Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

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I posted earlier asking if someone could please critique my first
optimization of my site.  My website is (forgot the link earlier)

Here's my backstory:

I recently got completely BURNED by a fake SEO company.  They claimed
to be official.  They claimed that as soon as I implemented their
suggestions for meta tags that they'd analyze them and magically
"submit me".  They claimed that THE BEST WAY to increase my ranking
in the wound when they disappeared with my $600.

Now I'm undertaking the task myself.  The website is for a real
estate company - one of the worst industries to be in when it comes
to people jamming up their meta tags with sloppy real estate jargon
that has nothing to do with what they actually offer.

Our #1 goal is to set ourselves apart from those companies.  If you
even glimpse at our site, you'll see how we're not like that.  I
don't think many of the sites that are listed high up in our category
deserve to be there at all - I'm all about honesty.  I only wish to
reflect what's actually on our site in search engine listings.  I'd
like to think running an honest operation would place our site above
the shady people in the search engines

There are many DO's and DON'Ts as making a Google-friendly site.
Actually, I'm learning that there are a few huge accidental DON'Ts
that might have a huge negative effect without me even knowing it.
I'm just afraid that I might be committing one or more huge
accidental DON'Ts.

There's something HUGE I'm doing wrong, by total accident, I just
don't know what it is.  Bad keywords?  Nobody links to me?  Am I a
fool for trying to be honest in the real estate business?

In short:  Criticism, please?

BTW, watch out for anyone that calls themselves "The Official Internet
Registry and Optimization Bureau" (

Wes Faires

Re: Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

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I don't know why you think you're doing something wrong. I don't think you
have made any huge mistake. There's just a lot of competition out there.

I'm really sorry to hear you got burned by a SEO company! There are honest
ones out there. And as you found there are a lot of things you can do

The search engines don't pay any attention to meta tags anymore. So it
doesn't matter if your competitors "[jam] up their meta tags with sloppy
real estate jargon that has nothing to do with what they actually offer." It
doesn't do them any good. There are effective ways to optimize your site,

Your site is eye-catching, and well-designed from an aesthetic point of
view. (That color-chips navigation is clever too!) The color scheme is
really pleasing, and the site has a very assuring and professional tone.
Just what you need when selling real estate.

Getting more links to your site will indeed help your search engine
rankings. Focus on getting links from websites / webpages related (relevant)
to yours in some way.

There are no "bad keywords" - but there are certainly keywords / keyphrases
that are more widely searched on than others. You'll need to research (if
you haven't already) which search phrases that are relevant to your site are
most searched on & will be the best ones to target.

(Which keyprhases are you optimizing your site for now?)

Make sure the keywords / keyphrases you're targeting for each page appear in
the text of that page. Just use them naturally in your text; if it sounds
"spammy" you've gone overboard.

Make sure you've got an appropriate heading ( <h1> ) on every page - a few
words describing the focus of the page. Like your "Our Builders" etc. on
that page, but put it in a <h1> tag.

On the color chip navigation menu, edit the alt text on the links to reflect
what the pages are about. Get rid of the address & phone number on the alt
text (because no one will search for those). Use this opportunity to use
your targeted keywords for each of those pages, since that's what folks will
be searching for.

Get some text on the Commercial "coming soon" page! It's a wasted
opportunity. At least describe what's "coming soon" and use the keywords
important to that page, again, in a natural way.

You're not a fool for "trying to be honest in the real estate business."
It's just that there's a lot of competition out there. So, tweak your
website in a way to be friendly to both human visitors & search engines, get
those links, and hang in there....


Re: Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 18:53:00 GMT, "indiecoffeehouse"

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I know there is small print, and small print, but if that text at the
bottom is supposed to be read by a human, it would be nice to be able
to read it.

Although it is not packed with keywords, make it readable.


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Re: Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

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Search engine want sites that instantly satisfy searchers needs.

I would write "We help you to buy and sell homes and land in the Dallas -
Atlanta area" in bold across the top of the home page so anyone arriving can
see immediately what it is about.  You have about 3 seconds before they
click elsewhere.

The image boxes down the right side looks like the start of a column of
unrelated affiliate ads or worse.  Personal ?  Model ? Tours ? Vacations ?

The top and left side suggest that the site might be to do with paint.  The
prominant word Financing jars and it is not obvious that it is a link.   The
bold central title "Find your community" suggest this is some kind of a
social site for community activities.   All in all, the home page generates
an assortment of quite disconnected impressions.

Put your contact details on the home page so they can be seen without
scrolling down.  Your page nicely cuts off at the bottom of my screen and it
is not obvious that there is anything lower down at all.

Regarding keywords, don't spam.  Only put the few real keywords derived from
the visible page text.  Similarly for the title and description, make them
match the page exactly and truly explain the page content.  Every page will
be different.   If you have title, description or keywords that don't match
the content, then your page appears to be deliberately attempting to mislead
the search engines and should be marked down.

You have now:
<meta NAME="Description" CONTENT="Our online consultants make relocating to
metro Atlanta easy!
Take a virtual tour of our affordable new homes, townhomes and condos.
Residential communities available
in Cobb, Paulding, Cherokee and Bartow Counties.  3950 Cobb Parkway in
Acworth, GA.  (770) 529-6423.">
<title>Masterpiece Communities &ndash; New Homes in Northwest
<meta name="keywords" content="Northwest Atlanta new homes, Atlanta
relocation, northwest Atlanta
 relocation, metro Atlanta new homes, northwest metro Atlanta homes, buy a
new home, moving to Atlanta,
 northwest metro Atlanta, virtual tours, masterpiece communities,
masterpiece real estate, homes available
 immediately, northwest Atlanta real estate, northwest Atlanta residential,
new residential homes, quality
 new homes, affordable homes, relocating, relocate northwest Atlanta,
townhomes, condos, Paulding county homes,
 Paulding new homes, Cherokee, Paulding, Douglas, online consultation">

Consider this alternative:
<meta NAME="Description" CONTENT="We are here to help you - to buy a home -
to sell your house - friendly help from Masterpiece Communities. ">
<title>Homes for sale in the Atlanta - Dallas area</title>
<meta name="keywords" content="Home, sale, Atlanta, Dallas">
Then write interesting text content to match.  It makes sense to write the
title and description before you write the body text of any page.

Try to make every page tell something really interesting that a searcher
might want to find out.

Check your page with a validator.  There are a couple of errors, eg altt="
For $600 they could at least have spelled alt correctly.

Don't use the file name index.html anywhere on your website to get back to
the home page.  Use / or the full absolute url name.  This avoids getting
two duplicate content home pages indexed by search engines.

Having written all this I get to like the site more.  But first impressions
do matter - it must be easy to understand and use. Other people may have
quite different first impressions so do ask for more reactions.

Best regards, Eric.

Re: Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

Thanks everyone!  It looks like there are a few backend kinks to work
out, but other than that I feel like we're getting somewhere.  I'm now
learning the world of PageRank -- sounds like a whole new beast.

Thanks again!

Eric Johnston wrote:
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Re: Badly BURNED by a fake SEO company (advice?)

On 11 Jul 2006 11:19:48 -0700,

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There are no "official" SEO companies, there's no adjudicating body.
All of us are unrecognised.

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Weren't you here before, some months ago? Masterpiece Communities
rings a bell.



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