Ugly Truth About Search Engine Optimization

From the Beginning – What is Search Engine Optimization? 

ugly truth about search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science of optimizing a website using both on-site factors like meta tags (title and meta description tags), keyword-to-content ratio, particular words used on a site, filenames etc, as well as off-site factors like proper backlinking and social media signals for the purpose of making a site rank higher on the natural (AKA organic) search results of major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. 

It is important that we touch upon one thing that search engine optimization is NOT. SEO is not the act of making some haphazard changes to a site, because you spotted something in the source code or on your competitor’s site, and then waiting for search results. If no results come in after about 6 weeks, changing it up again with some further “search engine optimization” efforts. Newsflash, Google has a patent out for webmasters who does just that!

If Google’s robots spot that you are attempting to “search engine optimize” a site in ways they don’t approve of, they will literally mess with you! How? They will randomize your results, where one day you are on page 1, the next day you are on page 3, a few days later you are on page 7 etc. The robots will monitor each change you make and keep tabs of those “SEO” changes.

Some folks want to save every penny they can, even when their reasoning tells them they should hire a professional, they will still go out and try to do it themselves. Well, if you are going to do an easy job like painting your house, then sure, you can do that yourself. Even if you mess up, the damage will be minimal. However, if you are going to do some serious plumbing work, like replacing your old pipes with copper pipes, well, if you try to do it yourself, you may end up flooding your house or leave holes all over your house and floors in your penny pinching attempts, and ultimately end up calling a professional plumber, who will now charge your more to fix all the mess you left behind.

Sometimes, it is prudent to just research out the right search engine optimization company and hire them based on their qualifications, pricing, level of commitment, experience etc.

Is Search Engine Optimization B.S.?

Search engine optimization (SEO) got a bad rap years ago. Firstly, search engine optimization is mostly done behind the scenes. You don’t really get to see the work someone does for you. You can see the work done on your site, but off-site, the best you can do is see backlinks pointing to your site or a few shares and likes here and there. However, humans by nature are skeptical. They start to wonder how many of those links can be attributed to the search engine optimization company they hired. How many of those likes and shares. They start to wonder if the work being done can’t be duplicated by them. Well, if it can, they have definitely hired the wrong SEO Company. You see, if those backlinks that are pointing to your site are known to other SEO companies, you have done just yourself far more harm than good. That means those backlinks are wide open for anyone to post a link, that’s a big no-no. It is only a matter of time until those links are either devalued or worse penalized, meaning your site would not come up for searches it used it, worse yet a search for your own name may not bring up your site!

So is SEO total B.S.? No, but most SEO companies nowadays are not true SEO companies, and they may end up doing far more harm than good to a site. It is important that you research out and deal only with  SEO companies who are at least 10 years old, that specialize in SEO (ahem, has been doing SEO since November of 1994). The new crop of so called “SEO companies” are just front-end WordPress web designer that know very little code, have little experience dealing with the intricacies of SEO, but boy do they have amazing charts, white papers, proposals that detail every nook and cranny of your site. Of course, all those on-site factors that they note, like missing ALT tag and H1 tags are older than Google and are one step above worthless when it comes to SEO.

Most of these SEO companies use software that is readily available for less than $200 that will point out a bunch of useless “missing SEO elements” that look fabulous on colorful PDF proposals. Even the SEO Company that pitches that proposal to you isn’t actually looking at the proposal. It is a numbers game to them. They just churn out X number of proposals, and hope an X number of proposals convert into clients.

Here at we reject far more clients that we accept nowadays. We want to ensure that we only select clients that add value to the Internet. For example, as a matter of course we reject all affiliate sites. We had one affiliate that was ready to spend $3,400 per month on SEO! We rejected that caller as soon as we looked at his site. We do not believe an affiliate site adds value to the Internet. Sorry, we believe affiliates are great people, but their sites only add value if the products they are pushing add real value to users, and if that requirement is met, they save the users money if they buy through the affiliate site instead of going directly to the source. Nearly all the affiliate sites we have seen fail at one or both of those requirements.

Why Does Search Engine Optimization Have Such a Bad Reputation?

Search engine optimization received a terrible reputation because of some unscrupulous SEO companies decided to go on telemarketing and email spam campaigns, and use commission only structures for their sales people. So you had a bunch of hungry commission only sales people sending out ridiculous amount of spam and making obscene amount of telemarketing calls that would literally say anything you wanted to hear to get you to sign-up. This went on for a while. Now, the “torch” it seems has been passed to foreign companies, mostly India, where it seems like everyone that ever used a computer is an SEO expert as well. So now you have obscene amounts of spam coming from International waters, where for $50-$300 a month you can supposedly get amazing results. The old cliché of if it is too good to be true.. oh never mind. If you have been the victim of an email pitch or a telemarketing call, you have enough to deal with on your plate. I am not going to add to your heartache.

Does Search Engine Optimization Work?

Search engine optimization works ONLY when done properly following Google’s webmaster guidelines. The key is to never ever use any type of automated software in your SEO efforts, and never use a foreign company to do your SEO. You will NOT see good results, in fact, you may see penalties.

At we believe that a majority of sites that are on the Internet, shouldn’t be there! Yes, that is a bold statement that ticks off some people, but we are honestly looking out for everyone’s best interest when we state that. Here is why. If you are going to spend money on a site, hire web designers, content developers, SEOs to come in and promote that site, but from the get go that site had no hope of ever making any money, would it not have been  better if you actually saved your money, or used it for some other more beneficial purpose?

Just ask yourself this question, whatever it is that you are selling, can someone go into Wal-Mart and buy the same thing for less? If yes, then perhaps you should reconsider your position. However, if you provide a service like accounting, real estate, dentistry, plastic surgery, carpet cleaning, moving etc. will people benefit from your service if they end up on your site? If you answered yes, then you should have a website, and that site deserves to be found on search results and have traffic. The point here is that SEO works when it should work, on sites that deserve to have SEO, as it benefits all parties concerned. It adds value to everyone when they land on your site. So if you have a product or service offering that you feel adds value to the Internet, and if you had people find your site it would make your business successful, then give us a call or fill out our request for proposal form, and let us analyze your site for free!

What Does Google Think about Search Engine Optimization

Google likes search engine optimization, but Google hates spam. They really hate it. If you are optimize the type of site that adds no value to anyone but the owner of the site, and you somehow get that site on the first page of Google, kittens die! Sorry – that’s how mad Google engineers get though. They like to see that their users find your site to be useful. Meaning, they want Google searchers to feel Google does a great job of providing excellent search results, and they want those searchers to keep coming back to Google instead of using Bing, Yahoo!, Blekko, Duck-Duck-Go etc.

Do Google Updates Like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Impact Search Engine Optimization?

If you have done blackhat SEO, as that is unfortunately what most in the SEO industry practice (not here at – we are 100% white-hat SEO), then Google algorithm updates will devastate those sites. Their search engine optimization efforts will be marginalized, and in some cases penalized. However, if you have hired an SEO company that does white-hat search engine optimization only, then you will not see any negative impact, and you may end up seeing a positive impact where your search engine rankings improve even further!

 Ah done! Love it or hate it, that’s the truth about search engine optimization.