I am sure you have had a million spam emails promising instant page 1 rankings on Google, they never seem to give up, and I am sure many people fall for these scam artists daily.
One interesting company I have encountered even calls you by telephone to persuade you to take their Instant Google plan for a fixed monthly fee, which sounds amazing. I had the displeasure of talking to one of their very pushy agents with a UK accent, who tried to strong arm me into taking their ‘plan’ (which sounded really dodgy), I decided to play along to find out how they operate….
Firstly they get the owner or manager on the phone and tell them their website is nowhere to be found on Google. When I was told this by the agent I was really puzzled as I get loads of traffic from Google and asked what exactly they searched for when attempting to find my site, but this information was ‘not on hand at this time’, but they are 100% sure my site is not reaching its full potential in Google and I should consider ‘Instant Google‘.
‘OK’ I said, ‘tell me EXACTLY what you are offering’…Now I obviously know a bit about SEO and Google Adsense, so I was appalled at all the inaccuracies and blatant lies in the sales pitch, but basically this is the offer…
they will place my site INSTANTLY onto page one of Google.com (ok, within 48 hours), I just need to supply them with 5 phrases that I would like my site to appear for. Now this sounds exactly like Google Adwords right….but ‘No its NOT Adwords’, and I was assured many times over that ‘this is NOT pay per click as the cost is set at R1300 + VAT’ (£25 in the UK), and it was rather ‘Sponsored Ads for a fixed monthly fee’ (subject to a R265 + VAT setup fee of course)
Wow, sponsored adverts on page one of Google for a fixed monthly fee!!! Imagine the possibilities….here I have clients spending tens of thousands monthly on Adwords, when they could be paying a fixed montly fee! (This was really starting to smell bad now!)
‘How can you charge a fixed monthly fee for PPC advertising’ I asked, ‘well’ the agent said (and you are gonna love this!) ‘Google subsidises the adverts for you, because of the world wide recession’!!, OMG, can you believe that! NO! LOL that is a blatant lie! but anyway there’s more…
Features of the Instant Google package are:
- Guaranteed 1st Page Listing
- Live within 48 hours
- Month by month arrangement
- 5 area targeted phrases for your business
- Tailor made adverts
- Price Freeze Guarantee
- No additional click charges!!
- Email Technical Support
- Keyphrase translation (additional charges apply)
Now this all sounds amazing for a fixed monthly fee right, I wish it were so easy and cost effective to advertise like this, it all sounds far too good to be true, because it absolutely is.
The BIG problem with this plan is that at no time are you told HOW MANY CLICKS you will receive for your set monthly fee. The fact is that depending on the bids of your competition, the Quality Score of your adverts, and your Click Through Rate for said adverts, and the amount of money the company actually allocates to your clicks, you may only get a few clicks for monthly fee before the budget allocated is depleted and your advert is removed. The company obviously needs to make a profit, so not all of your monthly fee is added to the campaign budget for your advert…how much is added is anyone’s guess.
So in reality your fixed monthly fee might only get you 5 clicks before the advert is removed, who knows, it all depends on the competition and the cost per click of the keywords you are targeting.
What is also dodgy, is that according to the agent, you don’t get access to your adwords account as ‘its their account and the adverts with it that is ‘subsidised’ and they are the ones with the special ‘arrangement with Google‘, but I think its probably because they don’t want you to know how much of your monthly fee is actually going to your advertising budget…not much I would guess.
You have to also ask youself, how much of your budget is going to your own adverts, is there a possibility with such a setup and the pool of funds added to that account that your budget could be used for another companies adverts…yes it could, not saying that it is, but without transparency and access to your adwords account budget, clicks and stats, you are completely in the dark.
Interestingly, after NOT signing up with this particular company for obvious reasons, I actually landed a new client who was already using their services about a month later. My client happily showed me how their advert was displaying on Google, and as a test, they clicked their own advert, after which time (to the disgust of my client) it no longer displayed on Google for their chosen phrases. LOL, luckily for me the budget allocated to the clicks for that client had been exhausted right in front of us, and I was happy to jump in, and setup a REAL Adwords account for the client. My new client then cancelled their monthly agreement with the company offering the Instant Google service, in favour of their own account, that they have full control over, managed by us on their behalf.
Now my client has full access to all their stats, can create as many adverts and choose as many key phrases as they want for their campaign, there are no limits! The client is also able to get far more mileage out of their monthly budget because they know ALL of what they put into the campaign is used exclusively for their adverts.
So strictly speaking, companies offering the Instant Google service might not be breaking any rules, but in my opinion, what they are doing is misleading people who have no idea what Adwords is and how it works.
The client I got honestly believed their site was simply bumped to the top of ORGANIC search results, and had no idea what Adwords was all about. The client thought that their site would feature at the top of page one 24hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as they paid their fixed monthly fee, regardless of clicks, this is simply NOT true.
According to Google (View here):
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.
For another account of the same type of practice, check out SEO Scotland who had a similar bad experience.
If you want your website to rank well on Google, get a professional company to show you ALL the options available to you, and do some research before signing anything. I can recommend Gotaclick because I am associated with them, check out SEO Cape Town