Don’t you love it when one of your “competitors” gives counsel to one of your clients or friends and tries to discredit you while only working with partial information?

I do! Especially when that “opinion” makes it back to me. 🙂

I received an email this morning from one of my friends and he passed along a review of a recent article I wrote with the title “8 Key Elements to Get to the Top of Google.” The email didn’t contain any company name or even the name of the individual providing the critique, but I wouldn’t publish that information anyway.

I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. I also believe that smart people don’t pass along their opinions unless they are making their opinion based on fact and not on partial information.

We publish our opinions and provide a substantial amount of FREE web marketing education to companies and individuals around the world because we would like to help as many companies succeed online as possible. Our team spends dozens of hours each week collectively, to ensure we are on top of this fast changing industry, and that we are providing accurate information to these companies and individuals.

The bottom line is … We put our thoughts and opinions out there and welcome open dialogue, even if those opinions are different than ours.

There are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to web marketing.

The following italicized excerpts are taken directly from the email I received. I have altered some pieces of information to keep the identify of the parties and any strategic information private. I’d like to exercise full disclosure so I’ve marked the altered material with “XXXXXXXXX” instead of the words used.

These are comments directly related to my article “8 Key Elements to Get to the Top of Google”

Here we go!

This is a skillfully written article. In light of what you just read, AND knowing the algorithms used by Google to determine ranking how can they make any AUTHORITATIVE claim? It is well written, but no one can make any claim to be in the know because Google does not tell anyone.

I’d first like to thank the “reviewer” for the kind words about the article. I went back to my article to see where I made this claim that we somehow knew the exact algorithm that Google uses in determining where a website should show up in the search results.

Guess what …

I didn’t. The reason I didn’t make that claim is because the “reviewer” is correct. Google doesn’t publish this algorithm and never would. That would simply lead to search engine spammers “mucking up” the search results with irrelevant results.

The comment that “no one can make a claim to be in the know because Google does not tell anyone” isn’t entirely true. In fact here is a link to the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide which is located on the Google Webmaster Tools Website. If you take the time to review the information contained in this guide you’ll see that everything is directly inline with the information contained in my article.

On the question, “How can they make any AUTHORITATIVE claim?”

I believe we can make an authoritative claim due to our experience, knowledge, and results we’ve consistently produced for clients.

Now I don’t simply expect you to believe me … I’ll share links to PROOF of this knoweldge and these results and let you be the judge on whether we can make an AUTHORITATIVE claim to know what it takes.

..and more to the point, if you google “XXXXXXXXXXXXX” how do you explain the first website in the search results does not follow many of the suggestions made?

The keyword the “reviewer” used to prove his point was a keyword that is searched an average of 72 times each month. It is absolutely true that every search conducted on Google won’t have optimized results.

Heck, how much time and effort would you spend to rank highly for a keyword that is only searched on 72 times a month?

If the average conversion rate is around 1% then you’ll average less than one conversion a month! In my opinion it wouldn’t be worth spending 10 minutes optimizing for this phrase unless you have a product that will produce thousands of dollars.

This is less about legitimate than you use partial legitimate partial outright dishonesty. It is on the reader to twist the meaning back when you suggest someone should be “first” in anything as the suggestion is left with the reader there is some definitive method to get there.

Hmmmm…. I kept this segment in here so I could provide complete transparency, but I am having a difficult time interpreting what he is saying.

I’m thinking he might be insinuating that we are using partial legitimate and partial dishonest information , but I just don’t know. I do see where he is quoting that we implied we could get companies “first,” so I just did a search on this article and found we never said we could get a company’s website “first.”

In fact an exact quote in this article is, “If you use these eight steps as a template to refer to when creating each page on your website, you will find yourself rapidly moving up through the ranks of the search results.

The comment about us being dishonest doesn’t even merit a response since it is completely unfounded and untrue.

However, lets look at one of their sites.

Read the source code, did they put in 200-250 keywords? Nope not there.
Did they use ALT text on any of the images on the home page? Nope not there.
How about text on the links? Nope not there.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post …

I love it when people try to discredit you while only working with partial information. My article was written to give someone the basics of search engine optimization and wasn’t written to be a definitive all inclusive guide on SEO. If it were easy enough to articulate in a 1,000 word article, it wouldn’t even be a subject worth writing on.

I therefore believe the “reviewer” must not have completely understood the content of the article which leads me to believe I may not have written it very well afterall. He points out that we didn’t “put in the 200-250 keywords.” I looked back at the article and found where I mentioned that each page of your website should have a minimum of 200-250 words of content, but not keywords. I understand how if you don’t do this stuff every day you could make that mistake though.

Everything we do at Mindscape is about results.

An excellent example is this particular website he is talking about is currently ranking number one on Google for the keyword “honda motorcyle parts.” This one keyword alone is searched for 246,000+ times on average each month. This is only one of 64 keyword phrases this site shows up on the front page of Google’s search results.


Are they using current best practices NOPE, not there. The missing ALT text alone ensures diabled people cannot read their site because the images are not properly captioned.

Using alternative text on images IS an excellent optimization tactic since image searches seem to be an increasingly popular search trend. I also understand it is useful for people with disabilities to read the site. I don’t want to offend ANYONE here but, can you tell me how many people who are visually impaired will be a candidate for motorcycles? The most important part of optimizing your site is to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

They are all show, and no stay. They showcase no client where they use their 8 Key Elements. So this little nearly 200 website guy is trying to figure out why I should even consider them as authoritative at all?

“All show and no stay?” Hmmmmm…again I am not sure what this means.

Let me ask you a question …

If you were a client of Mindscape’s and you were “killing it” in the search results, would you want us showcasing it so your competition would have a clear road map to your web strategy? I don’t think so!

I would like to share some quick results of the EXACT client the “reviewer” is using or an example of our horrible practices…

We’ve placed that client in a position where they rank in the top ten on Google for literally hundreds of keywords. I just conducted searches on six popular keywords less than two minutes ago and these were the results (without the actual phrases).

Keyword Phrase Google Search Rank Monthly Google Searches

Keyword One 1 246,000

Keyword Two 1 90,500

Keyword Three 1 165,000

Keyword Four 1 301,000

Keyword Five 7 9,900

Keyword Six 8 9,900

I am sure you can quickly see we focused our attention on the phrases that would produce the best results for the client. We didn’t waste their time or money trying to rank for a phrase that was only searched on 73 times a month to simply try to impress them. We focused on the most competitive keyword phrases and WE HELPED THEM WIN!

What do you think? Do you think Mindscape knows what they are talking about? I’d love to hear some comments on this one!

Also, visit our site if you’d like more proof of Mindscape’s results!