Eye catching title isn’t it?
I get emails (and phone calls) all the time from someone or some company proclaiming they can get my site top ranking on Google. I know people that have paid hundreds of dollars for these “services”. Do they have top ranking in Google? Yes they do!
Is it worth anything?
NO IT’S NOT!!
This is a scam folks, plain and simple. The people that claim they can get you top ranking in Google are preying on ignorance. There are several “techniques” they employ to get these top rankings.
- They will target obscure search terms. If your site is already indexed in Google, all they have to do is either add an obscure phrase to a page, or pick one (or part of one) that already exists. For example, I have this sentence on my home page at www.ThompsonsRealty.com: “The number of homes listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has increased to over 46,000.”
If you do a Google search for “MLS 46,000” guess what site comes up #1 out of 40,700 results?
Cool! I’m #1 on Google, beating out 40,699 other sites!
Big deal. Who in their right mind is ever going to enter “MLS 46,000” into Google if they are looking for a Phoenix real estate agent? Being #1 for this search term is worthless.
Let me put this on your home page, “Dhnifenka wipbnfdcljk”. I’ll have your site ranked #1 in Google within a week for the search term Dhnifenka wipbnfdcljk, guaranteed!
- They will install a modified browser or spyware on your computer. Devious programmers can write code that “hijacks” Google search results and forces your site to the top. But the key thing here is these hijacked results only show up on YOUR computer! So I sign up with one of these bozos, download their “system” and lo and behold I type “Phoenix Real Estate” into my browser and I’m suddenly at #1. In my browser only. In the browsers of everyone else on the planet, I’m actually #31 for that search term (which isn’t bad out of 61,900,000 results).
- They will set you up on a pay per click (PPC) program. If you’re willing (and can afford it) you CAN have your PPC ad at the top of the Google “Sponsored Links” (the stuff off to the right of Google search results). “Sponsored” links are links that people pay Google to advertise. The more you pay, the higher your ad is listed. Pay enough and you are indeed guaranteed #1 results. But be warned, for popular terms like “Phoenix Real Estate” expect to pay a LOT to get #1. These folks may be paying, $30 - $50 (or more) every time someone clicks on their sponsored link! (Edited to add: PPC is not a scam, it's legit. But some companies will sneak it in on you if you're not careful and understand EXACTLY what it is they are doing.)
- They employ “black hat” techniques. This is probably the worst trick of the bunch. There are certain things Google frowns upon. Doorway pages, keyword stuffing, hidden text and more. Utilizing black hat techniques may indeed result in your site getting ranked #1 for something. For a short time. Then when Google finds out about it (and they will) they will BAN your site for the rest of time. Don’t expect to just be able to tell Google “but I paid someone to do this. I had no idea it would get me banned”. They don’t want to hear it and won’t listen. YOU are responsible for the content of your pages. If you let someone modify your site and they use black hat techniques, YOU are responsible even if you had no clue what they were doing.
- They do nothing. Then there are the companies that will simply cash your check and do absolutely nothing. Once they’ve cashed enough checks, they’ll unplug their website, start a new site, and reel in more victims.
The bottom line folks is BE CAREFUL. There are some great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies out there. But there are more fly-by-night ones. Think about this. If some company is going to promise me #1 ranking on Google, how is it that dozens, hundreds or tens of thousands of other agents out there are getting the same promise? There is only one #1 spot for any given search term...
Remember this age old saying, it applies to these kinds of claims – If it sounds to good to be true, it is.