Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chart Topper

There are many misconceptions people have about the internet and the relationship their website has with it, these generally revolve around how people find their site and if applicable, start buying their products.

A primary aim of site owners (myself included) is a position on the first page of a web-search. There are many companies who promise this as a service, but here's where that promise may be misleading.

Say I own the first website to sell Broccoli online, you'd expect me to be No.1 in a search engine ranking for "Broccoli". Of course there is a huge amount of detritus out there on the internet that will impede that. Eventually once my site has matured it will likely crawl up the ranks and get to a more noticable place than the 54th page of results.

Meanwhile, I recieve an email from a company offering Search Engine Optimization services (SEO) saying - hey, we can get your site into the top ten of Google search results. So yeah, sounds like a plan to me. I pay them and sure enough, my website is listed in the top ten, well, my company is. Via their directory website. Which is full of advertising.

So OK, all's well enough, I have the online presence I desired. What happens though when another Brocolli seller decides to sell online? do they automatically get the No.2 Position? I've been around longer, sure my site only has two pages which haven't been updated since the site was launched, but I was there first. Sorry, wrong.

And here's the real crunch. What if I'm the eleventh company selling Brocolli to approach an agency offering SEO that 'guarantees' me a place in the first page top ten of Google search results?

SEO is internet snake oil. If you want your site to be reaching your potential audience it takes work. There's no magic button or switch that announces your arrival on the internet with a gala opening, no queues of people lining up to see what your selling, you have to knock on the door of every one of your potential customers and let them know you're out there.

A search from "Digital Ink" currently brings my website in at fourth place out of 1,250,000

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