So someone from Google has called you? Is it really Google or just a slimy search engine marketing company?
A company I consult for received a call from someone claiming to be from Google placements, offering a ‘free upgrade’ to a ‘sponsored link’.
This person who originally took the call is no dummy and was suspicious, and rightly so – Google doesn’t market itself in such a way.
From his report of the conversation, the spiel was worded in such a way to give the person the impression the other party was from Google, but if bailed up, allowed for backtracking and “clarification” or claiming the person was mistaken in their interpretation.
It’s little wonder the search engine marketing industry suffers somewhat of a tarnished reputation with this sort of thing going on.
I was forwarded the email follow-up from this company. The “from” address didn’t give the company name and the subject line was ambiguous enough that if the impression was already in place the person was from Google, it would have continued.
It’s only when you read through the email, it becomes clear it’s not Google – but the foot is already in the door. A bit of further research on this company showed they are well known for rather whiffy customer acquisition tactics.
The email contained the usual sort of crappy promises of ranking on the first page of Google. What it doesn’t say is that a first page organic ranking is often not enough; you really need to be in the top 5 for the *right* keywords and of course, the closer to no.1 the better. Being ranked at no.10 may provide little or no traffic.
If it turns out the front page ranking promise relates only to Adwords; well, there doesn’t have to be a lot of skill involved there – but it’s going to cost you for every visit to your site – and it may be very expensive without providing suitable return.
Even assuming the right keywords are targeted, motivated shoppers don’t always turn into sales if your site isn’t quite right. Effective search engine marketing is so much more than just targeted traffic.
If you get these sorts of calls or emails and it doesn’t feel right – trust your gut vibe; simply ignore these companies. The reason they stay in business isn’t so much a case of a sucker being born every minute, but more of one that many businesses simply do not have the time to learn enough of the basics of SEO and SEM to spot and avoid these shysters. These companies bleed merchants dry and then simply move onto the next target – and there are plenty of soft targets out there.