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Telling Customers about Time it takes to Rank

being honest about expectations



1:34 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I could once easily predict how long it would take for their new site to start ranking in Google. There was a predictable cycle. Generally, within 2-3 months they could count on having their site indexed and even ranking for things like their company name or unique product. Now I don't know what to tell them. Here are a few comments I have made to customers recently:

1) "Honestly, it is going to be at least a year for you to see any decent results unless you purchase Google Adwords. Google is pretty much a Pay Per Click search engine now, unless you've been around for a year or more."
2) "I realize it has been 6 months and you have spent over $20,000 on your site. Unfortunately, no amount of money is going to make you rank in the "pure" results. I sincerely apologize for telling you that I thought it would be 2-3 months. I was wrong."
3) "You are asking when your site will start making money? I have no clue, because there is this mysterious "sandbox effect" going on at Google. I know my answer sounds like "smoke and mirrors", but I mean this sincerely, and I don't know how long it will take for things to change."
4) "I'm very disappointed that you have decided to stop using my services and instead are now using spamtheseachengines.com. I've tried to market your site using knowledge I've gained with over 6 years of experience, and unfortunately there is a major delay in seeing the results that I expected. I still believe you are going to benefit, even though spamthesearchengines.com is going to get all the credit."

What are you telling your customers?


11:35 pm on Sep 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That's not true. I am in travel indusctry, watching on mostly two words phrases. Google Serp are sill better than Yahoo and MSN results. By the way, Yahoo has many spam sites in its Serp.

hehe :)
sure, SRs for queries such as "online casino","mortgage quote" etc definitely will have no crap :)
but try to type any non-commercional keyword, or not so "popular" keyword :)
as for me, i like to use adult keywords for SRs quality tests. and i can tell you, that they are 99% full of #*$!. even not spammy #$%^ (anyway adult spam as well as gambling spam leads to real content), but useless #$%^. such as messageboards, blogs, etc.

okay, okay.
i can understand that crappy results for keyword "online casino" will give more hits to AdWords, but also those crappy results for keyword "my favorite dog's photo" (with it's AdWords for Gift Baskets :) ) will be totally useless. so who needs this? there are tonns of keywords that are really useless for PPC (i will not pay even $0.01 for keyword "aaz's homepage".

and at last.
i'm almost sure that owners of google are just working for money, and they don't care problems of "average SEO" or "average user" :)

[edited by: eelixduppy at 6:01 am (utc) on Feb. 18, 2009]


8:02 am on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Everyone knows that organic listings have a real life time. As a result people are spamming/affiate/whitelabelling for their lives.

In the same way the Viagra cash cow got culled when PPC engines stopped allowing people to bid on the brand keyword, the lifetime of traditional organic listings is limited.

Just as the definition of cloaking should be changed to include "hidden text". So too the definition of "spam" has become equally hybrid.

I could build an affiliate site that has thousands of pages. Each one being targeted to a specific keyword to deliver to a specific page and that is targeted optimisation, Or it is targeted spam, Or is it just a programmer having a bit of fun at the weekend?

At the end of all this, I just feel sorry for the small businesses that sell mass products , because some of the affiliate/price-comparison portals know a thing or two about optimisation, and they've also got the budgets to ride the PPC wave!

I did a small study for a range of top hotels and the rates that could be found for a 5 night stay across the search engines. It won't surprise any of you to know that in nearly all cases the best rate for the stay was found on the hotels own website. Some of the affiliate sites were almost 200% more expensive. The guy looking for the best price on his computer is not going to do the research so he'll just see the "guarantee" on the sites. Which pretty much means nothing.

Niche markets should still be prosperous though.

Moooo, bye bye little guy.



10:43 am on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

depends on what the client will let you do i guess, I still get rankings within in 72 hours from registering the domain and uploading the content.

I guess you need to ask the client Low Risk Marketing or High Risk Marketing.



11:56 am on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And what kind of search phrases you want to be found for.


12:57 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's never been easier to rank pages in Google than it is right now.

Watcher of the Skies

12:58 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's my question:

For Google purposes, would you rather own...

A.) An 18-month old domain, that you've just started to link in.


B.) A 4-month old domain, that you've been linking in continually for four months.


1:29 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's never been easier to rank pages in Google than it is right now.

What a LOAD. I think the correct statement would have been:

"It's never been easier to spam google then it is right now".

Those taking the time to actually BUILD a site with unique content/no linkfarms, etc., are DEFINITELY playing much more of a waiting game.


2:04 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

{That's not true. I am in travel industry, watching on mostly two words phrases}
nobody search 2 KW ,in my topic (travel as well) SERPS with 2 KW are just a c$%^&p ,but in 3 KW are the best ,let me tell you one think my friend .Google is not a single SEO guy ,Google is a zillion company there algo I presume must be a result after of thousands of interviews on everyday users ....lets say ....if you want to travel and book a cheap hotel in widget ...tell us hoe you will put your search in a SE.Before you target key words you must question your self or hire people to go door to door and get random statistics about how web users will make there search in the web for a targeted product or service you offer, times are change, hard times being a SEO...hmmm,i am not and I work for nobody as a seo, but, those gents they want to hire seo's they must interview them and find out if they have a knowledge about sociology and statistics ,that means a global knowledge about commerce and what the customer wants and how the customer will search for it in a SE,SEO is not just send emails to PR6+ pages asking for links, those times are gone forever, you can have the best one way links if you have dozens of old pages with high PR,new pages and new domains based on search engine optimizer that he can't administrate a minimum of 30 pages belong to him ,I believe bitter reality is that the company will only loose money, I know many guys here they will hate me but that's a truth and everyone knows that except the customers who slowly will realize that the only way to show there face in the web is due adwords or SM ,unfortunately ,I believe that's the future.


2:15 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I still get rankings within in 72 hours from registering the domain and uploading the content.
Thanks for bringing us the sandbox.


2:34 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

(I still get rankings within in 72 hours from registering the domain and uploading the content)
hmmm...its a small extravaganca there?rankings in page 100003?


3:59 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It is *not* easier for new sites to rank well in G than it has ever been, nor is it easier for new sites to spam G than it has ever been. But, both things are possible. The fact that many have not been able to get past the so-called sandbox (i.e., algo) does not mean that it is not being done.

As far as what to tell customers, it goes back to the same things that always resurface after a big shake up or when times get tough. If you're in for the long term, make a balanced, well organized plan that includes (but is not limited to) paid marketing channels. If you're in it for the short term, and/or if spamming is a larger part of your strategy, be very clear that it's a high risk, but potentially high reward, aproach. Either way, build diversity into your plans.


4:19 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

george123 nah top 5, if you can't find a hole get a spade and make one, thats what I say.



6:42 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Link fatigue? Dinosourus ruling the serps?
My established site is referal % as follows:
No referal - 23.4
Google - 16.4
Yahoo and MSN both at 2.8 each
Balance mostly domain pages, direct entry, and return bookmarks.
On a % of search engines basis it is:
Google 51.4%
MSN 11.8%
Yahoo 9.8
google.ca 5
google.uk 3.1
I would still like to work on link pop, the site is not a static dino. Strategy: providing a public service info site related, but separate domain that gives out free valuable content and info with no sales or banners. It will link back to the comercial site as "sponsored by" , and thereby act as a PR funnel for the commercial site. It's a lot of work. Then chase the back links of the dino funnel sites and persuade them to convert over to link unilaterally to the new funnel site. With all the link-fatigue going on it will take a substantial effort, starting with identifying additional sites to approach. / T


4:38 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My report:

I read the first 3 or 4 pages of this thread on saturday and was terrified, because we're about to launch a big site which WILL ( :) ) earn me big bucks over the next few years.

I got back from my parents on monday, made a small site on tuesday and linked it from my existing site (PR 4, 66 backlinks showing up in google). I just checked today. New domain is indexed, cached version dated 21.09 (wednesday).


4:54 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

> New domain is indexed, cached version dated 21.09 (wednesday).

No one is having trouble getting sites spidered, indexed, or cached. The problem is the rankings for phrases.


5:09 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

That is our problem exactly. Going on since March.


5:26 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After 2 weeks, with a new customer owning a 5 y.o. site, we can see huge changes on MSN and Yahoo and only small, but quite visible changes in Googles index.

It's quite striking that all the techniques that used to be really successful on Google now seem to work much better for other SEs.

Now. This client is one of those deals where I get payed when showing results. On G and MSN. I'm still telling them we will get there though. ...just give it a few more weeks...

However, with another, much larger site that is allso almost exactly 5 years old it takes a couple of days to rank as #1 for new pages with relatively attractive keywords.


12:41 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google - search for 'pensions' or 'pension companies'. I expect to get pension companies... Prudential etc. Couldn't find it anywhere in the results (actually I got bored looking through page after page of results containing boring reports about how some pension fund is doing bad etc.) Google used to be really good, I am shocked at how bad they have become. I used to use altavista until this very same kind of thing happened, and moved to google. Someone very shortly is going to outgoogle google.
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