I got a call recently from someone who wanted to sell me “search engine positioning.”
“You mean optimization?” I asked.
No, they told me, this was different. All I had to do was choose a keyword, and I would own the page. Guaranteed.
“You mean, like Google Ads?”
Oh, no, they said, this wasn’t a Google thing. “You know,” they told me, “Bing and Yahoo get way more traffic now than Google.”
Here’s Google’s, Yahoo’s, and Bing’s market share as of March, 2019:
|Google – US
|Bing – US
|Yahoo – US
The technical term for what they had told me is “a lie.” The authors of Freakonomics have explained why scammers come out with easily checked lies like that.
One way to sell things to people is to identify people who really need your products and services, to do inbound marketing to gain leads, and then to demonstrate the value of your proposition — in other words, how it can help the people you’ve identified as your customers.
Another way is to call or email thousands of people, hoping that someone will buy your stuff. If you’re doing that and you don’t have a good product (the only reason you should do that), you can quickly eliminate the people who are least likely to buy by saying something that’s obviously false.
Anybody who knows anything about SEO knows that the claim given above — that Bing and Yahoo have more traffic than Google — is a lie. So you eliminate all the people who know anything about SEO right at the beginning of your spiel. The ones who don’t end the call there may know plenty about their own field, but they know nothing about SEO, so they might buy your snake oil.
Or they might just want to mess with you, but maybe that’s just me.
One thing you should know: reputable SEO firms do not call you up and tell you that they have a magic secret, or that Google is going to delete your listing, or that they can help you outsmart Google.
If you’re ready to think about SEO, a well-planned SEO strategy should be your first step.