If you have a web site and are looking for traffic, then I am sure you have done your fair share of research on internet. With so much at stake and your web site’s success or failure hanging in balance, there is a wealth of information to be had on internet to fix whatever problem might be ailing your web site. But with cut throat competition and everyone vying for your ear to give you that “silver bullet” to fix your internet web site woes, where do you turn and who can you really trust to help you with such a critical quest? You want web site success, increased traffic, a top 10 ranking with search engines, and you want it now, but how do you find right information to help you fix your problems and help you realize your web site goals?
Differentiating between gurus and self appointed gurus – If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quack’s like a duck, then it’s probably a duck, err guru.
In many ways, internet is still a sort of “wild wild west” of our present day era. Although some things are becoming regulated and standards are emerging, there are still many things left to fall through cracks. Anyone with some extra cash to throw around in marketing ads can put up shop on internet and call himself or herself a guru. Many of these “good Samaritans” will part you from some of your hard earned cash and offer you a “silver bullet” to solve your internet marketing woes. The problem stems from those that are self-proclaimed, and just starting out, who lead masses to believe they have answers to almost any web site dilemma. With time being a precious commodity, many people buy into these self-proclaimed guru’s advice then wonder why their internet marketing woes still go unsolved. Very few people I have met online take any real time to research these “gurus” to find out if they are credible.
The problem I have always had with these types comes from “secrets” they speak of selling you. Many tout that they have made armored carloads of cash and now they want to give something back to world in exchange for successes they have enjoyed, but nature of people and business would dictate otherwise. Most business tends to guard such trade secrets to ensure their competition always stays three steps behind them. Why would they give these secrets away? Maybe it’s just a case of outdated information that no longer works, so there would be no need to safeguard such secrets. If those secrets work so well, then why is it they must sell them to us. Why not keep those secrets to themselves and continue reaping rewards of high profits and sales? If they want to give back to world, then why not GIVE us secrets instead of selling them? There’s just too much that doesn’t add up whenever I think of this topic. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I just can’t see why someone would want to give away or sell secrets that have made them money unless secrets no longer work.
I will admit if someone in a very different field than guru is using information, then there is no competition, and there is no fear that information gatherer can use information to compete. In that case, there is nothing for guru to loose and much more for them to gain through their sales. Say for instance, a guru imparting wisdom on marketing techniques. Unless information seeker is running a marketing business, there would be no competition, and guru would be loosing nothing. But, if information seeker were running a marketing company, then gurus would be opening themselves up to possible competition.
Another danger to guru side of things comes when a couple people get together with large email lists and join forces. I’ve seen this one done before. They all cross-market each other to their lists and come off looking like experts in their field. Each individual builds credibility for others and they look like next big thing. The good ones catch email readers up in their hype clouding facts in obscurity and making bundles of cash in process. They prey on naivety of new web site designers and marketers, and wind up giving so little in return. I find that most of these types operate by getting you on all their friends’ lists, and then they bombard you daily with marketing email pitching their programs. They entice you by telling you they are running a newsletter on marketing tips and tricks, but do old bait and switch by sending you email with links to their affiliate programs instead of marketing tips and tricks you thought you were signing up for. It’s grand daddy of marketing tricks. Promise them what they want and then try to sell them something to get it while making them think they were getting it free.
My point is simple. Take some time before you just buy into someone’s information and check to see if they are truly reliable. If more people did this online, there would be less people being ripped off by hucksters peddling their garbage. The first stop would be Better Business Bureau. Check and see if they have any complaints on file and see how successful they have been in resolving them. A good and credible company will always bend over backwards to keep customers happy because they realize their value. The not so good and credible will play numbers game and not care about complaint resolution. They take money over customer satisfaction every time. If it’s a guru touting search engine placement then do searches in local search engines on their keywords to see if they rank well. Go to customer sites and look at keyword tags, then do searches on keywords and check them out. If they rank highly, then chances are they are credible gurus; if not, then you might want to take your business elsewhere. Just because you see their name frequently around net, it doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about.
SEO practices and promises – Can they really deliver what they promise?
My next favorite is SEO’s out there that will promise you top 10 rankings in major search engines. These guys kill me. I am sure there are some that can do that, but I question methods they use to accomplish it. I’ve been doing SEO work for years now and have found that such top 10 placements are very difficult to accomplish especially in highly competitive search terms. Some will use ad words and PPC campaigns to accomplish this. That will cost you additional cash, usually above their service fees, and on an ongoing basis. Many of them leave that out of their marketing material though. Some will pay other websites to link to you as a means to accomplish goal. I caution you that NONE of this is way that search engines intended things, and as such, goes against most search engines rules. Links have become a commodity to be bought and sold.
How can you promise, to everyone essentially because you run it in your add and anyone can see it, that you can get them top 10 rankings? Take for instance term web site design. The competition for that set of keywords is so staggering that to get a top 10 ranking for it is next to impossible. Even if you do get one, chances of tweaking your page to get it and then keeping that rank without ongoing maintenance is virtually impossible. SEO’s don’t put out there, up front, that ranking takes time, and there is no way to really guarantee a top 10 placement especially with highly competitive search terms, and especially if you are new to market. They might give you that information before they sign a contract with you, but they tend to leave it out of their marketing materials. You also have to ask yourself what happens if they have eleven or fifteen other customers in your market. Who wins in that situation? I can guarantee you that big SEO companies do have that many customers in same market.