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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Caesar's Avatar
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    I wonder if anyone out here has tried out those paid optimization services for your website. Do they really work?

    Which website's services are the best and offer the most for your buck?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Hey ya, Caesar,

    Are you talking about hiring a search engine optimization consultant, or are you talking about using the various 'Pay To Play' plans offered by places like Inktomi - GoTo.com - etc.?
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist Caesar's Avatar
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    I mean the first one.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Hey again, Ceasar,

    It really depends on who you get.

    There are a lot of companies out there that claim to be search engine optimization firms, but all they really do are offer you some modification of your meta tags and bulk submission to the engines.

    That is not search engine optimization.

    An optimization consultant will work with you over a period of time to increase your traffic - but again, the results are only as good as the consultant you get and depending upon how competative your primary keywords are you may experience different results.

    There are also numerous ways to price this type of service out. Some companies will set up a new domain for ya and charge based on click-thrus to your web site. Others will offer you a one shot optimization job. And still others will want to engage you for a period of months to in order to achieve high rankings.

    Your best bet is to just shop around. In this paticular profession, reputation goes a long way. So, if you do some research, you will be able to find someone who can suit your needs and also match your budget.

    Hope that helps.
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist Caesar's Avatar
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    Little did I know that I was talking to someone who owns a site I visit weekly. Hehe!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    We do it for a living. We also visit our competitors. most aren't worth the web space they're hosted on, much less the sometimes outrageous amounts they want. If they're expensive are they good? Not necessarily. If they're cheap can they know what they're doing? Sometimes. I recommend checking out some of their clients, and where their clients are in the rankings. Then compare the price, and it's up to you. As far as just optimizing your meta tags, that's great, but remember, the search engine criteria change on a regular basis. What worked last month may no longer work this month.
    Veesha
    Be your own ISP
    "Your One Source Web Solutions Provider"
    http://www.eDirectAmerica.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast Strider's Avatar
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    I have tried this in the past and worked with several companies over the last 3 years. I have had mixed results, some companies where able to deliver, others took a lot of money and did nothing. I would not work with another optimization company without some kind of money back guarentee.
    Brian Welch
    Web Design, Web Hosting and Ecommerce
    http://www.perfectpresence.com
    http://www.leadcrunch.com

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Hey ya Strider,

    This is also what I do for a living, and I can understand that you would like a money back guarantee. It's a perfectly understandable idea.

    However, search engine optimization is a very fluid and dynamic process. The rules change daily, and what might rank highly on one engine today might not rank highly tomorrow. And how long would I have to keep you in the top ten before we decided that I had earned the income? What if the engine changes it's algorithm. What if new sites are added to the index? Or what happens when your competition sees you are ranking highly and 'retweeks' their own code.

    For this reasons and more, I turn down every client that suggests any type of guarantee for ranking. The truth is that NOBODY can guarantee you high rankings across the board all the time unless you are trying to rank highly for some obscure keyword phrase that nobody really searches for.

    Anyway, my reason for never offering a gurantee is not because I can not deliever. (Testimonials prove that.)

    It's because usually when a client asks for a guarantee for ranking what they are usually asking for is for me to take all the risks - do all the work - and then if they are not happy after months and months of work to return all their money to them.

    Heck! LOL If I could get people to work for me like that I'd hire everyone on that basis. For that matter, I'd hire every optimization consultant that I could find to optimize my own site.

    What would I possibly have to lose?

    There may be an alternative for you, however. Under one type of arrangement for optimization the company establishes a new domain for you and they optimize that site - not yours. You then pay only for click-thrus to your site from that site.

    Note however, that they own the new domain.

    In most cases you will still encounter some up front costs, and you may be asked to pay for the hosting charges and domain registration.

    But let's think about this a bit.

    What happens when the term of your contract expires? What happens if the SEO company goes out of business?

    If your web site has become dependent on traffic from the different domain, there is nothing to stop the SEO company from doubleing or trippling your fees. And should you ever choose to release them from their contract, your (hopefully profitable) web site will soon be out of business.

    Another way is to simply pay the optimization company for increase in traffic. This can be easily measured by just analyzing your log files. But again, before a SEO consultant is going to take you on as a client in an arrangement such as this they usually have to do/think a few things.

    1) Charge you some up front administrative costs
    2) Believe that they can significantly increase your traffic
    & 3) Believe this is going to be much more profitable for them than simply getting paid on the 'per job' basis.

    The most respected SEO consultant that I know (who will remain unnamed) charges a minimum of $18,000 for a six month contract.

    That may sound exceedingly expensive - and it is. But what you get is a 'whatever it takes' agreement. And he produces the results that his customers desire.

    Does that guarantee a profit for your business?

    NO

    But it does guarantee your satisfaction with the traffic you will receive.

    Whether you are profitable or not will depend on the quality of your web site - the quality of your service - and what your click-thru to buy ratio is.

    Anyway..... I am rambling again. LOL

    Sometimes it does not help to be able to type so fast. But I hope that helps bring some perspective to this topic.

    Just like ASP programmers, SEO consultants do not work for free.
    Last edited by JK_Bowman; Feb 20, 2001 at 20:03.
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast Strider's Avatar
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    JK_Bowman

    You make some very good points and I do agree with you. I guess I am just a little gun shy from my last attempt Without getting into too many details, it was a disaster. They presented themselves as a very professional company, had a lot of testimonials, made a lot of verbal guarentees but in the end they could not deliver.
    Brian Welch
    Web Design, Web Hosting and Ecommerce
    http://www.perfectpresence.com
    http://www.leadcrunch.com

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Hey ya Strider,

    Thanks for your kind post.

    I promise that I am not trying to drum up business here. To be honest, I could not take on another client if I tried because I am so booked up.

    The main thing to look for in this biz is reputation.

    Think about this for a moment.

    If you hire a large optimization company to do your optimization, do you really think that everyone working in that company is a SEO specialist?

    Most of the large SEO companies employ clerks (which they call techs or something like that). They teach them a few skills - and then badda badda bing - everyone gets the same opt job.

    Again - that is not what I call SEO.

    This is just my own humble opinion. But if I were going to try to find a opt consultant I would surf the search engine forums that are around the web.

    There are many:
    webmasterworld.com
    searchengineforums.com
    siteowners.com
    spider-food.net/forums

    and of course
    sitepointfourms.com
    (one of my favorite forums on the web)

    I'd read the quality of the posts that were placed there and try to figure out who really knew what they were talking about and who didn't. Then, I'd contact that person via e-mail and request a quote.

    Hope that helps.
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net


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