SEO Cold Calls & Snake Oil

MarketThe first page of Google? What does that REALLY mean?


If you have had a website for any length of time you have no doubt been on the receiving end of that annoying sales call, interrupting your day, and selling you the promise of unending Internet traffic. The call usually goes something like this:

Hello, I'm Rebecca, with Search Strategies, and I notice that your website does not come up in the first page of search results.

I share an office with a website client, and she fields these calls on a regular basis. She, of course wants more traffic. So she is naturally intrigued. She listens, and she really wants the phone call to be true. The inner workings of the web and search engines is a complete mystery to most people.

Maybe the call is real. Maybe not. But how can you tell? Simple:

Flip the Script

Yes, flip the script. Now, whenever my client gets one of these calls, I sit back, listen and laugh, because by flipping the script she can uncover in seconds whether these charlatans are real. Even better, it puts the salespeople on their heels in a hilarious way. Here's how it works. When they call, say something like this:

You are an expert in Search Engine Optimization? Fantastic. Show me how it works. I'm going to search for Search Engine Optimization, and you should come up on the first page, right?

This always catches the salesperson off guard. And it is an obvious question. If they are so good at SEO, then their company must come up on the first page of results. Of course they won't come up on the first page, and their excuses will be amusing.

I definitely recommend using this approach. You will be able to determine, within mere moments, whether the company is a sham or not. If their company actually comes up in the first page of results? Hire them. If not? Tell them to take a hike!


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