It is a rare week when we don’t hear the claim “I can guarantee top-of-page-one ranking”, or a client doesn’t get an email or sales call from an “SEO Expert” telling them they have the secret to the engines rankings.
The fact is we all would really like an easy path to good rankings. But, it does not exist. Such and existence would be a paradox – limited page-one space, unlimited demand for it.
Our industry is not constrained by lack of intelligence; it is prevalent. But, SEO is hard work, takes time, and requires dedication. It is never easy.
If you want to vet an SEO expert, intelligence and knowledge of the field are good starting points. But, curiosity, passion and work ethic are what separate the great from the good. If an SEO practitioner talks about ‘quick hits’, ‘easy ways’ and ‘guaranteed results’, then you have the wrong person.
This week, one of the industry’s leading agencies (Bruce Clay) started promoting an ‘easy’ way to get high ranking organic local search results – local paid inclusion. When they launched their site, posted on facebook and sent out their promotional email, most of us in the field were shocked. What they claimed simply flew in the face of long standing practices and accepted principles espoused by the SEO community and the search engines. Something just didn’t seem right.
As it turns out, it was not right. At least one of the “providers” of the service that the agency intended to resell had not been entirely clear about what it was, and was not. The agency pulled down the dedicated site, removed their facebook posts, and put up tweets and a blog post explaining that they had bought into a product that was not well vetted. So, even an expert, when desperate enough for an easy solution, will overlook the obvious.
The lesson for everyone is twofold: 1) If it is too good to be true, it probably is, and 2) don’t get so desperate that you throw common sense out the window in a misguided attempt to drive business.