A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Beware of SEO Services

It's late and I should be heading to bed, but I got distracted reading emails and something caught my eye. I'm know expert at SEO by any means, but I do know a thing or two. Let me tell you a bit about my experiences in SEO before I jump into my huge rant so you don't think I'm just some newbie who doesn't know a thing.

Cricket has taught me quite a bit, so I have to give much credit to her for my recent successes. Although before her classes and stretching back to days when Google was really all you had to worry about, I had 500+ pages sitting at the top of thousands of keyword phrases. Back in the day when it didn't take much to secure a top ranking aside from title and tags, and content was just an option. I had thousands of visitors a day all from the search engines and life was good. Yahoo split, then went MSN, and Google started putting more of an emphasis on content thanks to the SE spammers ruining the fun. I spent some time trying to get my rankings back before giving up on those old pages for good some time in 2005.

I never really completely gave up on SEO, and kept on plugging away in the dark. I knew most of the basic "rules", and used them on a new site. It didn't do bad, but not great. When I found Cricket's class a few months ago, I finally saw those "missing pieces" on my sites. BINGO! Back in action. Not as quickly as before in the easy days of SEO, but back with a little more work all the same. Things are good again.

Now I feel the need to say this again - I am no SEO expert, but I'm not clueless either. Tonight I found someone who hangs around some of the same groups I do, selling SEO services. I was absolutely horrified at what I saw on their own site. I counted I don't know how many "SEO no-no's" that weren't just minor. They were HUGE! We're talking basic SEO completely missing from this site. It makes me absolutely sick to think they are SELLING services when their own site isn't even optimized nor does it even rank for ANY of the keywords in their home page title....or any other page for that matter. Now wouldn't you think if you were selling SEO services, you would have a nicely ranked site too? Not this one!

If you still think I'm just some ranting nut case, here's some of the things I found on their site which are just major mistakes:

- No unique titles
Many of the pages I found on this site (including the home page), just echo the business name and a general "Search engine optimization". Go ahead and search that term on Google, you won't find the site I'm talking about here.

- No meta tag descriptions or keywords
So not a major deal, but still something you would think they would at least put in. I take that back, I can see their is a description for their home page only. I can see meta tag descriptions (or lack there of) by doing a simple search on Google for site:http://www.theirsite.com . Go ahead and check out one of mine, you'll see it. Ok well not the blog maybe, but that's a whole other rant and I promise I'm working on it. Check Idea Queen, you'll see what I'm talking about.

- Wrong home page link
The home page has a full url, but includes "index.htm". BAD. I can understand this being a mistake on other sites and you might even find a few on my sites. HOWEVER, we're not selling SEO services are we? Heck no! Google is going to see two different versions of that home page (ndex.htm version and the regular link)and think it's duplicate content. BAD.

- Site Submission Services
They promise to submit your site to search engines. I only have this to say - WHY? If they are building incoming links, why would they need to submit?? Search engines find your site naturally by crawling sites, so there is NO need for this. NONE!

- Testimonies Don't Mean Much
The sites which have testified to her services aren't ranked for terms on their site, or the keyword phrase isn't even searched. This is a super easy basic - find what terms people are searching for and go from there. Anyone can use this keyword suggestion tool. What's worse, some of these sites have PR3s, which is about the lowest you can get on just minimal marketing. All my sites have at least a PR3, and those which have had a little more attention a PR4. Some even have a PR5. It's really not that hard to do, if it's promoted the right way. These sites obviously weren't.

Alright I'll stop my rank right here because I could just go on for days. I have my own business to take care of, but I did want to put this here as a warning. Do your research and take the time to take a free SEO tutorial or class. There are just too many scammers out there, and people that really don't know what they are doing but doing it anyway. Sad but true!


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