The Myth of SEO, and How to Really Get on the
First Page of Google
By Jeffrey Dobkin, marketing consultant, author, and professional speaker
It was a dark night, as most are. My Internet
connection on the phone had said to meet him at the
Apollo Diner, a greasy spoon in the Vietnamese
section of the Italian neighborhood in the French
"Sit at the table closest to the bathroom in the
back," he said flatly. I could only suspect that…he
had a bladder problem.
He said on the phone to bring "three large," and he
would get me onto the first page of Google. Before I
could ask what and how large, he disconnected and
left me speaking into a dial tone.
I’ll be Frank with you, although the rest of my
friends call me Jeff. Not everyone can be on the
first page of Google. Or the second, third, or
fourth pages either.
And if you make it to the fifth page, well, who
cares? No one searches to the fifth page anymore —
those days are gone, quit living in the past.
The Internet is the home of the Short Attention-Span
Theater. No one reaches the fifth page on a search.
They type in a new search term and search again.
Now that you know the myth about SEO, and that SEO
doesn’t really matter all that much, what does
Pay per click. What else matters?
1. A wise selection of keywords
This brings focused, targeted traffic to the
specific pages of your reader’s interest. Your ads
appear to those interested parties who are ready to
2. Compelling ads result in a good number of
The better the ad, the better the response, and for
the best-written ads: a more focused the audience.
The best ads mean the maximum number of inquiries
from the highest quality of inquirers.
3. Good tests
Real-time testing online is fast and easy. Rapid
testing yields to a faster ramp-up to higher quality
ads, placements, inquiries, and conversion rates.
Don’t forget: Split testing; optimization tools; bid
management; keyword ranking; geo targeting; day
parting; copy testing; PPC optimization; and
4. Great landing pages
The more exciting your site, the more likely
visitors stay. The more time people stay on your
site, the more likely they will become a customer.
5. The best offers
Give visitors exposure to your good, better, and
best offers. Driving people deeper into your site
equals greater conversion.
6. Driving phone calls
Call me old fashioned, but I like all the above to
drive visitors, customers, and prospects to a phone
call. Unless your website closes everyone, every
time--I’d offer a big phone number on every page.
Then YOU close customers.
With live customer contact, you can get a real
vision of what customers like, what they want, what
they like about your site, your products, your
company. Find out if there’s a problem with
ordering, colors, products, or delivery.
You can learn why they left your site without
placing an order last time. And you can show them a
real side of great customer service.
Now, back to our Google tale: I arrived at the
Apollo Diner, taking the table closest to the doors
marked "His," "Her’s" and "Unsure," of which I was a
bit unsure about myself.
It was getting late when a thin, tallish,
dark-haired, fair-skinned, blondish, fat man
carrying a small brown bag approached me while I sat
next to the bathrooms. "Hey," he said, his eyes
darting around the room. "Anybody using that?"
nodding towards the doors.
"Which one?" I answered without looking up. He was
unsure so I pointed to that door, saying it was free
for $2 donation, when he blurted out under his
breath, "Did you bring the three large?"
I always thought I’d be cool under pressure, but I
froze, staring down at my half empty cup of coffee,
or was it half full?
It was Internet guru Markus Allen.
"Did you bring it?" he reinforced. "Yeah," I said,
still not knowing what he was referring to.
"Okay," he continued. "Here’s how to get on the
first page of Google." He was speaking ever so
quietly now as he said "Google," as if they were
listening, as if they were everywhere. I leaned over
and listened intently.
"Find a forum that gets indexed by Google every 15
Next, he said, post a subject line with your keyword
phrase mixed in with one of these powerful words:
Advantage; Fast; Gain; Guaranteed; Help; How-to;
Lose; Solve; These; Truth; Tips; Trust; Amazing;
For example: The truth about direct marketing
When posting a message, use your keyword phrase
twice; once in the first sentence of your post, and
then in the last sentence of your post.
And here's another important part – you need other
forum members to keep the post alive by replying to
the original post, so end your post with a
thought-provoking question, such as "Do you agree
with me here?"
Ending with a question subconsciously triggers the
forum members to reply. And when they reply, your
post remains on the main index page – ultimately
picked up by Google's crawlers.
"You can get to the top page…within the hour," he
looked around and under his breath, almost
whispered, "on Google." It may only last a day or
two, but you’re on the top, the top of the first
page…" he said with a smile, his last words began
trailing off as he now stared at the front of the
Just then, the diner door burst open and four men in
black sweatshirts with the word Google across their
chest rushed in and headed directly towards our
table. Markus had a troubled look on his face as he
sprang up in a well-rehearsed move and pushed open
the door marked "Unsure" and went in, the door
slamming behind him.
The men – not five seconds later – rushed into the
same room, coming back out almost immediately and,
without saying a word, left the diner. A few moments
went by and I slowly got up and pushed open the door
There was nothing. No other door. No window. And no
As I stood there shocked, I noticed a tiny strip of
paper on the floor, say, the size of a fortune in a
fortune cookie, that simply said http://www.marketing-ideas.org/The-Secrets.
It was Markus Allen’s site. I slipped it into my
pocket and left.
And that’s how you really get on the first page of…
uhh… shhh… Google.
---Source: Jeff Dobkin
is a marketing consultant, speaker and writer who
has written more than 250 articles and five books on
direct marketing. Call for his free instructional
booklet of direct marketing tips: 610/642-1000 or
visit his Web site at
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