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 Offers Free Cross Platform Tracking System, Anil Dash Rants about SEOs

Google Tracking Cross Platforms:
Google offers up a free cross platform tracking system. You can track banner impressions, email campaigns, and other pay per click search accounts all from inside the Google AdWords system. Why do that?

  • by being first to market with a free tool they lock in mind share and build a user base

  • they get the valuable market data of knowing how their system competes with other ad systems...thus allowing them to further learn from other systems and make systems such as smart pricing as smart as they can be.
  • it further positions their product line as the default starting point for online marketing.
  • saves their advertisers money so they have more money to spend.
  • also build good karma points with many new marketers

Google understands that they more information they have the more they are worth, and that it does not hurt them to be branded as the one stop shop for targeted advertisements. You got to hand it to Google for making freely available something which others charge for. I have not yet tried it, but soon may :) link with more information requires login

Anil Dash: Voice of the Bloggers:
He rants about the Link Condom site going into the typical SEOs are scumbags speech, but Danny Sullivan drops in for a guest visit and sets him straight.

Go Danny!!!

AdSense Premium, Blog Spamming Your Own Blog

AdSense Premium Publishers:
can boost CTR by 500% when compared to regular AdSense publishers. Looks like I need to make about a million posts, get a few hundred thousand links, throw AdSense ads on my site, and then give it a try real quick...

Overture : Only for the Big Guys?
Not so. One of my friends told me that he was recently cold called by an Overture ad rep interested in placing ads on his somewhat new site.

Placing Porn in Your Own Comments:
Not that long ago I saw a blog rank for a rather gross porn related term (was trying to gross a friend out) and I got to thinking, now that there is the rel=nofollow you really could get away with just saying that you were too lazy to moderate your old comments and re engineer old pages to rank well for many many many many adult terms (I accidentally rank for some by accidentally using occasional foul language).

How could search engines know the difference between a blogger who is lazy with comment deletion and one who is intentionally marketing that way? When blogs naturally rank for random things it could be really easy to make good bank with a false blog set up cleanly using the NoFollow comment effect.

A Third of Shoppers:
often shop the web and buy at the store

Metcalfe’s Law:
eBay took a beating in the stock market recently due to slower growth. After a ton of brokerage firms downgraded eBay Legg Mason gave them an upgrade.

More Networking Questions:
FCC chairman Powell resigned...wonder who's next? and how that will effect the web? It is amazing how many people in the administration have resigned. Surely a sign that something isn't right.

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Outing a Shady Site on My Blog... DMCA Copyright Infringement

Generally not a cool thing to do, but this person deserves it.
http://www.openmerchantaccount.com/ has part of my ebook published on their site, obviously without permission.

I would have attempted to contact them, but the contact us link on his site was not readily available. They also used fake WhoIs data.

Now DMCA could be the right idea if it was US hosted but it is not. Since they are using fake WhoIs info and the like I think they would just move the content to another throw away domain on another server anyway. It is best to look at their source of income and link popularity and try to go that route first...that way it actually has a lasting and / or significantly costly effect.

They are running AdSense on the page which has a stolen copy of my ebook and their AdSense account # is
pub-6435000594396515
I already provided AdSense feedback to Google about the ads on their site.

The bulk of their link popularity comes from hidden footer links on
www.outsourcetranslation.com and
www.findpeoplefree.co.uk

which also have hidden footer links to
http://www.xaml.net/
http://www.webtropy.com/
http://network.programming-in.net/
http://www.ftpclient.co.uk/

Not sure if any people from the search engines will read this post, but I will be making one of the few spam reports I have ever made and then following up by contacting his registrar and host, and then giving the major search engines a DMCA report.

their site is hosted at
WebHost.ie
and the registrar is
http://www.stargateinc.com

more linkage data info:
www.openmerchantaccount.com/ has hidden text backlinks at
www.lssd.net
http://www.letterlogic.com
www.water-n-motion.com
and the other sites that were link farmed together via hidden links above.

[added: where to report DMCA copyright infringements:
Google
Yahoo! Search
MSN Search]

A Rant Post About Directories...

So there have been an arse ton of new directories to hit the market.

I think listing sites in many of these will surely improve your Yahoo! and MSN search relevancy scores (or at least my own experiences have shown that), but I do not think many of them carry anywhere near as much weight with Google.

IMHO a disturbing pattern is emerging where the same directory owners own 2 or more directories which are easily identifiable as being related - especially since even many of the related directories have built significant portions of their link popularity from the same sources - and often even the same pages (while also registered under the same WhoIs information). Algorithms such as Hilltop mean the second "related" directory listing probobably counts for next to nothing in terms of its effects on Google's search relevancy.

The multi directory approach makes it far easier to make one of the directories a throw away...which makes the second similar directory do little to ensure added value over the first. If the registration data is the same for two directories and you do not expect them to drive much direct traffic then it might be worth just paying for listing in whichever one of the directories you think is going to be the main directory.

Lots of hate threads seem to be appearing about various directories (BlueFind, WebAtlas, and now RubberStamped)...often from other directory owners or close friends of other directory owners as well. Some people who run directories are also creating directory rating sites which are obviously going to be inherently biased.

When it comes down to it I do not think that search engines will need to do a ton of work to offset the effects various directories may have on search relevancy. The directory space is becoming hyper competitive (and thus likely providing diminishing returns for many directory owners) and many directories are making errors which will hurt themselves....sitewide payday loan links and top level penis pill listed sites do nothing to build brand or useful citation data.

If the search engines decide that data adds no value to their algorithm there is nothing that will force them to use it (as seen by what happened to SearchKing).

I have been trying my best to keep up with many of the directories, but eventually its going to be pretty darn hard to do. As the search algorithms continue to advance and new directories appear at an advancing rate I will probably have to look at other ways to keep up with new directories or abandondon the idea...at least in its current format.

I am starting to get the feeling that much of my time would be better spent learning and creating better ideas which effectively sell themselves, but for now I am still doing lots of submissions...

I am currently reading Blink and find it to be an interesting book thusfar. :)

ThreadWatch SEO Conference, Google Trademark Case in France, RubberStamped Listed in DMOZ, WikiPedia adopts NoFollow Tags, AdWor

Another SEO Conference:
Lots of good stuff at Threadwatch, including the announcement that ThreadWatch to have a free SEO conference end of May.

Google Loses Trademark Case in France:
A French court has ruled that Google must refrain from using the trademarks of European resort chain Le Meridian Hotels and Resorts to trigger keyword ads.

DMOZ Lists Directories: Rubber Stamped & WebAtlas...
Were both recently listed in DMOZ.

Peter D gets help from "the man" himself, and quickly finds that you can't be a successful person in the SEO space without having at least 1 hate thread from the fine folks at IHU.

In spite of Doug's whining to DMOZ Rubberstamped is still listed.

Stop the Spread of Viral Linkage Data:
Link Condom...the WikiPedia is one of the first sites to adopt the new policy :(

AdWords Changes to Come:
Google to Give AdWords API to Advertisers
Google is about to unveil a completely revamped Adwords/Adsense program to counter inroads from competitors such as Kanoodle

MSN Search out of Beta?, AOL Search Revival, SEO Automation

MSN Search Out of Beta:
Some people are seeing it flip back and forth, but I have been seeing the Beta results at the main site.

AOL to Join the Fray:
John Battelle writes about how AOL is building bolt on search products. Were the walls up too long? Is it too little to late?

How Much Can You Automate:
Jason Duke starts off what will probably amount to a fairly interesting automation thread at ThreadWatch.

Daniel Brandt's Google Scrapper Errors, Cooperative Ad Network & NoFollow Tag

Google Scrapper:
Chris Ridings on Daniel Brandt's scrapper...
Daniel Brandt states:

If the scraping is done properly, it is not worth Google's trouble to find you. Our source code separates the "fetch" portion of program, which is done by curl or wget, from the searcher interface and parsing of the fetched results. If the fetching is done by a server on a different Class C address from the website that shows the scraped results, there is little that Google can do to find the IP address that is responsible for the actual fetch.

and Chris states:

Conveniently forgetting that his hack of an application forgets to change the useragent of the request from the curl/wget defaults. Thereby leaving the fetch machines' ip addresses sitting ducks in those query logs that Brandt believes last an eternity.

Cooperative Ad Network to Adopt NoFollow Tag?
members at the Digital Point forums think not...two quotes sum it up:
"would that not defeat the object of having the links if the search engines ignored them?"
and
"Exactly, who'd actually use the Co-Op for anything other than IBLs?"

Testing out the NoFollow Tag:
White Hat Techniques are ethical whereas Black Hat Techniques are not <-- Alan Perkins talks rubbish.

While Reading Comics:
I read these comics so you don't have to

Anti-Corporate Search Engine Optimization Tips

Protecting Your Listings:
Many companies and people make a name for themselves but do not adequately protect their own name or site name in the search results.

No matter how powerful your name is if you do not create multiple sites with good inbound linkage data you will likely end up with sites or pages that help destroy your brand listing near the top of search results.

Apparently Search Engine Roundtable has a client experiencing these problems.
Anyone Can Cause Major Effects:
The beauty of the guerilla warfare in-the-search-results marketing ideas are:

  • if you can get your dissent seen others will likely have the same experiences.

  • You can easily encourage others to make similar sites (or create content on your site) and target other similar words.
  • Using a couple days and a couple hundred dollars you can create a site which ends up costing some company hundreds of thousands of dollars to dislodge.

Make Your Corporate Dissent Stick Out:

  • build a viral linking campaign into your site

  • search for other dissenters and contact them. encourage linkage.
  • place BlogAds and other similar advertisements on sites which are owned by vocal people who you know will be outraged by and spread the topic of your site.
  • leave comments and trackbacks on blogs which heavily support the company you dislike. if they care enough they may rant about you and give you additional linkage data.
  • publish using a blogging system and integrate your site into the blog community by making lots of comments on related blog posts and registering your site at many of the blog directories.
  • publishing your content as a blog also can allow others to quickly create you content for you while they are thinking about that topic.
  • always remind people to "link to us"
  • make sure that even if their name is not in your domain name (which you may not want it to be for legal reasons - check the laws where you live!!!) that it looks as though part of your official name contains the name of the company you do not like. this helps to encourage linkage data which overlaps with their name.
  • use fact and research on your site...if it is just a rant site it will not be as effective. people are more moved by emotion than by just numbers though. combine those facts with displaying raw human emotional pain and suffering for maximum effect. (get pictures and stories on your site. Pretend that you are Michael Moore and you are in Flint Michigan).
  • get listed at many directories under categories such as Allegedly Unethical Firms. if it is a single complaint then list in the single complaint category.
  • if you can convince enough other people to also make sites on the same topic then that company can get their own DMOZ category which may rank well based upon the power of the DMOZ directory.
  • make your site as SEO friendly as possible. If you have a site which is taking a major corporation to task feel free to email me and I will see if I can give you a free copy of my ebook.

Effective Anti-Corporate Marketing:
If it is readily apparent that you are biased or if you insult the intelligence of the readers odds are that the site will not have a ton of effect on consumers. If you are just trying to annoy the corporation then it may worth it to make the copy extra spicey, of course check your local laws and whatnot :)

Corporate Responses:
Companies may want to sue you, but then again they will probably not want to throw media weight / plublicity toward your site. Odds are that they will need to invest money into making many unique corporate sites and building the link popularity for them.

As they build sites they have to build up all of them or leverage their link popularity well to avoid your site from showing up.

Free PPC Stats, SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems, Search Referral Tracking, Content Ideas

Free PPC Stats:
ThreadWatch offers up a free list of PPC terms and their prices.

What Does Bill Gates think of Free Market Data?
He loves it!!! He was found hanging out over at SearchEngineBlog.

SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems:
Another article (with pictures) similar to the one I linked to before which explains the problems with SEO friendly affiliate programs.

Name that Referrer:
Black Knight posts about the lowering quality of referral data.

Creating Content?
ways to come up with content creation ideas.

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