a lot of hype about Search Engine Positioning. You'll
find people on the Net that promise to "Rocket
you to the top of the search engines". They'll
"guarantee top 10 results for all your
keywords". They'll give the impression that this
will happen overnight. Don't believe it. Anyone
promising that won't deliver...and that's one
guarantee we can promise will be fulfilled.
We've run up against
unrealistic expectations time and time again, both
with potential customers and current customers. We
wrote this article to set the record straight.
What We Do
First of all, I think
it's important to lay out exactly
what it is we do. We create Keyword Specific Content
pages and prepare your website to be search engine friendly, using all
the knowledge we currently have.
We constantly stay on
top of the engines, so when changes come and pages
drop off (which they will, another guarantee we can
promise) we can react quickly.
We monitor, adjust
and experiment to find new advantages for you to use
to achieve higher rankings.
But... and this is a
big but... we don't have a magic formula. We can't
guarantee that after you sign on with us, you'll have
20 top ten rankings in the next week. We don't own the
search engines. Once a submission is made, we have
absolutely no control over how the search engine will
rank your page.
Think of Us as
Your Search Engine "Stock Broker"
positioning is a relatively new industry, and so it's
sometimes hard to get a handle on the realities,
especially when many of our less ethical competitors
are muddying the waters with unrealistic claims they
can't live up to. We've come up with an analogy we
think will help put things in perspective.
When you go to a
stock broker, do you ask them for a guarantee that the
stock you're investing in will triple in value in one
month? No, because the stock broker has no control
over the stock market. The stock may triple, or it
may lose half it's value. The reason you're going to a
stock broker is because you're counting on their
knowledge of the market and their experience to
increase your odds of making wise investments.
This is very similar
to search engine positioning. We provide you with
knowledge, constant monitoring of search engines and
the tactics that should produce top rankings. Can we
guarantee you're going to have a #1 ranking for the
keyword "golf" on every search engine in 2
weeks? No. But we can increase your odds of achieving
top rankings substantially. Will a search engine
suddenly drop all your pages for no apparent reason?
Very likely, just as it is very likely that the Dow
Jones will drop 300 points in one day sometime in the
next year. Would you blame your stock broker for this
drop? I hope not, but you would count on them to help
you look for opportunities to capitalize on the loss
and to help you recover from your loss.
The other important
similarity in this analogy is the fact that success
has to be measured
over time. Your stock portfolio may be up one
day, then be down thousands of dollars the next. If
you used this as the sole measure of your stock
broker's competence, you'd be going through a lot of
stock brokers. But over time, you want to see a solid
increase in value. This is how investors measure
success. It's also how you should measure success in
search engine positioning.
Rankings vs. Real
Indications of Visibility
People get way too
hung up on search engine rankings. They insist on
a #1 ranking, and to them it doesn't matter if it's on
Hotbot or Google (which is silly, because Google can produce 10 times the
traffic of Hotbot). Truth is,
there's not much difference between a #1 and a #6
ranking, as long as you're on the first page of
results. It's far more important to have a good title
and description that encourages people to click
through to your site when they're scanning the top 10
results. And it's also far more important to get as
many top 10 rankings for as many relevant words on as
many engines as possible, rather than beat your head
against a wall trying to move from #7 to #1.
This was the reason
we introduced the Search
Engine Position Visibility Index. It gives you
a measure of your visibility for all search engines
and all keywords. What we work to achieve is a
consistent increase in this index over time. THIS
IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT than individual rankings. If
your index is moving upward but a top ranking page
slips off a search engine, that's okay. That's
reality. Just as it would be if one of your stocks
losses value but your portfolio gains value overall.
This is a question
that's often asked of investors. Only those that can
tolerate some risk are encouraged to invest in
equities. The same question applies to search engine
positioning. If seeing all your pages disappear from a
search engine overnight would cause you undue stress, DON'T
DO SEARCH ENGINE POSITIONING! We mean it, because
IT WILL HAPPEN.
Also, if you think
the approach we take doesn't meet your expectations,
PLEASE DON'T USE US! If you're looking for
miracles, pick one of the competitors that promise
miracles and pray that somehow they'll deliver.
One the other hand,
if you want to work with us over the long term to take
advantage of every opportunity to increase your Search
Engine Visibility and see a consistent increase, then
we're your company.
Resources - Other Articles
Search Engine Positioning
Web Marketing Today - March 99