Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deer Whistles, Google and SEO Tips

A few years ago I used to drive home from work on the AC Expressway every evening around dusk. There was always a certain time of year when large groups of deer would be standing on the grass clearing between the asphalt and the trees every evening, without fail. As expected, this always caused people to slow down to almost a crawl since many of the deer were standing right on the edge of the road.

Then one day I was in an auto parts store and found a product called Deer Whistles. They were a pair of small plastic horns that mounted to your car's front bumper with two-sided tape. The package promised that the ultrasonic sound they produced while driving was only audible to deer (magical huh?) and best of all, it would make them flee in horror when they heard your car approaching.

So with visions of thousands of fleeing deer, parting like the red sea on the AC Expressway as I heroically cleared the path for all traffic behind me, I bought a pair. I figured the awe they would produce was worth the money and frustration of trying to get them out of the human proof blister pack they came in. So a few bucks and minor hand injury later, I neatly mounted them according to the instructions.

The next day I could hardly wait to put them to the ultimate test. The weather was warm and clear, prime conditions for deer roadside sunset gatherings. And as I headed over the bridge from Atlantic City at precisely the right time, I knew it would only be a few more minutes until I got far enough inland to witness this new marvel of technology perform a miracle.

Then suddenly, on the distant horizon I saw the first large group of unsuspecting deer casually gathered along the side of the road. Little did they realize that in a few seconds they would all be running for their lives, possibly dying from fear of the horrifying shrill of mankind's newest super weapon.

But as I got closer and eventually passed them, nothing happened. The deer all stood there unphazed. There was zero reaction. No head turning. No wide-eyed horror. No panic. No running for cover. Nothing. They didn't even blink.

So rather than accept the reality that I had gotten ripped-off, I wondered if I had possibly installed them facing the wrong direction. After all, the instructions were in Engrish and never showed exactly which direction they should be facing. So when I got home, I peeled them off, turned them around and stuck them back on the bumper with some two-sided carpet tape.

The next day, I put them to the test again but with the same results. It was then that I finally realized they simply didn't work.

So what this all have to do with Google and SEO Tips?

Well for the past few months we've been trying to increase the WMA's ranking in Google based on SEO Tips by "experts" in the field. All promising miraculous results. First we tried following their instructions to the letter. But just like the Deer Whistle, no results. And just like the Deer Whistle, rather than giving up after the first test, we went back and tried a different direction, this time following Google's tips to the letter. Again, no results.

Moral of the story: SEO Tips, like Deer Whistles promise miracles, but deliver nothing. Unfortunately what we've discovered through it all, is that Google simply ranks sites that run Google Ads higher than those that don't, regardless of how well they are optimized. Since Google makes money from those ads, it only makes sense they would try and drive more traffic to sites that run them. And ironically, the no ad policy for our non-commercial site, which should be a plus, an added benefit, may ultimately be what's causing its decline.

Maybe we should run Google Ads for Deer Whistles.

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