False promises and lies that SEO salesmen say to get a sale

Posted on August 30, 2011

 

A client of ours this week was approached by a salesman from an SEO company touting for their business. This is quite common as there are a lot of SEO companies out there, and business owners tend to have to field a lot of sales calls from companies who claim they can do it better, cheaper or quicker than the next person. However, some of these SEO companies make outlandish statements in an attempt to get a sale, and this particular SEO agency declared to our client that

“all SEO companies work on just one keyword at a time”

The statement came about because the SEO company in question wanted to quote our client on their SEO services for just one keyword, and one keyword alone. When our client pointed out that there were many different keywords within their industry (as there are with almost every single industry) the salesman declared that all SEO companies do it this way. Our client knew this to be untrue as, strangely enough, that is not the way we do things. That’s not the way any SEO company, to the best of our knowledge, does things as, quite frankly, it would make no sense whatsoever.

What is the point on having your website optimised for just one keyword?

This may seem like a ridiculous thing for a salesman to say, but it’s not uncommon for rubbish like this to be spouted by sales staff representing SEO companies, so we thought we’d go through a few of them now, starting with this little gem:

“SEO is 90% links”

This, once again, was uttered by someone claiming to be an SEO professional and was repeated to us by an unsuspecting business owner. He had been told by an SEO company that SEO was 90% links… strangely enough this particular SEO company was also trading as a link supplier, and sold links on their network of websites both for their clients, and for other SEO agencies. Links was sort of their ‘thing’.

Now, we wouldn’t suggest that links are not important; they are. Google’s original algorithm was built on links while other search engines still tallied up the number of times a keyword was mentioned on a page, but 90% of SEO? Really? In a word, no.

This particular business owner, on being told of the 90% emphasis Google places on links, went on a mammoth link building exercise (costing a lot of money, it has to be said) only to find that the websites that ranked above him in Google all had fewer links than his site. They did, however, have much better content.

“All SEO companies buy links”

This is something we’ve heard time and time again; it’s actually becoming annoying. Some SEO experts even go as far to state that “any SEO who says they don’t buy links is lying” – as if this were some justification for them using paid links. Paid links are listed, quite clearly, in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as something you quite categorically should not do. Therefore, oddly enough, we don’t do it. Those SEO companies that sell paid links to their clients, naturally, will disagree – but then they do have a vested interest.

And the best yet..d

As a final note, something else we heard recently that was the cause of much amusement was the salesman who derided the concept of using outsourcing for your SEO and content, before declaring, without a hint of irony, that all of their developers and content writers were based in the Philippines. This is something you should be really careful of with regards to your website’s content, whether that includes blog writing, news articles, web copy or press releases. The quality of your website’s content is paramount to the success of your website within the search engines, especially Google, so using an SEO company (or content provider) that outsources to foreign writers is a potentially hazardous tactic. It may work out cheaper, the turnaround time may be quick, the quality may be acceptable – but is the content worthy of your website, and of being ranked in Google?

For content written in English, you really want to ensure that the people writing the content have English as a first language – and be wary of SEO companies and content providers using overseas writers.

What’s the best SEO sales untruth you’ve ever heard?

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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