SEO Services: Is it Legit? Part 1

How to Tell When SEO Services are Legit

There are two types of people in the business world. The first is the businessman who has taken the time to learn the tips and tricks of their own trade for customer satisfaction. These guys work tirelessly to make sure that things are running smoothly. They sacrifice time, money,  and energy, for their clients and are willing to test the waters before offering a good or service to someone. The second is the con artist. These guys will only brush up on a scant bit of information that they claim is their expertise, just to make a quick buck. They will circumnavigate any customer dissatisfaction with random terminology just to squeak by any scrutiny.  And that happens in any business whether that is construction, legal representation, or website optimization.

So, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of SEO services that show up on the first results of your Google search.  You were looking for someone to help get people to work at your website a little more, not get bombarded by all of these strange people and terms. So, what do you do to tell if someone is on the up and up when they offer their SEO services?

Well, here are a few warnings to look out for.

 

They Guarantee Immediate Results

If someone claims that they are going to get you to the first page of Google with your entire list of keywords within a week, they are doing either one ofseo services, two things.

  1. Lying through their teeth to get a large sum of money from you immediately.
  2. Are expecting you to pay a ridiculous amount of dollars on Google Ads.

It is impossible to naturally get keywords to rank on the first page of Google right away. Especially if you consider the sheer amount of websites that have the exact same topic and have lasted longer than yours has.  Google counts for and against multiple factors and that includes; keyword relevance, the age of the website, how many people have visited it, and how long people stay on it.  So, unless you are willing to cheat the system or just throw a bunch of money at it, it is literally impossible for an SEO service company to rank you on the first page of Google right away.  Speaking of Google…

 

They Only Focus on Google Search Results

SEO does not mean “Google engine optimization”.  It means Search Engine Optimization. And there are more search engines out there other than Google. Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook already have built-in search engines. Just like Google, they count for and against relevant information, and how often you post with their platform. Youtube also has the largest search engine index for videos with Vimeo as a close second. Even voice-activated programs like Alexa and Sound Cloud have their own database for pure audio.

SEO services are not limited to Google rankings. If you are seriously hiring someone who only talks about ranking on Google, they only know a fraction of what to do. There is much more out there than just Google. If they are not strategizing with you about multiple social media platforms and how often you are active on them, then they are amateurs.

Want to know more about the disturbing signs of false SEO services? Or better yet, what an SEO expert actually looks like? Find out with the next post!

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyThis article was Brought to You by The Purple Tie Guys Marketing Company. We take pride in building websites, managing advertisements, and offering SEO services for small businesses both near and far.

By |2018-08-09T20:06:46+00:00June 25th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on SEO Services: Is it Legit? Part 1

3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

We were lucky enough to be able to donate this wonderful video to the 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur. Those kids are amazing!

I’ll add the donation button as soon as I get the link, but in the meantime, call them! Give them the support they need.

Also, we were awarded a Community Impact award at a recent Boys & Girls Club Banquet/Fundraiser!

SEO Service Provider
By |2018-06-21T21:10:09+00:00June 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

How to Combat Fake News- Part 3

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 3

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week,  I explained how any sort of news media made money, through ad revenue and why fake news gets more likes and shares than well-researched data. But are there things that we can do to decrease the spread of fake news? One solution alone won’t cut it. Especially with money being involved in creating media, and emotional strings being used to spread information more quickly. There is also balancing free speech with censorship.

 

New Ways to Pay for Facebook

subscription, fake news

Facebook sells ad space to keep Facebook free for its users. But when it comes to something like ad space, if people are going to make a profit off of it, they are going to try and make as much money as possible, oversaturating the platform as a result. And no one likes ad oversaturation, because it can be harmful, especially to developing children.

Well, Facebook has a couple of routes that it could take:

  • Heavily restricting advertising content via algorithms

While it would certainly scale back some of the fake content, relying on algorithms alone is not a good strategy. Computers don’t pick up on variables unless they are specifically told to. For instance, if you were a hospital and there was a photo of a doctor doing surgery, what is to stop the algorithm to flag it for excessive gore? What about pro-LBGT spaces, would they be penalized for being crude? Those algorithms also need to be coupled with human oversight if there is to be an increase in quality over ad space.

  • Decreasing the ad space that is available and make up the lost profit by charging businesses more money to advertise on those spaces.

While it would weed out scammers that aren’t established, the extra charge in these spaces will most undoubtedly give larger businesses a greater advantage over smaller ones that couldn’t afford to pay for advertising on that platform.

  • Remove advertising completely and start charging subscription fees.

This will definitely put a halt to fake news since advertising would no longer be available to anyone. However, there would be strong resistance from users who are used to not paying for social media for so long. There would be a large decrease in users, but there would most likely be enough diehard fans for Facebook to still be up and running.

 

Equip People with Ways to Discern Fake News

sourcesYou would think that it would be mandatory in America’s compulsory education system to teach students how to discern and look for sources in what they read. However, outside of teaching high schoolers how to cite their own sources, that is all they cover. At least that was my case.  I wasn’t taught how to discern the reliability of a source until I went to community college. Even, then, I didn’t know about things like primary, secondary, and tertiary sources until I was a junior in college. Or how statistics are easily manipulated to spin a message.

I could go on about how the compulsory education system could be improved. But the point that I am making, is that people don’t often research as much as they should. Mostly, because they don’t know how.

A great way to stop the spread of ignorance is education, so there should be educational platforms that encourage people to fact check and consider sources while browsing social media.  Given that over half of Americans get their news from social media, it would be only right to use a platform for discourse like Facebook to educate people about things like cognitive bias, and logical fallacies.

What’s more, those type of PSAs would be great publicity move for Facebook. Instead of just telling people that they are changing, they can illustrate this through their actions.

 

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By |2018-06-05T16:34:23+00:00June 15th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on How to Combat Fake News- Part 3

What Causes Fake News? Part 2

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 2

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week, I touched on a case of fake news and click-baiting that existed before computers were even invented, the yellow journalists of late 1800’s New York. The problem, though not as on a mass scale as Facebook, has happened before and has gone away over time.  But, I only briefly touched on the parallels that Facebook had with newspapers at the time.  Both share a strong common motivator for fake news in the first place, profit from advertisers.

 

The Internet, Newspapers, and Ad Revenue

digital advertisingWhat if I were to tell you, that newspapers, websites, and social media platforms don’t make money off of their content alone?  According to Matpat’s Film Theory: Is Fake News Killing the Internet?, It is not the job of news companies to convey important information. The real job of news companies, social media platforms,  and search engine sites is to sell advertising space to their captive audience.  The reason that we don’t currently pay a dime for Facebook is that it became less of a platform for people to connect with one another, and more of a space for advertisers.

Advertisers pay Facebook money for space for their advertisement, the same way that advertisers did for newspapers over a hundred years ago, whether it comes in the form of a picture or an article.

Just like a newspaper advertisement, the more people pay attention and respond to a product with advertising attached, the more both the platform and the business who bought advertising space would profit.

Here is how a click works according to politifact.com “The publisher gets to have a broad say in what categories or types of ads would appear, but overall the network decides what specific ad shows up. Advertisers, meanwhile, negotiate with the network on an amount they’ll pay if someone clicks on their ad. That amount is measured in fractions of a cent per click. If a reader on the publisher’s website clicks an ad, that advertiser will pay the network. The network then shares some of the revenue with the publisher.”

 

Advertising through Gossip and Fear Mongering

These advertisers want to make as much revenue as possible, so, they figure it’s important to draw as much attention to their advertisement as possible. So, they encourage clicks, likes, and sharesfake news by attaching juicy gossip with their advertisements. Why do they do this? To create an emotional investment from the target audience. Does that sound familiar?

People spread and share information when something is emotionally relatable. If something makes someone happy, sad, or angry they will most likely share it with the people around them. However, some emotional responses are more potent than others when it comes to convincing people to share information. According to studies conducted by MIT in China, people share information the most when they are angry.

People don’t share articles with rational information, because it doesn’t arouse a strong enough emotional response. So, it should come as no surprise that advertisers would be more likely to buy ad space from fake news sites than on a site that shares statistics. It just gets more attention.

It also properly explains why people on Facebook are getting more and more argumentative. But is this spread of false information hurting anyone? Absolutely.

At best, fake news would waste some time and utilities. At worst, it has lead to accusations of fraud to people going through legitimate tragedy, changed the course of local elections, and damaged the reputation of a company so badly that stock prices began to fall within fifteen minutes.

 

Conclusion

So, now that we know the motivations of social media platforms and news stations when it comes to advertising and profit, one last question remains.  How do we fix it? What will it take to stop this spiral of madness? I will be sharing an idea or to on how to slow down the process of fake news or at least decrease its effectiveness.

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By |2018-06-05T15:11:34+00:00June 10th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What Causes Fake News? Part 2

What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 1

 

Troubleshooting Today’s Social Media Issues

Social Media platforms are both a blessing and a curse. Like most tools that allow people to find and share information, social media platforms can help people find long-lost connections, can help others communicate in an emergency, and help people start out a side business or a hobby.  It can, however, just as easily serve as a place to manipulate strangers, spread false information, or serve as a battleground for a deluge of unnecessary arguments.  And when a social media platform does not have proper checks and balances, especially one so integrated into most people’s daily lives, it can do a lot more harm than good.

Anyone who has ever participated in some social media platforms in the last couple of years knows what Facebook is, and the different ways that people use it. And anyone, who has ever watched a news station for the last couple of weeks, knows about the investigation of Mark Zuckerburg by the US Government. Since the debacle, Facebook has been making multiple publicity ads promising the removal of spam and fake news from their platform. The questions that have plagued my mind from all this are simple. “How did we get here?”  and  “How does it all work?”

That’s why the next few articles are dedicated to finding out how platforms like Facebook got into the mess they were in, and what could be done to fix certain problems.

 

What’s up with Clickbait?

One of the most annoying thing in the world to deal with is clickbait. It is annoying to be surfing on social media only to find a sudden pop up about a political campaign, or an offer that is in no way related to what is happening in your life. It is a pain to scramble for the volume down button in the doctor’s office when you hear an automatic ad playing on your phone. So, if these ads are so annoying, why do social media sites host them so much? The short answer is profit. The long answer is a little more complicated than that.  The best thing I can think of to do is look to the past to find a good analogy.

 

Newsies

newsies, fake news, clickbaitIf you want to know why clickbait happens, we first need to look at a media outlet that made a profit off of sharing information: The newspaper. Yes, this oversaturation of fake news, the practice of outrageous headlines for a profit, and the articles created to inspire outrage in other people existed during the time of your great-grandparents.

In the late 1800’s, newspaper publishers in large cities like New York made money more differently than the subscription-based-newspaper publishers of today. Their business model at the time was to print a number of publications and sell them in bulk to homeless children, who would independently sell the papers.  The more papers were sold in bulk, the more a profit was made for the press.

So, the children, motivated by not wanting to starve, made a living by shouting headlines day and night. At best, these starving children would just be shouting past midnight and at worst, they would be actively making up headlines and fight rivals for the best spot with the most foot traffic.

It was also important to note that newspapers who sold in bulk did not allow these kids to sell back any of those papers that didn’t sell that day, so it was understandable that these orphans would be desperate to sell as many papers as possible because they would absorb monetary losses instead of the press. This format didn’t change until the newsboy strike of 1899.

News companies started to notice that the children who sold more papers were the ones that exaggerated headlines, and decided to make the headlines more scandalous to increase sales.

This lead to a type of reporting known as yellow journalism.

 

Yellow Journalism – The First Fake News

 

The term yellow journalism was coined by people who were well aware that the stories in the newspapers were highly exaggerated and poorly researched. The presses that were the most guilty of fake news, yellow journalism, writing fake articles and scandalous headlines for sales were Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.  They had an intense rivalry and would do whatever it took to sell more papers than their rival.

Both the Journal and World used a series of tactics that were seen as underhanded by more respectable journalists at the time. The tactics included:

  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  5. dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

These tactics were so effective that the New York Journal even got the American public begging to go to war with Spain. All it took was a made up front page story about the sinking of the USS Maine to get the US to go to war with Spain.

That is how destructive fake news can get.

 

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much for people motivated by profit to delve into shady tactics whether it is over 100 years ago, or today. The technology might have changed but our habits haven’t. But this didn’t happen forever, so what changed then and how could it solve Facebook’s problem with fake news? Wait for parts 2 and 3 to find out.

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By |2018-06-03T11:23:36+00:00June 3rd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?