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Today I've been provided with yet more proof that the SEO industry desperately needs a governing body, capable of protecting clients from unscrupulous scammers who make ridiculous and misleading claims.
One of I-COM's clients, The Smile Centre, has been contacted by a company whose salesperson firstly claimed to be a 'Google Affiliate' internet marketer with the ability to GUARANTEE a first page listing for the firm's website, and secondly claimed to be able to get The Smile Centre on page one of Google for the keyword 'dentures' for just £149 a month.
To debunk the first claim, I'll simply quote Google's webmaster guidelines: 'Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, (or) allege a "special relationship" with Google'. Google does not associate itself with SEO or PPC firms, nor does it promote individual firms.
The second claim, that a first page listing for the keyword 'dentures' can be achieved for £149 a month, is laughable. I-COM is currently managing a PPC campaign for The Smile Centre for this keyword, and even with a high quality score, the cost can be in excess of £4,000 a month!
On its website, the online marketing company in question goes out of its way to mislead potential clients, including a logo that is closely modelled on Google's own and a website that talks about organic SEO when the only way you can guarantee a 1st page listing within 48 hours is through use of PPC techniques. Even then it would have to be a very uncompetitive keyword (meaning no-one is searching for it) to only cost £149 a month.
Businesses are constantly being scammed out of their hard-earned cash by just this kind of 'online marketing' firm, which go out of their way to present the internet as a fast, easy and cheap way to increase profits. The fact is, internet marketing is hard work - but done properly it can present businesses with a fantastic ROI.
If an offline marketing company rang you up and told you that they could guarantee you an advert on the front page of every newspaper in the country for £149 a month, would you believe them? Absolutely not, so don't believe idiots like this.
Google is aware of the dubious claims being made by this company's sales team, and is looking in to the matter. In the meantime - beware unscrupulous marketing online marketing companies!
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.