RANT: Dumb Search Terms, But HEY you Are #1 on Google

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Strategic Internet Marketing Consultant

I don't usually post rants, but this is such a common scam that I just had to post a recent email I received this morning from one of my long time clients. I have left out the name of the client and the name of 'the guy' that approached her to sell her a blog because it isn't the point to attack anyone in particular here or embarrass my client. She shouldn't be embarrassed anyway, because this is a really convincing scam.

 

I am going to summarize for clarity, but basically her email was:

 

Hey Cheryl, check this out. This 'guy' is going to build me a blog for $300 and get me #1 on Google overnight. [link to 'this guy'].

 

My Answer... (i.e. my rant)

 

Considering that he is using a common scam to sell you a blog… yeah.. no.. don’t buy a thing from him...

 

I can put up a blog right now for ‘yourtown florida buy houses 34999’ and get #1 too.. for that matter I can put a blog up for ‘this is the most common scam ever 12345’ and get #1 overnight… but the problem therein lies that NO ONE is entering search terms in that order… its cool to be #1… but who cares if it’s NOT something that people search for.. I don’t personally know the guy nor have I heard of him… but I just hate people that say ‘I can get you #1’ on dumb search terms

 

Heres proof… go to https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer

 

Enter in anytown anystate buy houses [ZIPCODE]

 

Now… at position #1 you get 42% of all traffic searching for that term… let's look at how many people are searching for that term …. none… and how much traffic is 42% of none… well… none… so how much traffic will I get you if I create a blog with that search term… um… you got it… none…

 

BUT hey… you will be #1 for $300

 

 

SURPRISE... 

while I was writing this rant, my client actually had 'this guy' call me on my cell phone to 'explain' what he would do for my client... after about 3-4 minutes of listening to a one-way sales pitch he asks, "are you still there". Wow, i guess it was my turn. So, i ask him... "What search terms are you trying to sell to my client for position #1" and he replied 'anytown anystate buy houses [ZIPCODE]' (and three other dumb search terms). I politely explained that we were not interested in buying 42% of zero traffic for $300. Then after my face came back to a normal color I came back to finish this rant. That just aggravates me.

 

The point of all of this is this: Be CAREFUL out there. 'This guy' is just like many 'other guys' out there. Now, I dont expect you to know right off the top of your head which search terms are bogus. I do this everyday so I just 'know' when something sounds like a zero traffic term. But, It only takes a few seconds to go over to a tool like https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal 

 

Just click on that link, enter 'that guys'search terms and check out not only the potential traffic for your selected key phrase but also other suggested key phrases that might be a better fit.

 

You can also click on the traffic estimator and see exactly how much traffic a key-phrase would attract. Take that number and multiply it by .42 to get an idea of how much traffic a potential site would receive at the number one position. 

 

Then you can politely tell 'that guy', "Thank you, but I don't want to buy 42% of zero traffic for $300."

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Show All Comments
Rainer
143,700
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

HI Cheryl,

Thank you for exposing this kind of scam. I've seen it happen to a few people.

March 22, 2012 09:27 AM #1
Rainmaker
163,543
Cheryl Waller
Strategic Internet Marketing Consultant - Vero Beach, FL

Hi Victor,

You are very welcome. Its sad that its out there... but it is... just rubbed me the wrong way this morning and well... my therapy for the day has been posted... lol

March 22, 2012 09:35 AM #2
Rainmaker
152,352
Ginny Lee
Americas Best Agents, Inc/Premiere Plus Realty, Inc - Naples, FL
CRS, Realtor, CDPE & ASP,Americas Best Agent,Naple

Thanks Cheryl,

That is why I always hire you to do everything for me because you know what you are doing...You are the BEST!

March 22, 2012 09:37 AM #3
Rainmaker
163,543
Cheryl Waller
Strategic Internet Marketing Consultant - Vero Beach, FL

Thanks Ginny! You are the BEST as well ;)

March 22, 2012 09:52 AM #4
Rainmaker
373,283
Morris Massre
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Pembroke Pines, FL
Realtor Broward County Florida

I get the same thing all the time too.  But a lot of boneheads in my office fall for it.

March 22, 2012 10:30 AM #5
Rainmaker
163,543
Cheryl Waller
Strategic Internet Marketing Consultant - Vero Beach, FL

Hi Morris,

Unfortunately thats what gives the entire industry a bad name. I always cringe when someone says to me "I had 'this guy' build me a blog and ___[ENTER BAD EXPERIENCE HERE]________" Its really more common than people think. sigh....

March 22, 2012 12:01 PM #6
Rainmaker
702,359
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Wildwood, MO
SelectAnn.com

Cheryl,

But I am number one.....for $300 so what is the problem?

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

March 22, 2012 08:58 PM #7
Ambassador
1,855,777
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
International Properties and Investments LLC - Wellington, FL
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale

Hi Cheryl, while I agree that this guy does not know what he is doing and those particular search words are not what searchers use  I disagree that all search terms that are under the radar and do not show up are bad search terms. 

Google only reports searches over 24. So the search terms depend on commercial intent rather than search volume. I certainly do not want to rank #1 for Florida Real Estate because those leads do not even know where in this big state they want to live and are too far out in the search process to warrant us chasing them as leads. 

However someone who is searching for a particular neighborhood to buy in or a seller searching for a short sale agents, those searches will show up on adwords tool as zero searches yet we get calls every week from those searches and I know that because sellers will tell me exactly what they typed into the search box and even read it right from their search screen. Google says there is no search for Port St Lucie short sale agents ( we don't rank #1 anymore for that term) but in 2008 and 2009 every single listing we had in Port St Lucie was from that term- they found our AR blog and called us. The same for every other short sale agent geo specific term we go after. 

The commercial intent of the words are much more important to me than volume of search. We rank #1 for a particular keyword that google says has no search yet I build a website based on that term and we have so far put one $800,000 buyer under contract, one $1.6 million dollar buyer under contract and got a listing in that price and have another call this week for the same search for another buyer Nestor is taking out on Monday for $1.2 million. But that is OK, agents don't need to go after these terms because I want to rank for them:) 

Also, google is changing and is removing almost ALL local search data. So it is hard to judge keyword search based on local search which agents really need to use to get the high quality buyers and sellers.  We no longer trust Google's search tools. Katerina 

 

March 23, 2012 07:09 PM #8
Rainmaker
163,543
Cheryl Waller
Strategic Internet Marketing Consultant - Vero Beach, FL

Hi Katerina, 

Thank you for your well thought out comment. I do agree with you on many points. 

The point of this post (er rant) was the scam itself. Most real estate agents don't hear anything but 'you will be #1 on google'. The'guy' on the other end of the phone doesnt care if he gets you any traffic, he doesnt care that it does not have commercial intent, he doesnt care about anything but your $300 in his bank account. Agents bite. And no, not all low traffic terms are dumb, some are golden little nuggets as part of a well rounded plan, but 'this guy' isnt calling you for 'port saint lucie short sale agent' hes calling you with 'port saint lucie florida buy houses 34953'. You understand a bit about seo, so im pretty sure you would hang up. Other agents might pull out their credit card.

It doesnt make the real estate agent any less intelligent, their profession is real estate. They don't know. Just like if my house was in pre-foreclosure and I received one of those scam letters in the mail and fell for it... i wouldnt know as a homeowner that it was a scam. I might pull out my credit card and pay $300 for the 'chance' to save my house. An agent may pay $300 for the 'chance' to get a sale. But in both instances the scam artist doesnt give two hoot-nannies what happens to you... they have your $300... $200... $125 or whatever you paid... they are already on the phone with their next 'seo victim'...

as for local search data, yes trends (historical search data), correct. But remember that while it supplies search data, the google keyword tools is for ... well ... adwords.. PPC... pay-per-click... they want you to pay for those words... the less specific they get, the more money you will spend, if they take that local historical data out then then local businesses only have the 'big pocket' historical statistics to place their bids on... without getting too 'conspiracy theory' on this one... let me just say there are other many tools.. google keywords is NOT an end-all research tool and should never be used that way.. its like trying to fix your engine with a #2 phillips & a hammer... organic seo is strategic and requires a complete tool chest... do the research... spend the time to lay out a plan... watch analyze repeat.. 

ps... keep up the good work! love the fact that you zeroed in on your seo.. keep watching those incoming search terms on your analytics ;)

 

 

March 24, 2012 12:24 PM #9
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Rainmaker
163,543

Cheryl Waller

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