Years ago during my first week employed by a rather large, International company, working on-site and in the role of online marketer I discovered the lack of return on their in-progress Google AdWords campaign was due to the fact that the ad’s landing page had a broken contact form on it. $80K after the campaign’s commencement and one week after my reporting it directly to my supervisor, as well as the vice president himself – multiple times – and both of them responding with faintly a semblance of concern despite my urgent insistence; my supervisor finally walks up to me with his eyes bulging out asking me… “A…Are you saying that the contact form is broken?”

Had I the maturity of forethought at that time to step on traditional office protocol as any committed gentleman should have done in such a fiscally dire situation, I would have promptly made proper use of the vulgar vernacular, leaned across the VP’s desk and said “Don! Get the #@$! out of your chair right this minute you’re not gonna’ believe this $@*!!!”


Such are the dangers of youthful adherence to office protocol. Well Joseph, how’s that make you an SEO millionaire? It doesn’t, but this demonstrates a common occurrence – when it comes to online marketing and “search engine optimization” most people don’t have a clue what’s going on. Which is normal actually since those people have other work to do and rely on experts to do the job they were hired to do.

And that’s the point of this article, which is at bottom, a question of business ethics in general. Like the rogue car mechanic asserting unfair charges upon some unsuspecting damsel’s invoice, likewise in the “SEO” business there is a ton of unethical deceit going on, where companies from small to megalithic have no problem fleecing you out of your cash by taking advantage of your trust and ignorance.

Hi, this is Sharon your local Google expert, auto-dialing you from Southeast Asia…
So in the spirit of friendly, forthright candor, I’ll present an old parable that I just made up.

Barney the plumber was paying only $XX a month to Bigname Domain Co. for their SEO package, “It helps me be on Google.” he said. But when Barney typed “plumber” into Google, he was nowhere to be found. So he called Bigname Domain Co. regarding the SEO package that he was paying for, and they spoke to him in an unnerving, almost unintelligible language and offering to upgrade his SEO package to the $XXX level. When Barney replied that was too expensive for his small business, the customer service rep fortunately managed to convey to Barney that he needed to get professional web help.

So Barney went looking for a local web SEO specialist and chose what appeared to be a reputable source, and hired Bigcity Advertising Agency Co. to first analyze his site (a one-time fee,) and then continue to pay a monthly fee of $XX “ to keep his site on Google”. There included the stipulation that he had to modify his “keyword search string” by, instead of typing “plumber”, he would now search for “Portland, Oregon plumber” – which made sense actually, so he didn’t mind.

Barney’s site was now found listed in Google, but he was on page 8 and he wanted to be on page 1. So he called Bigcity Advertising Agency Co. and asked how he might bump his site up to be on top. For only $XXX per month he could be on top, but it could take up to 6 months and there’s no guarantee, because that’s how search engines work, Barney.

So Barney agreed to the monthly fee and as time went on there was a slight improvement when he saw he was now also listed in Google’s business directory, but his website still wasn’t on the top page and so he continued to pay a monthly fee hoping the investment would get his page on top – and keep it there. He spent a lot of money over the course of two years without a single contact coming through his website.

So what’s this got to do with being an SEO millionaire? Well, the Onion wrote a spoof of this point: “High Integrity, Moral Decency Has Cost Idiot Man Millions”.

Be advised there are a lot of alleged “SEO” services that equate to lighting your money on fire; and honest people like you are not suckers for trusting others to perform the service they advertise. Some people make millions of dollars taking advantage of people like Barney. Don’t be a Barney, call Joseph at 503-391-4801 before spending a dime on alleged search engine optimization services.

salem oregon web design & development
About the author: Joseph Hill has over 20 years experience in hands-on web & multimedia development, interface design & architecture, production management, search engine indexing and marketing efforts with a list of over 200 web projects he has worked on including GE, FinishLine, Levi's, MTV, Sony, HBO, Showtime, Wrigley, Williams-Sonoma, Starbucks, YMCA and the San Diego SuperBowl Host Committee.

He has an Associates Degree in Graphics Communication and refers to his metal detector as his "search engine". His favorite hobby is gardening and favorite pastime is swimming and drifting across rivers and lakes exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

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