Why Many People Buy Shitty SEO Services

This is kinda like a rant article, but why not, right? ...

I got a call yesterday from a guy who was making good profit spending $10,000 per month on AdWords ads. In spite of seeing this value in search he could not fathom the concept of spending even a few thousand dollars on SEO.

Eventually he will probably buy some sleezy package deal that does nothing for him. Then he will complain about how all SEOs are scumbags because he did not get $100,000 worth of marketing for $200.

Many SEO customers have unreal expectations or try to rip off SEOs far more frequently than the other way around, and that is exactly Why Many People Buy Shitty SEO Services.

Google on 60 Minutes, Patrick Gavin Interview, & Interesting Links

60 Minutes:
Google on 60 Minutes

Search Google Ads:
Widget Ads - you can search Google for ads only.

What is Google Smoking?
Bongs in the search results - I randomly searched for Chong at Google. On my good old handy dandy FireFox some Google searches are showing images.

Why would a company so textually driven want to place those images prominently above search results? They are probably going to be easy to spam, increase page load time, and IMHO detract from Google a huge amount. I suppose they know a bit more than me about that sort of stuff, but so far I do not like it.

Search Marketing Association:
North American brother of the EU and UK to launch

Renting Links:
I met Patrick Gavin of Text Link Ads in Las Vegas and have been working a bit with him. I recently interviewed Patrick about link buying, how he got into the web, and where he would start if he started on the web today.

Blog Happenings:
Six Apart is the company that created the blogging software that runs this site. They are going to purchase LiveJournal, which will drastically expand their userbase, though most LiveJournal customers are not paying customers. A ton of consolidation in this space will likely occur throughout the year between some of the platforms, tracking, and search sites. (found on ThreadWatch)

The Future of Journalism:
Dan Gillmore starts his blog.

Free Answer Engine:
GuruNet becomes Answers.com and drops subscription fee.

PPC Keyword Research Software:
TheDowser is a new (to me at least) keyword research tool which combines some of the features from the Overture search term suggestion tool and the Google Keyword Sandbox tool (as well as having some other features). I did not use it a ton, but downloaded the trial and played with it a bit. If you run a bunch of PPC campaigns it only needs to help you save a little time or find a few new keywords to pay for itself.


Seth Godin Hates SEO

Recently on his blog Seth Godin had a post titled The problem with search engine optimization.

In this post he stated why he thought SEO was not a good idea and why he strugled with the concept of SEO. He stated that he thought PPC was a way better idea than organic SEO. He also stated that top organic results were nothing more than luck.

If you glance at Seth's success you will see that it comes from links (and other word of mouth type marketing) and not PPC ads, which makes it even more confusing to think that he would think ads are way better than SEO (which often consists of finding and creating natural citations).

I think he is completely wrong, and thus I wrote SEO vs PPC: Seth is Completely Wrong!

They also have a good post going on over at Cre8asite on the topic.
hat tip Kim

Search Engine Spam Meta Tag

The major search engines have came together to addopt a new proprietary meta tag. This new tag will help to properly mix results and reduce the load SPAM is placing on the search engine engineers.

Syntext for the new SPAM tag:
<meta content="SPAM">

SMAM Benefits:
Those sites signing to comply with the new SPAM rating will get a golden pass good for infinite domicile within the major search indexes. A small fee and smallish algorithmic fee will also be associated with the program.

Public Outcry over new Spam Tag
Members of the ACLU and the NAACP are already protesting this new standard out in the street. They were quoted as saying "it's not a white and black problem."

Spam Tag Passes on Ebay
Cloakers missed the boat as they could not produce a script that returned their actual email address. Apparently these golden SPAM passes have been selling on eBay for as much as $31,853.

How the Search Engines & Portals feel they will benefit from the new tag:

  • AOL - We figure those sites compying with the SPAM tag will be of exceptionally poor quality and design. If they get a boost in the rankings then our stupid popups will feel more apropriate to those still suffering er surfing with AOL.

  • AllTheWeb - We are excited as this will give us a chance to capture "All The Web," though Yahoo! will likely throw away 1/3 of it.
  • AltaVista - We were about to die anyway. This should give us that added boost which ends the misery.
  • Ask Jeeves - Ask someone else. I am sick of these stupid questions.
  • Booble - We are launching a countersuit on Google. We feel they are trying to enter a submissive search market we are clearly dominating.
  • Dipsie - (editor note: Even if they index all the SPAM in the world they will have a hard time getting 10,000,000,000 documents in their index.) We intend to also execute forms and javascript on these SPAM pages. That's the ticket to 10,000,000,000 resources.

  • Eukster - friends don't spam friends unless they are spammers, in which case they live in Nigeria or South Africa and address everyone as "My Friend." (editor note: Turkish people try to sell you rugs using this same "my friend" tag.)
  • Google - SPAM is EVIL. However spammers who admit what they are doing become a bit less evil. Perhaps maybe from a George Bush to a Darth Vader.
  • Kanoodle - We are excite to be the first to integrate the SPAM into our email distribution network.
  • Lycos - We don't do search. We don't even know who provides our search product. Have you seen our exciting new SOCIAL NETWORK!!!!
  • MSN - Our lack of compliance with this new tag should help us get our feet wet in search and kill the rest of the search market in the first year.
  • Netscape - AOL owns us. We were dead a long time ago.
  • Overture - Participation in the SPAM standard program will across our distribution network will cost 15 cents per click. I mean, we have to make something off it.
  • Teoma - Since we keep kicking the shit out of our index its hard for us to find out who the topical hubs and authorities are. We are excited to embrace this new community.
  • Yahoo! - I can't believe how much of that crap we edited. We are glad to note that we did get the other search engines to agree that affiliate sites could not participate in the program.

ChriSEO's 'Glass Ceiling'

In any medium there will be free rides as new adopters take advantage of knowledge not share by their competitors. While there is always a new technology which creates new markets, this quick read does a good job of explaining why off the page optimization is more effective than on the page optimization. Chris Ridings explains "The Glass Ceiling."

Update: above link to chriseo.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=62&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0 delinked, as the site is owned by a domainer and is a page full of ppc ads

Update 2: Linking to Archive.org version of the page here, along with a quote:

Consider each keyword phrase as being a little market economy, an interpretation we can intuitively justify by seeing the keywords can have monetary values attached to them in advertising systems. The optimizer who is working o­n o­n-the-page factors alone is looking for an economy with extremely low competition (less than 10 competitors). This economy must also provide a profitable return. The market must have practically no barriers to entry. In short, this optimizer would be looking for a newly emerging market or a niche (a forgotten keyword). What we begin to see is that our solely o­n-the-page optimizer is less of an optimizer and more of a researcher and opportunist. That is no negative statement, being such is a skill in and of itself. However, we can also see that should they prove successful then their very success is an indicator to the competiton that this opportunity exists. i.e. people will wonder why they do so well and begin to analyse it more in depth. Thus, given time competition will form and them will become an attractor to competiton. Sooner or later they will have more than 10 competitors and the opportunity no longer exists.

Given increasing usage and competition o­n the internet we can say two things: that the quantity of such opportunities is likely to decrease and that the period of time for which such opportunities persist will decrease.

So it is, wisely, arguable that o­n-the-page optimization is a short term, unsustainable option without off-the-page optimization. It also follows that such optimization will often, but not always, be the least profitable in terms of results.