I live in an area prone to flooding. Last night there was a warning issued and we were to be lashed by high winds with massive amounts of rainfall.
Myself and my neighbour discussed sand bags two days ago. Having early warning is vital. I prepared to move everything in the house to waist height.
Sure enough the winds started to pick up last night. The rain came with the winds and it was cold enough for it to turn to sleet. I went to bed wondering what the morning would bring.
This morning I couldn’t believe it. After battling my way through the sand bags (which had been deployed by councils in other parts of the coastline) I was confronted with what can only be described as mild puddling. How could Met Eireann (Irish weather service) have got it that that wrong?
After the build up it was a real let-down. It did bring to mind how people must feel when promised the earth by us SEO’s though. DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE about SEO. It can change your websites profile hugely. But when people start to build up what they can do for you to biblical proportions, it is probably time to start ignoring them. It is all too easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of vague promises.
The truth is that like the winds that circle our planet there are so many parameters for SEO to be taken into consideration that giving really accurate predictions is about as likely as Met Eireann getting the weather right. As an SEO the best you can do is say that there is a probability of an event happening. This ability to predict a probability based on actions results from experience. It does not take into consideration what will happen as a result of those actions in 6 months time. That is because the playing field will have changed by then. Will it effect your actions now? Maybe. Maybe it will in a positive way and maybe in a horrifically tsunami like negative way.
So how do you protect yourself? How do you differentiate between inaccurate forecasts and accurate ones? Standards, that’s how. The SEO consultant who tells you that he / she can’t guarantee you will get results, but that there is a likelihood based on past experience gets my first vote. They get the contract if they also say that they will only operate within Googles guidelines. If they also show you where to find those guidelines and are open about what they are going to do then you have found yourself a responsible SEO.
If on the other hand they keep their processes secret, will not talk in plain english to you and promise you the earth… well then break out your sandbags!