35 per keyphrase, per month, dependent upon the competitiveness of that keyphrase. Furthermore, we guarantee to refund your money should we fail to put you in the first page for the keyphrases once all changes have been implemented. (IS THIS A JOKE?)
The reason why I’m so confident about our capabilities is because we have done it so many times before. To name a few examples: Maternity Clothes, Dubai Properties, Gravel, Health Store, Van Hire, Fire Extinguishers, Financial Advisers UK, Coffee Machines, Swimwear, Limo Hire, Mortgage Advisers UK, and more – all are on the first page of Google and all highly competitive keyphrases. We put them there.
Our own group website is in the first page of Google for Website Marketing Company and Internet marketing companies. (REALLY? - I COULDN’T FIND YOU AT ALL IN GOOGLE LOL - MAYBE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ANOTHER WEBSITE?) You will see our site listed as The Web Clinic (OH MAYBE I SHOULD USE THAT COMPANY AS THE TITLE OF THIS POST THEN? :D ). To satisfy you even further we can also provide you with comparative existing client’s contact details to serve as references for the quality of our work.
If you are genuinely serious about improving your online revenues and want professional website marketing for a low flat monthly fee or a one-off detailed report, please visit our service website at …xxxxxxx which provides more details about our excellent service and a call back form. See a selection of our excellent testimonials and example results achieved recently on behalf of our clients. (NO THANKS)
Alternatively, if you prefer to discuss your requirements over the phone, then please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0844 7404951 and press Option 1
or simply reply to this mail with a convenient time to call you. (CONSIDER THIS MY REPLY)
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Senior Search Consultant
Top 10 Guaranteed
Providing SEO for clients since 1999
Seriously. OK … xxxxxxxxxxx - Let us audit my site. HERE. In public, together, to educate my 65,000 expected visitors this month and my near 20,000 email subscribers.
Ate you up for it?
NOTE – The Hobo site is built this way, on the whole, for a reason. Minimum navigation, minimalist structure , experiments with text and titles – but I can assure you we have decent rankings and this site will get a sh*tload more organic traffic from Google this month than your site will be getting in the whole year by the looks of it.
It’s companies like you, in my opinion, who give companies like us, a bad name. We don’t spam email, never have, we don’t cold call, never have – in fact, we have never paid for any search marketing leads – we get all our business from Google free listings, and we show others how to do the same, which we charge a relatively small fee for.
If your seo practices are to the same quality as your spam emails, I will be staying well clear of you.
I have no idea if you are actually a good seo company - a lesson here is to not make an idiot of yourselves with idiot emails to somebody who actually cares about offering a good service and will out you for it and not give a flying f*&^. :)
Enjoy – see you from the top of Google shortly ;)
SEO Who Guarantee Listings Are Either Crap, Dishonest Or Ã‚£$%^&** Clueless – I guarantee it! :)
Don’t believe the hype….. ever.
There are no exceptions.
At Hobo we pride ourselves in always aiming to improve customer positions in Google, (and Yahoo and Bing).
We’re not magicians, nor do we “know” how Google works (no seo company does!). We just know how to make quality sites that feature high up in Google search rankings. We’ve managed to crack this by following the rules as set down by Google, Yahoo and MSN, a bit of ethical creativity and by doing exhaustive research and testing.
As well as always improving customer positions in SERPS, we are always aiming to keep communication lines open between customers and above all to keep customers happy!
A happy customer is generally:
- A customer who sees search engine results improve when we are employed
- A customer who is always kept up to date with how we’re achieving these results
- A customer who is seeing actual quality traffic land on their website that converts to leads and sales.
We’re using this post on our news site to let customers have their say about Hobo Web – a testimonial page of sorts, especially useful if you are looking for a seo company who is transparent and professional, and a seo company who is not afraid to be judged on current client’s performance in the “organic”, “free” or “natural” search engine listings provided by all the major search engines.
But first, let us examine Google’s guidelines on SEOs and how we match up.
Google answers the question:
“What’s an SEO? Does Google recommend working with companies that offer to make my site Google-friendly? “
“SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimizer.” Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners, from writing copy to giving advice on site architecture and helping to find relevant directories to which a site can be submitted. However, a few unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results”.
They go on:
“While Google doesn’t have relationships with any SEOs and doesn’t offer recommendations, we do have a few tips that may help you distinguish between an SEO that will improve your site and one that will only improve your chances of being dropped from search engine results altogether.”
Google lists a series of Q&As you should find useful if you are planning on hiring a search engine optimisation agency:
“Be wary of SEO firms that send you email out of the blue. Amazingly, we get these spam emails too: “Dear google.com, I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…” Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.”
Hobo says – we don’t ever contact anyone out of the blue! All our leads are generated via our website and by referrals from satisfied customers and their contacts.
“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. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or through the Google Sitemaps program, and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
Hobo says: We never promise we can achieve number 1 and throughout the many posts on this site you can see we explain why this is the case. By the way, don’t bother using the Google Add URL feature, there are better ways of getting into Google free.
Google goes on to say:
“Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do. Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you.”
Again, at Hobo, we’re 100% transparent. As noted above, we’re not magicians or geniuses. We build and optimise quality sites Google and the other search engines seem to like that will stand the test of time. At no time to we try and trick Google. All our seo techniques are white hat, ethical and professional
Googles goes on:
“Choose wisely. While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.”
Hobo agrees entirely. Unlike some seo companies, we want you to actively research us, our industry and our competitors! Only then will you understand just how transparent we are and that we are actually aiming to stand apart from a lot of the quite unethical or frankly ineffective seo companies in Scotland and in the UK.
Talk to many SEOs, and ask other SEOs if they’d recommend the firm you’re considering. References are a good start, but they don’t tell the whole story. You should ask how long a company has been in business and how many full time individuals it employs. If you feel pressured or uneasy, go with your gut feeling and play it safe: hold off until you find a firm that you can trust. Ask your SEO firm if it reports every spam abuse that it finds to Google using our spam complaint form at http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html. Ethical SEO firms report deceptive sites that violate Google’s spam guidelines.”
Again Hobo has nothing to hide, the reason for this article. Feel free to ask other seo companies out there what they think of us. We’re a new company, just over 8 years old (2014), with very experienced staff on board, already nominated in local business awards with a large portfolio of happy and long term clients.
We have recently been declared the best (or thereabouts!) seo company in Scotland (based on positions we achieve for ourselves) by other companies in our locale. This, we hope, will only improve (because believe us we are working all the time on it!).
The last point Google makes is:
“Make sure you’re protected legally. For your own safety, you should insist on a full and unconditional money-back guarantee. Don’t be afraid to request a refund if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, or if your SEO’s actions cause your domain to be removed from a search engine’s index. Make sure you have a contract in writing that includes pricing. The contract should also require the SEO to stay within the guidelines recommended by each search engine for site inclusion.”
Our promise to work hard and be creative, and this is the only promise or guarantee you will hear Hobo making.
Feel free to contact us to enquire about our seo services for all kinds of businesses.