30 Oct The Myth Behind SEO Marketing, and Snake Oil
I’m just going to put it how it really is: 99% of “SEO Marketing” companies are a straight up scam. If you don’t know much about the internet, you’ll pay for stupid bulls**t your business doesn’t need. SEO scam companies remind me of these shady auto mechanic horror stories I hear about, scamming women who know nothing about cars, being charged for things their car doesn’t need. (Or worse, s**t that doesn’t even exist.)
“I see your problem right here, ma’am. Your engine doesn’t have enough transmissions. You need at least three.”
Here’s the deal: If you want me to make your business show up on the first page of Google, I can do it – for about a month or two. I simply hire a team of people in India, pay them $2.00/hour, and have them bombard message boards, replying with links to your site on unrelated open comment sections, or spamming poorly made WordPress sites. In about one week, you’d be on the first page of Google. In fact, you’d be thrilled, because I would have spent $75, and made your business look super professional. For this service, if I was a scam artist, I’d charge you $1,000.
… and then Google’s crawlers catch up to the scam, get wise, and bury you so deep on search results that you never see the light of even the ninth page.
Personally, I refuse to f**k over my clients, because I’m not a piece of s**t SEO scam artist. However, it’s important that you know these companies exist, they suck, and you could avoid them like a coughing Ebola patient. It’s not gonna end well for you, dawg.
The reality is, real SEO work is hard, it takes time, and happens organically. There is no magic wand I can wave around and just fix everything.
I don’t mind telling people how it works: I purchase Yoast SEO like every other competent web developer out there. It costs $89, one time. Then it’s just a process of making sure your images, posts, pages, and all the other fun stuff on your site gets the correct tags. It sometimes takes two to three months of making all the pieces talk to each other, because real, useful SEO happens like growing a tomato plant: It takes time, a little love, patience, and making sure your dog doesn’t destroy the garden bed in the meantime. (Sidebar: My dog destroyed my garden and I’m still a little upset about it.)
Of course, “search engine optimization” doesn’t just mean having the correct tags. Google wants to make sure you’re mobile ready, your images are optimized and re-sized for multiple devices, you have page-caching enabled, you’re tied into a content delivery network, and bunch of other little points that complete the picture.
Here’s an analogy you’ll understand:
Let’s say your car is making some funny noises, and running slowly. So you take it into a company called “Engine Mechanic Specialist – We’re The Best!”… I mean, they must be the best. Look at their damn company name. At the service counter, the representative says, “We’re going to perform a full diagnostic on your hebergarber, inspect the ratiomax settings, your engine-oxygen manifold, and then do a 100 point inspection on your oil filter. It’s only going to cost you $1,000.” If you know anything about cars, you’d kindly say, “F**k you.” But if you don’t know anything about cars, you’d say, “Dang. I can’t believe they’re gonna inspect my hebergarber and do a 100 point inspection on my oil filter.”
That’s because a hebergarber doesn’t exist, and your oil filter is a $9.00 part at just about any Autozone.
So this company performs an oil change, you get your car back, and they say, “That’ll be $1,000, please.” You drive your car down the road, and you still hear the noise. Of course, you car has some other critical issues, but you’re taking it to a mechanic that only does oil changes – and you’re trusting that they actually know what the actual f**k they’re talking about. If they’re really friendly, maybe you take your car back to the same company, they charge you more money, and then eventually your car just breaks. That would suck, because you’d been trusting, and dealt with some unethical s**theads with no actual skills.
Web business is very similar to that: Odds are on, you probably don’t really understand how actual, full-service-web work is done, and what the difference is between choosing a web agency. You just have to trust that the people you hire know how to do their job. Plumbers, electricians, and contractors have to be bonded, certified, and have some checks and balances in how they do their work; unfortunately, web business isn’t like that. There isn’t a great way to know you’re getting jobbed before it’s too late, and you’ve buried your money in a business worth nothing.
I come across a ton of people who aren’t qualified to sell the services they’re pitching. It’s sad, because it’s just people trying to make a quick buck off a lack of consumer education.
In summation, SEO isn’t something you can mindlessly throw money at. Choose a real web business that does things the right way. I know that sites I make will take several months to build themselves up – and I’m okay with that. Slow, gradual growth you can measure is the RIGHT way to optimize how search engines find you.