I wrote before about the inherent conflicts of both Google and Microsoft potentially owning firms that do search marketing. Since Microsoft is now back on track to join Google in doing this, I can’t help myself. Let’s have some fun.
From a future Google help page (apologies to the existing help page):
What’s an SEO? Does Google recommend working with companies that offer to make my site Google-friendly?
SEO is an abbreviation for "search engine optimizer." Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners. However, a few unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.
While Google doesn’t have relationships with any SEOs …. wait a minute …. ah, yes, we do. We recommend you use us! Especially if we send you a message like this:
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…"
We’re Google. We know if you’re not listed, and we can fix it. Here are some more tips.
- No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google (except, you know, us).
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. Only Google Search Marketing (BETA) has a special relationship.
- Choose wisely.
While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who simply paid a lot more money than we did to buy another firm.
- Be sure to understand where the money goes.
While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. We can help sell you some of these.
Or a future Microsoft help page (drawn from within here):
About site optimization services
You may be able to improve your site’s ranking with site optimization services. These are available through a number of search engine optimization companies. Microsoft Small Business Center offers site optimization services. Wait, we closed those. But we’ve got a big new company that does it for large firms. Try that.
Make sure that you check the reputation of any company you approach to perform this type of service. While optimization services may improve your site’s results, using an optimization service does not guarantee inclusion in the Live Search index or an increase in your site’s ranking in search results. Except if you use ours. They sit right next to us — rankings? No problem!
From my inbox, sometime next year (apologies to Matt):
Subject: News – You’ve just been Lived
All search engines cracked.
We can send your web site to the top of Microsoft Live legitimately before Christmas and keep it there.
Yes I mean the top.
Give me up to 20 keywords and the URL of your site and we will switch Microsoft Live on and another 40 top engines to deliver immeasurable keyword targeted surfers to your web site to join and buy from you.
This works for replica sites, affid, php and asp and also joining and opt-in pages belonging to programs.
For each of your 20 keywords your site is guaranteed to appear at the top of Microsoft Live. After all, we work for them. Or they work for us.
Something else from my inbox in the future:
We would like to add your site to our online directory, by placing a link to it in our site http://www.google.com. In return; we would like you to link back to our client’s our site.
This exchange will create one way links to both our sites, which is beneficial from SEO point of view. This link will remain active as long as the requested link back is active on your site.
Please mail us your link Title, URL & Description & we will immediately place a link to your site on http://www.google.com. Please place a link back to our clients’s site using the information below….
OK, both Performics (part of DoubleClick, being purchased by Google) and Avenue A | Razorfish (part of aQuantive, being purchased by Microsoft) are firms with excellent reputations that aren’t sending out spam mails. Let me be clear about that. And I’m sure there would be some church-and-state divide if both firms stay part of Google and Microsoft. But it ain’t happening. It doesn’t look right; it doesn’t feel right.