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Search Engine Specialists? Maybe, Maybe Not!

By Chris Small
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

We've all seen the ads for Search Engine placement services or training courses on how to get a top 20 listing for your site. They tease and tantalize with very logical sounding theory. We read of how their research has turned up some startling new revelations about a new Search Engine algorithm . Some of them will even post testimonials from previous clients telling how well their site fared after getting a top placement from xyzplacements. Blah, blah, blah....

There is only one criteria that will prove their claims.

That is the CURRENT ranking of their own website in the various Search Engines.

There is a lot to learn on the subject. Each engine treats their rankings differently. Just because your page lists high on one Search Engine doesn't mean that it will get a good listing on a different one. In fact, quite the contrary. A Webmaster can't possibly keep up with the unending changes to the ranking wars all by themselves. The services of skilled and knowledgeable Search Engine specialists have never been more important.

Just a few days ago I read what looked like a very well researched and informative article about Search Engine placements.

I was excited! Finally, someone who knew what the heck they were talking about. Of course I immediately went to her site and found even more compelling copy. WOW! Where do I sign? For only $75 I can get an 84 page report that shows me how to properly prepare my site for top 20 listings.

I was just about to place the order when a thought occurred to me. In the article, this author talked a lot about link popularity, having other sites link back to yours. Hmmmm, might be worth a little trip to the AddMe site popularity service (

What did I find?

Zero links back to her own marketing site. Wait minute, there must be some mistake here. Maybe this isn't a page that she shares links with - even though that was one of her strongest points. Tried another page on the site. This one was a little better, 103 links. And another, and another... All with similar or worse results.

Gosh, most sites easily get twice that many links without even trying. Well, I thought, maybe this isn't fair to her. The real test is where her page ranks in the Search Engines. So I looked at the meta tags that had been placed in the source code of the main page. Lots of good key words there. I took some of them and went to the Search Engines.

Guess what?

None of the key words in the Meta tags brought this site up in the top 30 listings.

As was so clearly stated in the article that this great webmaster had written, "if your web page is not in the top 10 to 20 listings you might as well not be listed at all".

Why on earth would we want to spend 75 bucks on a report that is written by someone who either doesn't practice what they preach, or is out and out lying to us?

Now don't misunderstand me. There are certainly some very knowledgeable people who understand the search engines very well. Just make sure that you put them to the test BEFORE you send them your money.

About the Author
Chris Small is a cyber entrepreneur and host of the very successful ( You may contact him at


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