First Page Of Google: Why SEO Guarantees Are A Myth!
First Page Of Google – Why Is It A Myth?
To paraphrase a famous quote:
‘There are lies, damned lies and search engine optimisation guarantees.’
It is a sad, but true, state of affairs that the world of search engine optimisation is littered with companies who are willing to tell lies, fill your head with horror stories, and more importantly offer you an escape from this newly found horror. The biggest lie of all is the promise to carry out SEO that will guarantee your company a place on the first page of Google. This is an offer to relieve your company of hard-earned cash in the name of an empty promise that you better hope will never come to fruition.
An even sadder fact is that website owners allow themselves to be easy targets through their own honest hopes and expectations. You take the plunge and decide to have a website designed. You get back the first design updates and already you are filled with excitement. You can see people logging into their computers, searching for your service, finding you on the first page of Google, and then visiting your site and picking up the phone to you. Before you know it, you are visualising your company inundated with orders. Then your beautifully designed site goes live. You jump straight onto Google and start searching – and the bubble bursts! Your website is nowhere to be found. A couple of months later you finally find it, after continually hitting the next button and arriving at page 58 of Google. You are devastated! What can you do?
One of the most common of the search engine optimisation deceptions is the phone call that no doubt every website owner will receive at some point – “We can guarantee your company first page of Google for your chosen search phrases.” The phone call will take place under the guise of a search engine optimisation service. My advice at this point is to hang up the phone. No company can make any such guarantee! There are only 10 places available on any of Google’s first pages, and chances are there are a lot more than 10 companies who would very much like to be on the first page of Google.
Jayson DeMers is the CEO of AudienceBloom, a content marketing and social media agency. He is equally scathing of SEO that promises to get your company onto the first page of Google. In an article for Marketing Land, 10 Lies You Should Never Believe From SEO “Gurus”, he lists the promise to get you the number one spot on google at the very top of his list;
Why this lie continues to perpetuate, I’ll never understand. Hear this, and hear it well: no one can guarantee rankings on search engines. Except maybe Google, but you’re not Google, and neither is that guy you hired to work on your SEO.
The ONLY way of guaranteeing your company a link on the first page of Google is through pay per click advertising. If you are lucky it is pay per click advertising that these companies are selling you. Once your advertising budget is used up – and for some search terms this could happen within a handful of clicks – your link will disappear. What is worse, the companies who do this will take a sizeable part of your advertising budget in their own management fees, when a more reputable company would have done the same service for a fraction of the cost.
I am not saying by any means that pay per click advertising is a bad thing. On the contrary, it is a valuable, and for some companies essential, part of a good online marketing campaign. However, please do not believe anybody who tries to sell you pay per click advertising as part of an SEO campaign to improve your website’s search engine ranking!
Shortcuts To The First Page Of Google
I mentioned above that if you are lucky the SEO salesperson that calls you is offering you pay-per-click advertising. So what is the flip side of that coin? The flip side is the unlucky side. This side is where they are offering a shortcut to the first page of Google. Get enough of these sales calls from SEO companies and you are bound to come across the company that has found an SEO secret that nobody else knows, or a way to cheat Google’s algorithm and jump to the top of the listings.
These are known as ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques. Occasionally they work. Sometimes they really do get your company’s website onto the first page of Google. So what is the problem?
The problem is that Google doesn’t like black hats. And when I say they don’t like them I mean they really don’t like them. Google earns a lot of money through being the world’s most used search engine. People use it because they trust it. Black hat SEO techniques are designed to cheat the system and risk breaking people’s trust in Google. Anything that risks diminishing that trust also risks diminishing Google’s profits. For that reason Google employs a lot of very clever people to prevent black hat techniques from working – and to detect the techniques that have worked.
Once detected, websites that have employed black hat SEO techniques face two possible consequences. The best case scenario is that you receive a warning and your site is demoted back down the rankings. This best case scenario would mean that you had poured your SEO budget down the plughole for no results. The worst case scenario is that Google thinks that your attempts to cheat the system are so blatant and severe that they deserve a severe punishment. In these scenarios Google is not big on compassion. Their idea of a severe punishment is to ban your website from their rankings completely. In effect your black hat SEO guru would have used your budget to make your site invisible. Unless your business plan involves your company disappearing after only a few weeks then this is almost certainly not the best element of a 5 year plan.
How Do I Get My Business Onto The First Page Of Google?
The simple truth is that for most businesses, when thinking about competitive keywords and search terms, you don’t! There are ten spots on that first page of Google. For many keywords and terms there are more then ten businesses paying a lot of money to acquire one of those ten spots.
That doesn’t mean that SEO is pointless though. It means that it needs to be carried out in an appropriate and professional way that suits your business. If you own a small local business then don’t focus on competing with multinational companies over the highly competitive generic terms. Focus instead on building your brand’s image and trust within its target niche and locale. Use an SEO company that will employ genuine and professional techniques to achieve this aim.
A good SEO company will focus on auditing your site to check its structure and readability, doing good quality keyword research, building natural and relavant links with reputable companies and sites, and working with you to ensure that your site is filled with great content. There are no shortcuts.
When choosing an SEO company to work on your website, HigherVisibility suggested in a blog article ‘7 Questions All Businesses Should Ask SEO Companies’, there are two questions you could ask your prospective SEO partners;
“Do you know of any quick fixes” or “how long will it take to see results” are good questions because the correct answer should be “I don’t know.”
If there was one piece of advice I could leave you with it would be to focus on creating a website for your users and customers rather than search engines. Don’t ignore SEO but don’t be a slave to it. Reaching the first page of Google for any term should be a long term goal rather than a short term one. If you fill your site with the right content, build natural and organic back-links, and make sure your website is well designed and functional on all platforms, then you are far more likely to gain a high ranking position and stay there than you would be falling for the snake oil salesmen promising guaranteed results.
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