SEO is just a "SCAM" and tricking Realtors - according to A La Mode real estate websites

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Services for Real Estate Pros with First SEO Consultants

I had taken this down and was asked by several to put it back up - so here it is:

My opinion is that they don't know what the heck they are talking about - I personally have worked with their websites, and they not only do not rank well generally, they do not have good SEO tools.  And if we in the SEO business are just tricking and scamming our clients - then why are my clients making at least 300% ROI in year one, and over 1000% by year two - EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENTS - and if these are such old scams then why do A La Mode real estate websites rank so poorly?

But here is what A La Mode says - you be the judge:

XSites Resource Area
The Straight truth about search engine optimization
 
You've probably heard all kinds of misinformation about this topic from self-proclaimed "experts" and other website providers. Keep in mind, they're trying to sell you something and the "tricks" they propose are old scams that haven't worked in years.

As an XSite customer, rest assured you can rely on us as a non-biased, truthful source of information. We've been in the business of providing real estate technology to professionals just like you for 21 years and we didn't get there with smoke, mirrors and hype.

The "tricks" you hear about from other website providers haven't worked in years and even if they did, they'd be counterproductive to your success.
 
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Rainer
22,489
Jonathan Vetter
Mercury Lending - San Francisco, CA
Funny how they slam SEO people and then plug their own resources.  The media strikes again.  The truth is, with A la Mode or other companies that put together websites based on templates, they will charge you for the "extras", first of which being Search Engine Optimization.  Why are their people any different than a reputable company that offers SEO exclusively?  I would be frustrated with articles like this as well Michael, if I were in the business of SEO.
Jun 07, 2007 08:50 AM #1
Rainer
6,082
this profile is
Invalid - Frederica, DE

If SEO is a scam then there are loads of businesses and SEO experts that have wasted their time. Seo works, period. Now, that being said we should likely differentiate between black hat schemes and good organic white hate seo. If you are trying to trick and manipulate the ranking algo it's likely not going to be good long term. You may see some jump initially but as soon as they catch on people get hosed bigtime. I'm a big believer in the ability of sites to rank well and stay within the guidelines and parameters set out by the engines. 

 

Nice blog Michael 

Jun 07, 2007 08:53 AM #2
Rainer
162,270
Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH

Unfortunately, as in all businesses, there is good and bad.  I have run across MANY SEO scams.  Clients have run across many scams.  Many with BS promises that take advantage of people who don't know any better.

I had a client ready to sign up with a company for $750 a month.  In 5 minutes I figured out the company bought their own domain name 4 weeks ago.  Their own website wasn't even indexed in the search engines, let alone ranking!  But of course they proclaimed 'years of experience', blah blah.... 

For many months, a company in New Hampshire advertised in PPC for 'guaranteed natural search results with NO Pay Per Click'.  However, their OWN website was advertising in PPC, because their OWN website couldn't even rank for their own keywords!  I laughed everything I saw that!

There ARE lots of scam artists out there.  Having said that, I've never seen an ala Mode website that ranks well on Google.  Ever.

They are one of the worst template sites out there.  

Again, scam artists are everywhere (including evidentally the template website companies!)

Jun 07, 2007 03:17 PM #3
Rainmaker
334,518
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager

Fred, you have a cool signature.  

I get called at least once a week from a salesman trying to sell me the front page on Google in my area.  When I ask them how they get huffy and say it's proprietary information.  I say no it's not, you can do a lot with some research and good counsel.  The conversation usually disintegrates from there.  I actually had one guy tell me this week that I was wrong - I was not on Google for Lancaster PA anywhere.  When I pointed out my positions for various search phrases he called me a liar (seriously).  Um, thanks but no thanks, friend. 

Jun 08, 2007 08:42 AM #4
Anonymous
Michael Thomas

Yes Fred - that is a cool signature - nice Java

Jeff, I have it set-up with my clients now that they just forward those sales pitches to me - and if I am in the mood I listed, if not I hang up.  And I too have been told that I am wrong and they are right - and have been doing this for about 5 years, am the real deal - and find it funny when these Fast Edy types that have been in the biz for under a year try to comae across as such experts - especially when they don't know anything really about the back end and what really optimized a website.

Jun 08, 2007 09:42 AM #5
Rainer
9,033
Jason Grams
none - Roseville, CA
I spent upwards of $2500 to get my site in the top 10 on Yahoo, Google, etc...supposedly...and was guaranteed.  All they did was take off with my money.  Even after filing a BBB complaint I got nothing.  I was a total sucker.  Maybe it will help your rankings a little bit, but if every agent out there starts using SEO, how optimized could it possibly be???  I mean this is a number cruncher equation...there are only so many spots on the top 10 right?  And 1000's of agents in any given region.  Hmm.....kinda like "you get six people and they get six people and they get six people..."  eventually you run out of people (and money) or top 10 spots!
Jun 08, 2007 09:52 AM #6
Anonymous
Michael Thomas

Jason, that is why you have to ask for Client Examples and Testimonials.

 Michael

Jun 08, 2007 09:57 AM #7
Rainmaker
334,518
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
Mike, what would you say are the key questions to ask a prospective SEO marketer?  What key questions would you ask about their business model?  Testimonials and samples are cool but I think they are also easily doctored up... 
Jun 09, 2007 03:17 AM #8
Rainer
3,545
Americas Relocation Home Services
META TRES - Phoenix, AZ
Those guys are fools for putting something like this up and signing their names to it - they have no clue truly about SEO
Jun 14, 2007 04:42 AM #9
Rainmaker
158,195
Rita Gibbons
MacDoc Realty LLC - Fredericksburg, VA
The Gibbons Group

Thank you for your post.  I've paid 100s of dollars for SEO marketing ... wasted money!

 

Jul 09, 2007 07:32 AM #10
Anonymous
Michael Thomas

Rita,

 You have wasted money because you probably did not research the companies, and just listened to some smooth talking salesperson on the phone that took you for several hundred dollars.  That's a shame, but SEO is not a scam when done by a company that truly knows what they are doing.

Jul 09, 2007 09:30 AM #11
Rainer
12,025
Jeff Scislow
RE/MAX Results - Apple Valley, MN
CRS - RE/MAX Results

SEO does work, but a vast majority of the "SEO" sales calls we receive at our office are rip-off scams promissing to get you immediately to the top of Google and promise x amounts of traffic to your site. They generally then want to do a demonstration to show you how they're going to do it and ask you to go to their site and install a toolbar.

The toolbar rewrites the search results produced by the search engines. Now, obviously this will only work if someone has that particular toolbar installed. They generally claim to have millions of toolbars installed, which I find highly doubtful.

I pass all tech sales calls to my IT person. Normally his first question to these supposed SEO companies is "are you going to ask me to install a toolbar?" Again, SEO does work, but you need to watch out for people with crazy guarantees, etc.

Jul 09, 2007 09:51 AM #12
Rainer
162,270
Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH
I would watch out for anyone with ANY guarantees.... crazy or not.  Anybody who 'guarantees' natural search engine results is LYING to you.  Can't be done. 
Jul 09, 2007 11:12 AM #13
Anonymous
John Weiss

A La Mode clearly doesn't knwo what they are saying here - SEO is very real and works when with the right company

Jul 25, 2007 06:22 AM #14
Rainmaker
89,322
Paul Moye
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Broker, GRI, SRES

SEO work shouldn't cost $1000's of dollars a year, when those guys call tell you are going out of business and reffer them to someone from your never do business with again file.

As for SEO it does work with the right application and maintenance....

Aug 01, 2007 01:41 AM #15
Rainer
54,003
Alex Bautista
Hathaway Real Estate Group - Lacey, WA
Lewis-McChord & Fort Lewis Area Real Estate
I have a couple of Alamode sites and they both rank pretty well but there was nothing special Almode provided. Any template website can be SEO as long as you have acess to the html (head,title, and etc).
Aug 01, 2007 06:43 PM #16
Rainer
225
Jay K
Net World Mtg - Sacramento, CA

Sounds like a lot of bad comments about SEO.  When you choose a company, the company may not be on the top listing, because they will they will tell you they have enough referral clients.  There are also companies out there who can do Money Back Guarantee, which I do not think when SEO firms provides a guarantee, then its a scam.  Because they are providing money back and for us as a client to give them an opportunity to prove they can do what they do, or money back guarantee.

Aug 01, 2007 07:21 PM #17
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