There are no rules to follow

A client recently – rather hesitantly – queried something I’d suggested to them, as if it was more likely they’d misunderstood it than I’d got it “wrong”. They’d read an article which seemed to contradict what I’d said, and found that surprising. It shouldn’t have been. In online marketing we’re dealing with something that has no rules, never mind regulations. When it comes to search engine marketing, that’s even more the case. There are things which appear to work well in Google, and others which appear to cause problems. But if I say “this works well”, there’ll always be examples of people not doing it and still getting good results. If I say “avoid this”, there’ll always be those who go ahead and do it, without any apparent penalty. People are less confident with online marketing than they have been “offline”, and would like a Highway Code. Unfortunately there are only unofficial guidebooks.

One thing to remember is that Google is just a commercial entity. Many people treat it as if, online, it’s the law. I once listened to someone explain how he made a lot of money online by creating a million websites overnight to swamp Google’s results; rather than admire his ingenuity, people in the room were horrified, as if it was illegal. Do what you need to do to make your online marketing successful, and don’t be scared of trying anything …as long as it’s legal, decent, inoffensive and truthful.

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