Newcomers to Internet Marketing may not be faced with a more daunting task than trying to figure out search engine rankings.
There seems to be no shortage of sellers who spend a great deal of time and effort trying to convince newcomers that their particular software program is the answer to generating improved rankings and more traffic to your web site.
Another offer arrived yesterday touting a new version of a top-rated Top 10 Optimizer.
I glance at the offer and do not even bother to get excited. I cautiously glance again at its message like I would confront a hungry wolverine trapped in a small corner of my attic about to protect her young from my approach.
I have been hyped so many times by sales pages on the Internet that I think I am developing attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Deep inside I feel a welling up of my inbred caution. My bulldog instinct suddenly takes over. I put on my helmet and shoulder pads, dust off my cleats, and work up my steely-eyed look that says, “Not in my house, you undersized furry punk" (like Clint Eastwood I can occasionally make my day).
And so I take the bait on the sales page, knowing a war for my thought process and my very soul may well be at stake. No matter, I am determined to be an Internet Marketer despite my fragile newcomer status.
It is time for the kick-off, I wait for the first volley, and here it comes: (Our product) allows you to immediately optimize your web pages . . .in three easy steps" followed by the more prominent claim of “3 easy steps to top 10 search engine rankings. " I cringe at the words “immediately" and “easy. "
My gut feeling is to run as fast as I can in the other direction, but I realize that would be poor sportsmanship, and so I assess the damage to my psyche as I digest the two words. And then I ask myself: Why are they selling me this software program rather than providing a service to do this for me?
I mean, really, their business is apparently search engine optimization (I think the term is SEO).
What makes me, a technically illiterate newcomer, think I have to learn all about this when it has taken them years to acquire the knowledge and expertise they have?
Every bloody aspect of making it in Internet Marketing is requiring me to overcome one learning curve after another. Anyone who knows anything about Internet Marketing apparently is not about to tell you squat (too busy raking in the money), even though all of his or her literature cries out about how they are going to help you by revealing their “secrets" and “amazing programs" no one knows about. Do not ask me to give examples.
All right, if you must: How about instant affiliate web sites that do not cost you a dime?
They tell you about how easily it is going to work (you will develop 4 to 5 streams of income within hours, or sometimes even minutes, without really doing anything).
They do not tell you that you will be spending your hard-earned money on advertising to drive traffic to their host server where they add your prospects to their sales list, allowing them to build a bigger list of subscribers to whom they sell more products while you continue to subsidize their success. They get free advertising, free prospects and free sales. You get experience when you are paying attention.
Sometimes they even steal commissions you might receive by taking the entire sale as their own. They can do this as they control the server and the process. If you generate no sales commission (as is most often the case) then you cannot even cover your advertising costs, much less make a profit.
In your fifth month you drive 825,000+ hits and 35,000+ unique visitors to their site in 30 days and get not a single sale, for the fifth consecutive month. You see thousands of dollars in investment flying out the door without a single affiliate sale and you wonder: is this going to happen in my lifetime?
Your trusty ad tracking service (another important expense) swears upon pain of death that there were 10 sales made on the sales page, but you never see the sales (they somehow disappear in cyberspace). Later, if the sales were in fact pirated, you will be thanking them for the service they have provided you (this comment will make more sense later in this article).
Back to this SEO offer, and how I can “benefit from top 10 search engine rankings on Google & Yahoo!" (The sales page copy proclaims this straight up in a fit of benevolent excitement).
I call for a timeout, go to Google, and punch in the term “Internet Marketing" and up pops the first of 94,800,000 (that is 94.8 million) responses. Now, how is this going to work for a newcomer? I buy their software, study my head off, and I am going to immediately (their term, not mine) appear in the top 10 among 94.8 million responses?
What will happen when they sell 1,000 of these software programs to 1,000 Internet Marketers whose key words are Internet Marketing?
When I put in three other keywords important to me, I get 4.4+ million responses, 17+ million responses and 9.9+ million responses. If it is so easy, why are they not doing it for me, and charging me for the service?
Logic tells me they are going to have some serious problems with about the 11th customer for each keyword (or keywords) available.
I recognize some tech head may be able to take this software program offer and do something with it, at least for awhile, but what about newcomers who have no technical knowledge or interest in learning the technical side of the business, like me?
The easy answer, of course, is to learn or to get off the Internet so serious people can do serious business without having to put up with people like you.
The cost of the software? Just $250 less a nickel for the Standard version and $450 less a nickel for the Business version. I decide to pass on both.
I guess I should be inordinately concerned about Google, Yahoo, MSN and the rest, but this is how my mind works: I could buy the software in question, spend hours and days gaining some ground in the SEO race, and never effectively compete against a guru in this area because I do not have the skill set, ability and talent to do so. Bottom line: why bother?
I need to play my game on a different field with different competitors, and that is what this newcomer is going to do: mind my own business and skill set, with the emphasis on “own. " I will invest the $250 I would have spent using my strength: writing articles.
And, by the way, could that acronym for search engine optimization (SEO) sometimes stand for scammed every opportunity?
Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley
Ed Bagley is the author of Ed Bagley's Blog, which he publishes daily with fresh, original writing intended to delight, inform, educate and motivate readers. Visit Ed at . . . http://www.edbagleyblog.com