Dangerous SEO

Stone Mania is a London based business who sells crystals, rocks and minerals online.  The company was formed in 2002 and the website followed soon after.  Having spent many, many hours over the last ten years learning about search engine optimization so that my website would appear in the first few pages of Google, I can honestly say that I’m no stranger to the way things work or what Google expects from those hoping to promote their website.  What I do know without a shadow of a doubt is that the success of an online business is largely dependent on how easy it can be found in Google’s rankings using the most relevant keywords.  Get this right and you’re well on your way to having a successful business, get it wrong and it could be a disaster.

Selling crystals, rocks and minerals online is extremely competitive and there are many websites all of whom want to be on page one for the most relevant keywords for their type of products.  So for example if someone searches Google using the term Rocks and Minerals and a website appears on page one or possibly two, the chances of attracting new business will be significantly higher than if it appears on page three or beyond.  However for a keyword to be successful it needs to be promoted well and for those who don’t have the time to do this themselves, one of the alternatives is to consider using a company who specializes in SEO or search engine optimization.  Statistics clearly demonstrate that very few internet users go beyond page one when looking at search results, if they cannot find what they’re looking for within a few seconds, they’ll search again using different words.

The primary aim of any search engine is to offer their users as enjoyable an experience as possible and most of all they want to ensure only the very best websites appear in their results.  From an online trader’s point of view, the most important thing is to rank as highly as possible hence people are prepared to spend huge sums of money to try and ensure they achieve page one or two ranking.  The combination of exactly what is needed to be a top ranking website in Google remains a well guarded secret and they intend to keep it that way but they do make it very well known how you can generally achieve this.  Whilst there are many tips and recommendations online about how a website can improve, some things are never shared and this leads to a great deal of speculation.  Google also releases updates online which address specific problems that arise for example the Panda update of 2011 addressed the issue of low quality webpages filled with duplicate and uninteresting content and subsequently Penguin released in 2012 addressed the issue of artificially manipulating the number of inbound links.  Links have always been considered an important contributing factor to the success of a website however these need to be genuine and carefully accumulated as opposed to just having a mass of low quality, irrelevant or spammy links.

SEO JUICE

Screenshot of one of the rotating banners at SEO Juice . net

The business of SEO deals with the promotion of a website in a variety of ways with the ultimate aim being to improve search engine ranking.  It goes without saying that there are many companies out there who make promises and guarantees they cannot keep simply to attract new business and anyone with any knowledge in this field, will be well aware that it’s just not feasible to offer a guarantee of page one ranking with highly competitive keywords.  Whilst trying to promote Stone Mania over the last ten years, I’ve met my fair share of time wasters in this field so understandably am extremely cautious with regards to who I give my business to, however what I do have on my side now is a comprehensive understanding of SEO hence I am much more savvy than I used to be.  That said, it makes it even more frustrating when I look back and see the mistakes that I made with SEO Juice, an Australian based company run by Dave Adamson who I used to try and promote my website for six months.  They farmed work on my website out to a company in India who in turn used ‘black hat’ SEO techniques which severely damaged the reputation of my website causing it to be penalized by Google.  As a result not only did Stone Mania tumble almost into oblivion on all search engine rankings but I also lost out on many months of revenue because I received virtually no new business at all during that time.

When I first went to SEO Juice I explained to Dave Adamson that I currently appeared in the top ten pages of Google for most of my relevant keywords including crystals, rocks and minerals but I would like to have a stronger presence on page one.  After six months of working with them, six of my strongest keywords showed up outside of the top one hundred pages of Google.

I paid SEO Juice almost $3000 over six months and in return I almost lost my business as a result of the work they carried out.  They make very clear statements on their website and in their adverts yet it’s all lies and I  hope writing about my experience with them will prevent others from falling victim.

SEO Juice

Screenshot of one of the rotating banners at SEO Juice . net

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About Stone Mania - Crystals, Rocks, Minerals
Stone Mania is a London based wholesale and retail supplier of crystals, rocks, minerals and ladies gemstone pendants. We are a small team of mineral enthusiasts who travel to Africa, Asia and the USA several times a year in order to buy pieces for our collection. As well as shipping minerals back to the UK, we also bring up to seventy kilos back with us at any one time and thanks to our wonderful clearing agent and UK customs, we're usually through in pretty good time. Stone Mania started life in the winter of 2002 and those early days were spent trading one day a week from behind the counter of a cramped stall in Camden market. Dedication, passion and a huge amount of hard work meant that the business grew steadily and went from strength to strength and despite a few ups and downs especially during the credit crunch of 2008, we never had any doubt that Stone Mania would pull through. Fifteen years on and we're just as enthusiastic about Stone Mania as we were on that very first trading day back in 2002. We love what we do and are very happy to say that our customers also love what we do and together, we all get to enjoy some of the worlds most beautiful and fascinating crystals, rocks and minerals. If you're a retail customer you can shop online with us through our website but for those interested in buying wholesale from Stone Mania, please contact us first in order to set up an account.

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