The one that has been chapping my behind is when a supposed search expert will say, "I'm number one out of 33 million results." And you think, really? 33 MILLION?
Then you get their software, ebook, or system, and you find out that even though you're also able to rank number one for a term that gets 33 million results, none of it sent you any sales, or leads - and really, not much traffic either.
Don't get me wrong - it's not that this ranking isn't an achievement for some people. It's just that it HAS to be put into perspective. If someone is telling you - hey, I'm kind of a newbie to search, and I figured out how to do this. Let me share my research with you - that's information to trust.
The same person claiming it makes them an expert? Not so much.
If you don't want to get hustled by this little trick, remember that proof has to be MEANINGFUL.
It's fine to profit from a JV deal with a friend or colleague, I'm not knocking it. I've done it and when I have, I've slept great, because I make a conscious effort to only promote the highest quality products from my peers.
So I think endorsements are okay.
What's NOT Okay is when the testimonials of friends are the Only testimonials a person has for their product.
What did their peers think?
What did their clients think?
What do people who didn't know them before they tried it think?
If a person selling you an SEO product or search consulting is a layperson, and they figured out how to get results better than the next guy, and they say so, that is completely above board.
But if they're claiming to be a guru or expert in any way, and they're using keyword rankings or number of links generated, or anything else to prove their results, make sure they stand up to closer scrutiny.
Here are some things to look for:
1- The number of results doesn't always tell you how comparatively difficult the keyword is to rank for. A good keyword difficulty check like the one at SEOmoz.org will help you figure this out.
2- If the keyword phrase is 4 or more words long, a monkey could probably rank for it under the right conditions.
3- Even if it is hard for a newbie to rank for, and the software tool/person will help you get to the next level of expertise, if the terms you would rank for are those that don't send any traffic, or won't help you build up to terms that will send traffic, it's a waste of time.
4- If just one keyword ranking is their claim to fame, they aren't an expert if they're saying they are, or that their tool is worth paying for, based on this, be wary.
You do NOT really know what you're doing with search until you have been able to maintain hundreds or thousands of rankings for a few years.
You can get to number one by cheating in the short term - until they catch you and ban your site.
Luck or cheating doesn't make you an expert.
5- If the number one or first page result they got is one of many, and passes all the difficulty and traffic tests - is the result they have in Google or Yahoo for their own site? It if it, and that's all the information they're selling, don't buy it. I'll tell you how to do that for free in a minute.
First let me explain one thing: it's not that it's a bad thing to get to number one using Ezine Articles or Hub Pages. It's that you don't control the ranking when it's not on your site.
It's that you don't need someone to teach you something fancy to get that ranking.
Anyone can get a popular site to rank at the top for an article they've contributed - there are free articles for how to do this around the Net. If I'm not mistaken, Chris Knight wrote about it last year on this blog.
That's not some coveted secret worth the price of a large pizza or a fancy dinner.
How do you do it? You use your keywords in the title of the article you're contributing, and make your article semantically relevant enough to out rank whatever listing is presently number one. It won't work with every keyword, but when it does, that's how it happens.
The real trick is getting that ranking to mean money for you. That ranking doesn't automatically mean they'll click the link to visit your site.
(How do you do make sure they do? That secret takes way more room than one article.)
So again, this Can be a good technique. But knowing that doesn't make you an expert.
Now, I won't sit here and say that every expert trying to get you to buy a search or traffic related product is full of it. There's a lot of good programs out there. But the instant you're being promised outlandish results with a minimum of effort, it's right that your BS radar should go off.
The second you're being peddled a quick fix that is meant to supersede or replace good knowledge, you have to ask yourself if what you're paying and the results you're getting are worth the risk.
It's not that there isn't good stuff out there - it's that you have to really look at whether what you're paying is going to yield results worth your investment.
There are a bunch of great experts and great sites that can help you get better search results in Google and Yahoo. I could name ten off the top of my head. Just remember, in order to see what's worth your money, scrutinize your expert, and investigate the promises of your favorite search tool.
You may be surprised at what you find.
Great product, no traffic? I'll teach you every web site promotion technique from search to social media, all that I've tested and used myself. No hype or unrealistic promises. Just real-world techniques that actually work. Come to http://freetraffictip.com/really to see video proof.