Search Engine Optimism

The Impossible Claims

I have spent an innumerable amount of time trying, in futility, to explain the details of the Search Engine Optimization game to people who do not understand web technology or the way in which search engines operate.
It is most often a frustrating experience.
My intent, however, is to protect against the countless scammers and crooks who "promise the impossible" for a naive and vulnerable small-businessperson.

The claims of "First ranking in Google" are flat-out wrong. These are more incorrect than any Alternative Facts you can dream up.
Additionally, no one (regardless of how much money you pay them) can provide optimum search engine ranking instantly. It takes many months and a lot of carefully orchestrated effort to achieve the results so many businesses desire.

Without training someone on the nuances and technical details of how the web and search engines operate, it has been an impossible task to help disprove and forewarn against these [truly] outrageous claims.

However, recently I was struck with inspiration and have devised an analogy that can be applied to help explain this. Please bear with me and you may discover newfound wisdom related to the murky world of High Ranking in Google.

Allegory or Analogy, you choose

Suppose, for sake of argument, that I am a publisher of a telephone directory. Set aside the manner in which traditional Phone Books provide advertising (with 'placement' like newspapers). My book is merely a valued service for people who need to find a service provider. For this illustration let's focus on Plumbers. Everyone needs a plumber at some point in their life. And finding a good plumber can be difficult.

So, in my book I list all the plumbers available in your town. Imagine if any of the plumbers in my book could pay me a fee to have their name listed first (not alphabetic any more, but above all others). The first problem with that is that whomever can afford to pay me the most money would get the top listing. That is GREAT for me except. People would quickly stop trusting my book as a valuable source of good plumbers.

Particularly if organizations who sell faucets and dishwashers could afford to pay me even more than the richest plumber.

If I allowed money to control who and where my 'listings' were arranged the entire book would soon degrade to a useless list of "donors".

The Search Engine Dilemma

The primary responsibility of any search engine on the web is to provide us with ACCURATE results of our searches. If, as so many "Search Engine Optimization Experts" claim it was possible to pay a large fee and in a few days/weeks be TOP OF THE LIST, very soon every search you enter in Google would return a link to The Hottest Sex Site On The Internet (because the pornography sites have tons of money to spend).

The search engines are very careful and methodical about "ranking" sites based on their relation and context to the search. You and I depend on them finding exactly what we are asking for.

Caveat Emptor

The old adage continues to prove itself wise and true: "If something appears too good to be true, then it probably is".
Nothing worthwhile comes instantly. Do not be fooled by the "Snake Oil Salesman" claims of Top Ranking in Google. Honestly, only Google can promise that. But they cannot afford to simply "give it away". It must be earned. And, do not forget, whomever is on top of the hill has hundreds of competitors trying to take that position. There is no ONE-TIME and it is done in this game. It requires a constant, carefully orchestrated plan in order to achieve consistently high ranking in the search engines. And that does not come from handing over a large amount of money just once.