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Unbelievable - Site Got To Page 1 Of Google Within A Few Hours
Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:33 PM
Business owner got a call from some firm guaranteeing that they could get him with a few key words onto google page 1 practically overnight. Of course he bought in and the next day (he might have said in about an hour) he checked and there he was:
I think the key phrase was something like:
$city_name patent attorney
The caveat: The company that did this said that it would only work if you had your home page set to "www.google.com" which limits the audience. Probably still a large audience - could it be 10% market share, who knows?
Some weeks after the business owner checked again and the magic ceased. They have been dodging his phone calls and charging around $275 for this monthly service.
I walked the business owner through a Google search results page painting the results, "Adwords, Google Local, Organic Results, Google Local Sidebar" - or whatever the current names of these functions. Business owner affirms that it was in the organic results.
Q) Is anyone familiar with any SEO (or whatever) technique described as above? If so, please elaborate.
Q) Black hat or good practice?
He, the business owner, is upset that the service has fallen short, of course, but rather than ask if I can do SEO, he wants to know if I can deliver as this other company did on day 1 and I'm not apt to make any guarantee like this. He also wants the region expanded to the neighboring metro region and not just the city.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:10 PM
Good practice? Nope it's just a con.
Edited by chrishirst, 18 July 2012 - 02:11 PM.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:11 PM
Regardless, whatever they did it has to be web spam. Would be surprised if it was anything else.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:14 PM
Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:34 PM
with very little content and no content updates for years other than converting the contact file to .php.
Jill suggests a plugin. I'll ask (but this is almost 2 months after the fact and people forget). Is there any kind of plugin you could install on IE or perhaps FF that could give this type of almost instantaneous result.
Then there's the "It worked at the beginning, why not now?" Bob, can you do/fix this? If it were a plugin, what changed since then?
I'm curious about the technique but more than curious about damage control. The website was invisible before the intrusion; I'm really hoping for no permanent damage.
It's probably irrelevant but if I copy and paste and quote "some unique text from his bio page" into google it is found.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:05 PM
Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:18 PM
I asked yesterday if he got any calls/results/contacts and he said no. He suggested this might have been because the scope was too narrow (the city too small) or perhaps because it was only working for a limited duration which he wasn't monitoring. He was initially satisfied so ignored it for a while, perhaps several weeks to a month, until he started getting invoices.
Are there 'as if' plugins? Install this plugin, make Google home, and it gives artificial results based upon some parameters set in the plugin. i.e. You work with us and this is what we can do for you (the plugin being a marketing tool to convince you to buy)?
Edited by bobmeetin, 18 July 2012 - 04:19 PM.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:47 PM
Speaking with him this afternoon he now clarifies:
1) No, I did not have to set google to my home page; I was directed to go to google and do the search ()
And 2) It took a week to happen. They called me first and promoted the service then called back a week later to show the results which were to go to google.com, type in "patent $city_name" and presto there in the organic results.
I still think it's rather quick results but certainly this changes the scope of the issue. New suggestions?
Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:47 PM
I would not buy a service that tried to entice people like this. They set high expectations with sleight-of-link tricks but they won't fix the problem when the search penalties come in.
Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:10 AM
That being said with curiosity in hand last night I set the site up for Google Webmaster Tools, G Analytics and looked at another service that shows inbound links. The 3rd party service showed 4 links from the same domain, so effectively one link. The domain is an innocent looking engineering listing service - nothing special - looks like something the business owner would have set up.
It's early for GWT, but Links to your Site and Internal Links show "No data available". Perhaps wait a few days to get data...
If I google the domain name I see a few innocuous results ( superpages, various crawlers, siteanalytics, businessdirectory.bizjournals, yahoo local, etc. Nothing outstanding - I do wonder why these don't display as inbound links.
What explains what's going on?
Would this company have set up 10 links as you say to get the site to rank in the top 10 then dropped them and why if they are getting paid?
Well, Google Adwords and a result in the top-page results could certainly explain the results - however I re-affirmed with the business owner that it was in the organic results and sent him a google page diagram.
Many questions I know.
Edited by bobmeetin, 19 July 2012 - 08:29 AM.
Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:42 AM
Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:16 PM
As this service had no access to the website and I'm not "seeing" inbound links (currently) what else am I looking for? What does the magic potion look like?
Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:16 AM
Even on my most legitimate white hat no-link-building-whatsoever Websites I tend to block the link intelligence tools, so there are plenty of real Websites that do this as well.
Third-party tools are completely useless for analyzing why a SERP changed. They can reveal basic linking strategies and practices, which provides some competitive insight.
If I had to guess (and it would be a completely wild guess, a total shot in the dark) I would think these guys use a combination of blogs that they built themselves, perhaps supplemented by some social media resources. They may be writing link baity articles that just happen to have manipulative links embedded in them.
Anyone can do that -- it's not a very good long-term strategy, in my opinion, but the better the perceived quality of the Website the harder it is for the search engines to filter out the links (in my opinion -- search engineers may not agree with me, and they would be in a better position to know than I).
Of course, it could also be that whatever the SEO agency did was so spammy it just wasn't going to last -- in which case your relative absolutely does not want to repeat the process. The search engine may forgive one spammy shot in the arm. It will be less likely to forgive a pattern of abuse.
Edited by Michael Martinez, 20 July 2012 - 02:26 AM.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:12 AM
You said, "They have been dodging his phone calls and charging around $275 for this monthly service.".
Are you really saying that he is still paying $275 per month? If so, the very first thing to do should be to cancel the payment.
Posted 20 July 2012 - 04:03 PM
I'm more apt to tell him that I'll follow a traditional path and first build a link-worthy site and second, focus on linkbuilding and it will take time to move up, hopefully to page 1 and hopefully within 4 months but no guarantee. One only hopes that no damage has been done already.
The people on this list who do SEO for a living have a confident sense of what they can typically deliver, whereis I'm not in that lot.
So, Mike says there are techniques to hide links as well as the general unreliability of link-checking tools, even google. Yes I know of the unreliability. This other information makes it a tougher nut to crack.
"If I had to guess (and it would be a completely wild guess, a total shot in the dark) I would think these guys use a combination of blogs that they built themselves, perhaps supplemented by some social media resources. They may be writing link baity articles that just happen to have manipulative links embedded in them."
Meaning perhaps they have some business blogs reserved for this purpose that they keep up so they have some page rank?
Link baity articles with manipulative links by way of an article service or something they own and they can update the links at any time?
I'll have to look up link baity article.
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