This blog article is in response to a Twitter user who asked me to elaborate on this tweet, “
#Calgary SEO Classes scam. Only the first 10 google results count. U r going to pay $600 to compete against $60K #wasteofmoney“
Basically, the problem (the scam) is a strategic one. Imagine a class of eleven students learning how to optimize their website (SEO / Search Engine Optimization) to appear on the first page of Google for some specified search term or phrase.
Now understand that in SEO we are only concerned with appearing on the first page of Google for any desired search term and, the preference is to be first, second, or third. Each successive lower ranking on Google equals fewer website visits (except for the ninth and tenth spot where the tenth spot gets more visits than the ninth spot).
With this we know there are only ten spots up for grabs. What happens when eleven people want to rank for the same search terms? Well, one of them loses. Considering that there are about 10 people in Calgary who are good at SEO and maybe 200 people in Canada who really know how to get something ranked well then, schools are taking students money knowing that for some of those students it won’t matter how much they learn in the class, they are a Gold Fish in a world of sharks.
David Howse Marketing Ltd. ranks websites on about 1000 search terms (across all website for all clients). There is no way in hell that some kid paying $600 will (1) know more about SEO that I will – especially since I know more that his/her instructor and (2) I invest about $20,000 a year in assets that help my SEO projects.
This strategic dilemma is different than teaching say, marketing. Entering a red ocean (being a recent graduate with a marketing degree) is not as harsh as being educated in something that is not only a red ocean but also limited to only ten spots.
This is why I would never endorse students paying to learn SEO.