Signs You May Be Signing Up for an SEO Scam
Search engine optimization, when done right, can get your site a lot more traffic from your target customers. The sad truth of the SEO industry is that there are a lot of scammers out there who don’t do it right.
In an effort to keep you from giving your money to one of these con-artists, I’ve developed a list of signs you’re signing up for an SEO scam.
“We guarantee top 3 results!”
What this actually means: We’ll get you to rank in the top 3 for a super obscure phrase that no one is actually searching for! OR We’ll pay for an Adwords campaign so your link will appear at the top but not at the result of any actual SEO effort!
What honest SEOs will say: No one outside of Google can know the specific ranking algorithm details – we know major factors from experience, but no one has the formula so it’s impossible to guarantee a certain ranking position. What I can guarantee is increasing the amount of traffic to your site – quality traffic that you care about.
SEOmoz has more to say about why reputable seo firms don’t promise search engine rankings.
“We cannot reveal our methods.”
What this actually means: We’re going to use shady black-hat scam tactics to get you to rank higher at the risk of your site getting penalized by Google. Our tactics probably won’t work in the long-term either – but that’s after our contract is up!
What honest SEOs will say: Sure, I’d be happy talk about my approach and methods – ultimately this all reflects on you and your site so you should definitely be aware of what we’re doing to your site and for your site around the web. Ask me anything.
“We will flood your site with traffic!”
What this can actually mean: We’ll flood your site with lots of meaningless robot and spammy traffic that won’t provide any value to your business but will make us look good but will provide absolutely zero value to your business! We might even show you ranking #1 on our fake search engine website!
What honest SEOs will say: I’ll get your site in front of your target audience and get the right kind of traffic to your site that has actual value for your business.
“If you stop working with us, you will lose your rankings.”
What this actually means: They’re using shady tactics if it’s true (which could get you blacklisted from Google) or they’re just straight up lying to you.
What honest SEOs will say: (Depending on how much has been done) You’ll continue to benefit from the work we’ve done together as these quality links we’ve built will continue to drive traffic over the long term. The changes we’ve made to your site to make it more search-engine friendly will also continue to provide you with better results.
Reasons to continue with SEO? To keep ahead of your competitors. To keep on top of new keywords as industry terms grow and develop and you as a business grow. To continue to increase the amount of traffic to your site.
More on what to be wary of when SEO shopping from Google.
Good SEO consultants will ask you about your goals, your business, your target audience. Good SEOs will explain their approach and measure their results based on traffic, not just rankings. Good SEOs will answer your questions and never do anything that would risk your site being penalized by search engines.
Want to get started on your own with SEO? Check out my pocket-size checklist for on-site optimization.
What do you think? What are other signs you’re headed for an SEO scam? What are other qualities of a good SEO consultant? Did you find this useful? Let me know in the comments!