The Myth of Search Engine Optimization
And how to REALLY get on the First Page of Google - by Lunchtime.
by Jeffrey Dobkin
It was a dark night, as most are. On the 12th of January, my internet
connection on the phone said to meet him at the Apollo Diner, a greezy spoon
in the Vietnamese section of the Italian neighborhood in the French quarter.
"Sit at the table closest to the bathroom in the back." he said flatly. I
could only suspect... he had a bladder problem.
I followed his instructions taking the table closest to the unkempt brown
stained mahogany doors marked "His" "Her's" and "Unsure," of which I was a
bit unsure about myself. Which is unusual, as I am unusually sure about
myself; most of the time, to be sure. But this time, I wasn't so sure.
He said on the phone to bring "Three Large," and he would get me onto the
first page of Google. Before I could ask what and how large, he disconnected
and left me speaking into a dial tone. It was like being married again, but
having less to clean up - especially after a double-bucket night of Kentucky
Fried Chicken. Or KFC as they like to be called now, since "fried" stuff has
such a bad image. Yes, it's much healthier now that it's called KFC.
I'll be Frank with you, although the rest of my friends call me Jeff. Not
everyone can be on the first page of Google. Or the second, third or fourth
pages either. And if you make it to the fifth page, well... who cares. No
one searches to the fifth page anymore - those days are gone... quit living
in the past. The Internet, it turns out, is the home of the Short
Attention-Span Theater. No one reaches the fifth page on a search. They type
in a new search term and search again.
So all the thousands of SEO articles you've read? Yep, just so much blah
And to all the hundreds of thousands of people and firms trying for the
first pages of the search engines: Bah, Humbug: did you really believe in
those myths - and that they could get you there? Except for the first 40
firms who actually placed, you've wasted your time and money. You could have
sent that money to me and it would have been better spent. Well, better for
But wait, there's more...
Now that you know the myth about SEO, and that SEO doesn't really matter all
that much, what does matter? Well, the fact that my secretary has the
softest blond hair and pale blue eyes seems to matter. She reminds me of my
wife. In fact every time I get a little too close to her she reminds me of
my wife. But here's what does matter in online marketing, what you can do to
be effective, and how to actually get on the first page of Google.
So, when SEO doesn't matter, what matters most: PPC. Pay Per Click.
Advertising at it's best. Taking over the number one slot from brightly
colored packaging at the grocery store, and the number two slot of the
yellow pages as advertising at the most appropriate moment.
1. What matters is a wise selection of keywords. This brings focused,
targeted traffic to the specific pages of your reader's interest. Your ads
appear to those interested parties who are ready to buy. Well, in theory
2. Compelling ads = a good number of quality inquiries.
The better the ad, the better the response, and for the best written ads: a
more focused the audience. The best ads = the maximum number of inquiries
from the highest quality of inquirers.
3. Good testing. Real time online testing is fast and easy. The
ability to test in real time is what makes web marketing so efficient. In
traditional mailings we wait for the mail to be delivered, opened, filled
out - then wait for the response to dribble in over the coming weeks. The
Internet? Test in hours, even test in minutes. Rapid testing yields to a
faster ramp-up to higher quality ads, placements, inquiries and conversion
Don't forget: Split testing, optimization tools, bid management, keyword
ranking, geo targeting, day parting, copy testing, PPC optimization and
Like so much ga ga, these tests are for the big guys. I guess we'd all do
this if we had money to burn, of if we could hire some of those geeky guys
that we made fun of in high school. Yea, they're getting us back, now -
aren't they? Like the Native Americans. We bought Manhattan for 24 bucks,
and now they own every casino in America. They're paying us back, too...
aren't they. 25 dollar tables on a Saturday night. Where's the love in that?
4. Great landing pages. The more exciting your site, the more likely
visitors will stay.
5. Sticky web sites. The more time people stay on your site, the more
likely they will become a customer. Your customer.
6. The best offers. Give visitors exposure to your good, better and
best offers. Driving people deeper into your site = greater conversion.
7. Drive phone calls. Call me old fashioned, but I like all the above
to... drive visitors, customers and prospects to a phone call. Unless your
website closes everyone, every time - I'd offer a big phone number on every
page. Then YOU close customers.
Hauh! Phone calls! Remember them. It's the old marketing part of me that
just won't let go. Like the free love of the 60's, the music from the 70's,
drinking and driving - some things you just never grow out of.
With live customer contact you can get a real vision of what customers like,
what they want, what they like about you, your site, your products, your
company. Find out if there's a problem with ordering: colors, products,
delivery. You can find out why they left your site without placing an order
last time. And you can show them a real side of great customer service. Just
ask Verizon or Comcast. OK, maybe those weren't such good examples.
It was getting late at the Apollo Diner when a thin, tallish dark-haired,
fair-skinned blondish fat man carrying a small brown bag under his arm
approached me while I sat next to the bathrooms. "Hey," he said, his eyes
darting around the room. "Anybody using that?" nodding towards the doors.
"Which one?" I answered without looking up. He was unsure so I pointed to
that one, saying it was free for $2.00 donation, when he blurted-out under
his breath, "Did you bring the three large?"
I always thought I'd be cool under pressure, but I froze, staring down at my
half empty cup of coffee. Or was it half full?
It was Markus Allen. You know, the original, lives in Lancaster PA, geeky "I
wrote my whole website in HTML code," Internet guru who runs his whole site
from just a Mac Mini affixed to a 23-inch Apple monitor. "Did you bring it?"
he reinforced. "Yea." I said, still not knowing what he was referring to.
"OK," he continued. "Here's how to get on the first page of Google." He was
speaking ever so quietly now as he said "Google" as if they were listening,
as if they were everywhere. I leaned over and listened intently.
"Find a forum that gets indexed by Google every 15 minutes.
Next, post a subject line with your keyword phrase mixed in with one of
these powerful words: Advantage, Fast, Gain, Guaranteed, Help, How-to, Lose,
Solve, These, Truth, Tips, Trust, Amazing, Results.
For example: The truth about direct marketing strategies.
When posting a message, use your keyword phrase twice...
once in the first sentence of your post and in the last sentence of your
And here's another important part -- you need other forum members to keep
the post alive by replying to the original post, so end your post with a
For example: Do you agree with me here?
Ending with a question subconsciously triggers the forum members to reply...
and when they reply, your post remains on the main index page -- ultimately
picked up by Google's crawlers."
"You can get to the top page... within the hour," he looked around and under
his breath, almost whispered, "on Google." "It may only last a day or two,
but you're on the top, the top of the first page..." he said with a smile,
his last words began trailing off as he now stared at the front door of the
Just then the diner door burst open and four men in black sweatshirts with
the word Google across their chest rushed in and headed directly back
towards our table. Markus stared at me with a troubled look on his face as
he sprang up in a well rehearsed move and pushed open the door marked
"Unsure" and went in, the door slamming behind him.
The men - not 5 seconds later - rushed right past me and into the same room,
coming back out almost immediately and without saying a word, and left the
diner. A few moments went by and I slowly got up and pushed open the door
marked "Unsure." There was nothing. No other door. No window. And no Markus.
As I stood there shocked, I noticed a tiny strip of paper on the floor the
size of a fortune in a fortune cookie, that simply said
http://www.marketing-ideas.org/The-Secrets. It was Markus Allen's site.
I slipped it into my pocket and left.
That's why all the SEO articles you read are just Blah Blah Blah... and
don't mean anything. And that's how you really get on the first page of...
uhh... shhh... Google.
If you're struggling with poor response from your direct marketing campaign,
you can solve this problem and get guaranteed help; gain an advantage fast -
and get amazing results by reading practical how-to marketing tips.
Immediately increase your phone calls - and customers - read articles you
can trust by Jeffrey Dobkin.
About the Author:
Jeff Dobkin is a speaker and a marketing consultant (marketing plans, pr,
market strategy, plan analysis: audits and review, media review) who happens
to be an amazing writer (corporate literature, articles, brochures, ads,
collateral, annual reports, technical material), specializing in
direct-selling print and web (DR Ads, catalogs, TV scripts, web copy) and
direct marketing material (letters, direct mail, mailing packages brochures,
catalogs, web copy and did I mention post cards?) He's also pretty darn good
at analyzing catalogs, ads and campaigns and direct mail packages. He has
written over 250 articles and 5 books on direct marketing. He can be reached
at 610-642-1000. Visit
DanielleAdams.com for some of his other articles.