Beware of What Is Sold As SEO!
Yesterday, while doing some research on a [paid] real estate plugin for WordPress, I had an experience that concerned me. The company who created the plugin told me their solution was the key to better SEO. And they are wrong!
Now the salesperson certainly didn’t know I had experience with the subject. I also believe their ‘vaunted plugin’ offers value, but no one should ever believe there is an ‘SEO silver bullet’ like I was told… like so many busy ‘uninformed’ business people are likely told. Worse, they are also sold this misinformation!
Frankly, the idea that someone is outsmarting Google or that you can just buy SEO off the shelf is ridiculous! The dynamic nature of a networked web; the constant re- weighting of search engine (algorithmic) signals and the random activity of ‘subject competitors’ makes placement in an organic search result… unpredictable. The results change every day! If anyone guarantees SEO or top search results then ask them what proprietary information they have on the daily adjustments made to Google’s (ranking) search algorithm. Ask them what exactly they know about ALL ‘the subject similar competition’. Ask them about their day to day effort.
There are pros on the leading edge of research like Aaron Wall and Rand Fishkin and they would both say organic search results are never standing still!
Getting back to the company with the plugin, I asked why it was so good for SEO. The first argument presented was, “… with our plugin clients normally outperform Realtor.com & Zillow.com.” I thought, “Depending on what keywords we’re discussing (and he wasn’t specific so let’s assume the Long Tail), do a little searching and find that several of our clients do so without this vaunted plugin!” Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com certainly have a lot of content and they may be doing their SEO right, but no one should ever believe that even they can game Google for top search results. Not when over 200 hundred signals are used to compare one page to all the others with the same keywords. Think of it this way: if every time you searched real estate in a local area the Google search results served up Realtor.com, why would you need Google? We could just go to Realtor.com and that would be awfully limiting. The gentleman then asked I go to a particular client’s website to see his performance in Google. It just so happens I knew of the person: one of the more well documented, back linked and organically optimized real estate websites in North America. A site I later discovered had only added the plugin a month or two ago. Regardless, I couldn’t help but wonder “Is this what everyone hears when they speak with this company?”
Folks, I apologize for the rant and we’ve certainly heard other claims for ‘the silver bullet of SEO.’ The point here is: ‘discern what is being sold to you as SEO’! Understand that SEO is based upon 1) useful & consistent content, 2) a measurable reaction to that content [back links, SERP activity, bookmarks, subscriptions, social shares, time on page, etc.], 3) an easily crawled site and the 4) competition. The fact is, there is no silver bullet… truly sustainable SEO requires time and effort!