More About SEO

Yes, search engine optimization (SEO) is the biggest scam since the Nigerian Prince took to writing email to U.S. citizens. These people prey on the weakness of business owners who lack technical skills during a bad economy, it's as simple as that.

But allow me to clarify that for you. If your current website was created by an amateur or a non-professional friend, then it is very likely you will need some adjustments for SEO. A professionally designed website needs only to be tweaked from time to time, and search engines crave websites that are content rich, not some scam to get a better ranking. So search engines are fighting back by changing their algorithms for ranking sites. In other words an SEO scam artist could possibly get your website booted off some search engines.

search engine optimization with Steven WallerThere are actually many things involved in search ranking that I have learned over the years, but a well designed website will include search engine optimization and is the primary SEO factor under our control. I carefully follow Google's guidelines. I know what they desire because I am a member of Google's Webmaster Program and have been since 2004 or so. A scam artist will tell you the same but make it sound like they have a special "in" with Google. All it takes to be in Google's Webmaster Program is to simply sign up for it with at least one site you can prove is under your direction.

I encourage everyone to read more from Google's Webmaster Program . It gets down and dirty toward the bottom of the page. Take note of statements such as, "Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue. and No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google." Google has a reputation to uphold so the thought of anyone manipulationg their rankings is absurd, or will likely get your website deleted from listings. Be careful.

Below is a news article from The Seattle Times in 2004 and shows one of the first of these SEO scam artists.

"The state attorney general said yesterday Redmond-based Internet Advancement must pay penalties for failing to get its customers top placement on major search engines.

"Internet Advancement, which also goes by 4GreatBuys.com, must refund customers, pay $24,432 to the state for costs incurred and a civil penalty of $25,000.

"The company had promised to get its customers ranked in the top 10 to 20 results on the search engines for $980 to $1,500 in set-up fees and monthly fees of $79.80 to $89.95.

"The case involved "search engine optimization" services, which attempt to get businesses high placement in search-engine results.

"Internet Advancement misrepresented its success rate, promised more than it could deliver, then refused to provide refunds to customers who didn't get what they paid for," said Attorney General Christine Gregoire.

"She said the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau received more than 100 complaints from customers around the country."