There is a lot of reading material on the market about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Sometimes the detailed information seems to be contradictory from one source to another. Often times this is due to the fact that search engine rules and criteria change rapidly from one month to the next, making the task of keeping up with it all the more challenging. risk and threat analysis expert witness

In general, however, proven strategies combined with judgment and experience from a seasoned SEO expert can be relied upon to achieve favorable placement. Therein lies the challenge to the average business owner: How do you FIND a reputable, experienced SEO expert?

If you have been burned once by inadequate search engine marketing, you have probably been burned again. That’s because there’s a learning curve in discerning what kinds of activities and companies you can trust, and what kinds will take your money & run. It can be a very discouraging process to find the “right” company, and many business owners simply give up.

It would be nice if there were a sign above every shady operators door that expressed the sentiment from Dantes “Divine Comedy”, reading:

“Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.”

But that’s not likely to happen.

So the burden of proof (and the risk associated with it) in sorting the good guys from the bad guys rests squarely with YOU.

In most of my articles on the topic, I cite a list of many “Dos” and “Don’ts” that you should adhere to in the decision making process. That gets a bit dry, and it certainly doesn’t put the material in a directly relevant context.

Obviously, I also can’t make specific recommendations to you that state, “Do business with Company A, but avoid Company B at all costs.” Doing so would involve somewhat subjective opinions, and of course, I’m not eager to be sued by Company B anytime soon.

What follows, therefore, is more of a story that you may relate to if you own a website. It is written as a (rather long) parable, so it can be applied to any business in any industry. As with any allegorical tale, you will derive your own meaning from it based on your situation and your experiences. I explain the symbolism after the story. What’s important, here, is that you understand the concept of the tale, and can apply the lessons learned to your business.