Beware the snake oil salesmen
Friday, September 24th, 2010
An email popped into my Inbox. ‘Hi, (Hi, who? I do have a name) excuse the unusual approach (the spammers apology); however I am writing to inform you that I recently visited your website (although I really have no interest in you or your business), during our routine survey of web sites (if you believe this you really will believe anything) which maybe capable (not exactly a ringing endorsement of your promotional skills) of higher search engine performance. From my initial observations, your website maybe under-performing (or a ringing endorsement of your diagnostic skills) in the major search engines such as – Google, Yahoo (hmm when did I see anyone last using Yahoo?) and Bing (I have yet to come across anyone who has used Bing). I struggled to find you in the first couple of pages of Google (but won’t tell you what search terms I used), meaning that you could be losing out on a significant amount of business. Your content is poor (thank you but I’d prefer my clients opinions on this), your site has no backlinks (wrong) and a page rank of zero (sorry, but you are wrong again). You can have our bespoke (ah yes, tell me your definition of bespoke please) 30 page diagnosis done on your site for a reduced fee of £299.00 (so it is a real bargain then?). We’re so confident that we’ll put you on the first page of Google, that we will refund your money if we don’t achieve what we promise….. (tedium continues to p.94)
Now why does my business need to be on the first page of Google? I am not selling widgets or mobile phones, life insurance, or mortgages. There is an obsession with being on page 1 that may be relevant in some business sectors, but providing your website is well coded, search engine friendly and has relevant content that is regularly updated, it will rise through the search engines in an entirely organic way. I think they are starting to run scared of Google Instant, Twitter, Linked In, WordPress and all the other powerful networking tools that help small businesses like mine communicate directly and build relationships with their customers.