With Google making more and more changes to the way they rank website search results, it is no longer business as usual in the search engine optimisation (SEO) world. You can’t get away with dodgy SEO tactics, such as buying 10,000 links from link farms. As it becomes increasingly important to do search engine optimization, many low quality SEO companies have inevitably popped up. Some of these companies are downright frauds, others are unscrupulous and some are just incompetent! It is important that you know common SEO scams so that you can avoid them.
If you get an anonymous contact through an email, a letter, or a phone call, the SEO company is probably trying to scam you. Such SEO companies rely on fear and misinformation to sell SEO services. Avoid all SEO companies that are not willing to provide contact information such as; their phone number or real address since they are most likely scammers.
A lot of SEO companies claim to guarantee top 10 rankings but the devil is in the detail. They’re normally on what are called “long-tail keywords” and also apply to only some keywords, not all and also to other search engines that may be useless to your business. According to Google, ‘No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. The same is true for the other search engines. Companies that make such guarantees will have fine print in the agreement that you need to pay attention to.
‘Special’ Relationships with Google
No SEO company has a ‘special’ relationship with the Google search engine or any kind of preferential ranking services. You should also avoid companies that claim to have ‘priority submit’ access for Google. Google employee
s would not jeopardize their jobs by associating with scammers.
Free SEO Trial Services
Although most SEO companies offer incentives to clients, few offer free SEO trail services given the tedious and involved nature of SEO . The process involves days of work and no legitimate SEO company will offer the service free. In most cases, when you go for the ‘free trial’, you will be required to give your FTP username/password or your hosting account access, opening your website up to malware and trojan viruses.
Secret/Undisclosed SEO Strategies
A legitimate SEO company will explain the SEO strategies it is using. In most cases, companies that claim to use ‘SEO trade secrets’ are planning to use Black Hat SEO tactics. This is dangerous because it could lead to the banning of your site. There are many different approaches to SEO, and you should have an insight into how your SEO company works.
Very Low Cost SEO
It is human nature to want a good deal out of SEO services, but you should note you expect to pay for quality service. You should avoid SEO companies with very low rates because they are most likely cutting corners to afford th
e low rates.
Automation has no place in today’s SEO. SEO is a manual process that involves continuously updating the website. It is only through a manual process that the SEO company will be able to generate targeted web traffic. We still see companies offering “submission to 400,000 websites”. Avoid this as it will drop your rankings like a stone!
Ownership of Website Content
Anything the SEO company does should belong to you, but there are some companies that ensure you sign an agreement relinquishing your ownership of the content. Read through the fine print of the agreement to ensure you do not fall into this trap. Don’t pay for something that you don’t own!