There are infinite ways to fudge numbers — and that's a problem in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry.
Companies may display true numbers, but they don't tell the whole story.
Let's take a common SEO statistic — sessions.
Let's say your website had 300 sessions in January.
But in February your SEO company touts that sessions increased to 350. You can objectively say SEO is working and that February was the better month, right?
3 Examples of Misleading Data
1. What if February traffic included 100 spam sessions?
Spam sessions that upon arrival immediately bounced. All of of a sudden February doesn't look so good.
2. What if you started an AdWords campaign in February?
Let's say your campaign drew 75 clicks.
That's good, but don't let the data mislead you.
In AdWords you pay for clicks. And in this case, February wasn't the result of good SEO. It was the result of an increased budget, or maybe increased bids.
3. Maybe year-by-year February is downright a better month than January.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a litany of ways an SEO provider can paint a picture, or worse, manipulate the data.
To get the most out of your SEO you need people you can trust.
An ethical SEO company ignores the negative implications associated with the expressing the truth.
It's far too important to see data as it as rather than what it could be.
A client's response should not matter. SEO companies should express the most accurate, telling, and truth-revealing analysis to improve their clients' processes, projects and goals.
Honesty builds trust and provides fertile ground for respect, advanced communication, and foundations to achieve success.