Tonight I got contacted by an old friend whose wife makes hand crafted jewelry and is trying to sell it online. "How do I get in the top of the Google search results?" I explained the basics about how Google ranks sites and pointed them to the concept of Search Engine Optimization. But when I tried to give them my real advice, I hit a brick wall.
"Do the easy SEO stuff, but I would not waste a lot of time trying to game the system. With handcrafted articles, you would do better to have her focus on some social media sites, become active and develop a network of people who know her, like her art and spread the link with their friends".
I got a blank silence on the other end of the phone. "So I could use a really obscure keyword and then use it to test when the Google spider has revisited the site and see what changes with my rank, right?".
We went back and forth like this for several rounds, slight variation on the words, but the same underlying meaning. No matter what I said, he was convinced that the only way to be successful was to get highly ranked on Google.
I finally caved. "You could always pay to have your site in the top listing...."
"Yeah, I think that is a little beyond what we want to do."
I did not have the heart to tell him that Adwords was not necessarily as expensive as he thought.
"well, I wish you luck and hope some of this was useful..."
How do you convince people of the value of social media without them living it first hand??