Get My Website in the Top Ten for Google!

I keep seeing job postings like this. Often they specify that they want this done in a particular amount of time, perhaps through the creation of 500 one-way backlinks to pages of PR6 and above. They make me want to send strongly worded letters to the posters of the ads saying things like —

“What do you mean, ‘top ten for Google’?” Do you want to be in the top ten for your company name? Hey, let’s go for #1 if at all possible. Sometimes it’s not, because your company predates the internet and there are a lot of companies sharing your name, some much bigger than yours. Then you might have to work at it. Otherwise, you should have top billing for your name very quickly, if you have a well-optimized site and a useful SEO plan.

Do you want to be in the top ten for your main keywords? Now you’re talking. But it depends on what your keywords are. Choose realistic keywords, and aim for the top five, rather than trying to get the top ten for the broadest possible terms. This will send more traffic, and more useful traffic, to your website.

I also would like to ask these people about their websites. One post I saw recently comes from a company that makes a fuel tank additive. I don’t know anything about fuel tank additives, but I’m quite sure that this screen shot from their website is sufficient evidence that they don’t have a top-quality well-optimized site.

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So I would sort of like to say to them, “This is what you’re giving me to work with? And you’re demanding guaranteed numbers of visits and top placement with all search engines?”

This particular company shares its name with a number of highly respectable research organizations, so they have a challenging situation, even if they are producing a really good fuel tank additive. Having a poor quality website makes their demands even more challenging.

For those who specify that they want backlinks, I might want to congratulate them for knowing the importance of links for online marketing, but I’d also like to ask them, “Have you formed relationships that will lead to links? Do you have content at your website worth linking to, or a product that people will be excited to share?” The reason search engines pay so much attention to links is that people give links to things they consider valuable. When I do linkbuilding, my goal is always that the people from whom I request links will be thrilled to hear about the website I’m introducing them to — I expect many of them to thank me for having shared it.

That’s not a wild idea. Your goods and services, and your website, should be valuable. Otherwise, there’s really no reason for you to be in business, is there? But I saw a want ad yesterday asking for 1000 links in three days. It is not impossible to get a thousand links in three days, if your content goes viral — the YouTube of Susan Boyle would be a good recent example. Your hair loss remedy product page? If it did acquire that many links that quickly, the search engines would investigate such suspicious activity. Think of it as being like meeting people — you’ll meet more people when you make an effort, and your skill level affects the numbers, but you don’t meet a thousand new people on most weekends, do you? You’d need a special occasion for that.

The mismatch between the expectations revealed in these want ads and the websites of the people posting them would lead me to ask these people whether they think search marketing is a form of magic. Would they, for example, be just as happy if I sent them a Special Herbal Preparation that will catapult them to first place at in the SERPs, which They Don’t Want You to Know About?

Really, these shouldn’t be questions I’d ask. These should be questions business owners ask themselves, before they consider search marketing.

Do I have goods and services that are valuable to my customers? Do I have a website people would choose to visit? Do I understand that search marketing is a form of marketing, and as such requires ongoing work and a long-term commitment?

Your website, with proper optimization and good online marketing, is likely to be the most successful and cost-effective means of marketing available to you. It can be your primary place of business, or it can open completely new markets for your brick and mortar company. Let it be part of your real-world marketing plans, not a get-rich-quick fantasy.

End of rant.


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