From time to time I browse through the AutoTrader website looking at sensible and not so sensible cars. Being a Volvo driver, albeit a V70R, I sometimes dream of buying a Lancer Evolution, a red one no doubt ;)
Today I carried out a search on AutoTrader and got a list of Lancers. This is not unlike carrying out a search on Google i.e. do search, get list. I started looking through the list which is presented as a synopsis, just like Google, usually with a thumbnail photo, perhaps less like Google unless you've seen blended results including YouTube links.
One car search result caught my eye. It was a colour I liked and it was in the price range I was thinking of. I clicked the search result item to get more info, again, just as I do with Google.
Something immediately caught my eye. The headline advert suggested the car was an Evolution VI or 6. The detailed description said the car was an Evolution IV or 4. This annoyed me and without hesitation I hit the back button.
I'll return to my Saturday afternoon browse round AutoTrader presently but that experience led me straight to this blog, in post mode. You see, I felt as if I'd been cheated. I felt as if this person, who I don't even know, was being disrespectful to me. He's cost me a click and several seconds of my valuable time by creating a misleading search result.
If your SEO is resulting in increased search engine exposure, but your website isn't delivering, how much harm are you doing your business? How many people are you alienating without even speaking to them? How many people are telling others you suck because you wasted their time?
Perhaps not many, perhaps a lot but why take the risk.