All About Content

Paid Posting: Advertising Dollars Not Well Spent

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Generally I have a policy about not doing paid postings for sites or services with which I’m not familiar. However, last week one of the paid blogging networks I belong to sent me a link to a website so atrocious that I can’t help but post about them and why I hope you don’t give them your business.

(The terms of the service don’t require that I write something positive, only that I mention the link 3 times. However, even if they decide not to pay me at all for this negative posting, I think there’s some value in doing a site evaluation.)

The owner of the site explains that after 9 months in the Google Sandbox, http://www.searchengineoptimizationtoronto.com/ is ready for prime time. The marketing pitch on the homepage (highlighted to draw extra attention to it) is such:

we trust ourselves to optimize your site to be search engine friendly and save no means to drive you a descent [sic] amount of targeted traffic.

Unfortunately, I don’t trust this SEO company to get anywhere near any of my sites, despite the promise:

“We are so clear and ethical in our SEO practice, and we will definitely do useful things for your site includes adding useful content to your site…”

Besides absolutely butchering the English language, other issues I see with the site itself are:

  • Bad, table-based depricated code used for layout, despite style sheets being defined on every page. Not that code load is a huge issue on a site this small, but the code for each page is probably more than 5 times as long as it actually needs to be. Looks like a classic case of Used-FrontPage-itis.
  • Misplaced tags (meta tags residing outside the HEAD tags). Again, having a site not validate isn’t exactly a death sentence, but on a site this simple and small (and one built by a professional SEO no less) there’s no excuse for that.
  • No use of H1’s and H2’s to define the hierarchy of the content (again, despite the fact that all of these are defined in the in-page CSS, AND the fact that the pages actually do use headings that are defined with “bold” tags)
  • The one page that actually looks like someone spent more than 5 minutes on it total — the plan comparison chart — appears to have been stolen almost line-for-line from another website.

I could go on, but I’m a little disheartened that I just keep finding more things that would have been caught by the most cursory pre-launch QA. I’m a LOT disheartened by how even less attention seems to have been paid to simple proofreading. The site’s writer needs to take his own advice to heart: “So I need to remind every web master and all seo people that seo is a matter of good content.” Yes, it is. And this, sadly, is an example of content that does not inspire any confidence.

I can forgive non-native speakers who struggle with the language, and I can forgive lay people who don’t know the first thing about code, but I cannot recommend any SEO who can write neither a complete sentence nor the most basic HTML.

Comments (1)

Category: Paid Content

1 Comment

Comment by Jez

Made Sunday, 14 of January , 2007 at 9:51 pm

I recently read the dummies guide to SEO, one of the quotes regarding SEO companies was:

“Theres a lot of snakeoil out there”

Guess that pretty well sum’s up these guys/girls.

The English is amusing 🙂

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