At Internet Marketing Platinum, we become tired of SEO scam companies and even the so-called SEO companies which use highly suspect strategies. Such strategies are usually characterised by plays on words, false promises, poorly managed expectations, cheap prices and a plethora of other factors.
Here are our top 7 SEO Scams Exposed:
- Number 1 in Google in 14 days – This phrase suggests a scam because, for a start, unless your website is brand new, the web pages which form part of your website probably usually have a few number 1 listings. Your company name is likely to have a number 1 Google listing and so will at least an handful of long-tail search phrases (which probably don’t get that much traffic but maybe this traffic is highly convertible with high intentions to buy).
- First page of Google guaranteed – this is perhaps ‘clever marketing’ or a scam because, again, unless your website or domain name is new, you’ll already have top 10 listings in Google. What is important is which keywords the SEO company in question is guaranteeing results for and this kind of a guarantee is fairly useless and, as a result, misleading if it isn’t given for a range of specific, highly profitable and, therefore, likely to be competitive, search terms.
- 1000 back links to your website for a tenner – in general, if a back link is easy or cheaper to obtain then the lower its quality is likely to be. If you think about it, if something is easy to get then lots of people will do it because the effort expended will be comparatively low. You must use your own judgement on this but you can obtain a back link but your quality of content which surrounds that back link can be lower and take less effort (for instance an article on an article directory or guest blog post) and this, in turn, would result in a lower quality back link. So you must discern between the quality and power of different types of back links.
- They claim that they are Google approved – we hear this a lot when our competitors cold call us without doing their research and knowing who we are first. If a SEO company says they’re in some way affiliated with Google then they’re lying to you. It’s a play on words and they might just be Google Engage approved, an Adwords certificated company or something else. Either way, they aren’t calling from Google and they aren’t one of the few companies who Google has approved. It’s what the phrase implies that is aimed to mislead in this context.
- They’ve ranked many clients for obscure search terms – We’ve seem many so-called SEO companies who have made a business out of picking the low hanging fruit and producing quick wins which are sustainable whilst undertaking a SEO campaign in line with Pareto’s 80/20 rule is good practice…so long as the results come about ethically and no nasty short-cuts are taken. But if a SEO scammer gains a clients trust only to betray this trust by employing shady, unethical, blackhat SEO tactics then they are just that…a scammer. And the results are likely to be short-lived. This kind of practice actually impresses some clients initially as they might actually succeed in fooling search engines in the interim and might even get the client some enquiries but long-term this type of strategy stinks. It also makes clients who don’t know any better that us ethical SEO companies who implement ethical SEO strategies and don’t take shortcuts, might not be as good as these SEO scammers. This leads us on to the next point…
- It’s all smoke and daggers – We don’t ask our Accountant the precise process that they use to do our accounts so we wouldn’t expect our clients to ask for our exact process but we are perfectly clear about the deliverables. We always impart information, to our clients, about WHAT we do but the HOW isn’t really relevant. When you purchase a car you need to know that the parts used and the process to fit them together is of sufficient quality, you need to know about the safety ratings of the car, the performance, the economy and so on. This is the same with SEO. But you don’t need to see the car being built in the factory to know that it will drive well. You might need to read reviews about how well it drives. See other driver opinions. You can ask us for testimonials. The SEO scammers will tend to be very secretive about their methods because they are probably shady. We wouldn’t expect any SEO company to speak about software they use, research methods and tactics because other SEO companies might replicate processes which they’ve designed over time but actual workflow is important to be upfront about.
- All you need is SEO, all other marketing is too expensive – as much as we believe in the cost-effective value of organic SEO we wouldn’t recommend that a company relies solely on this. Paid traffic such as pay per click (PPC) namely Google Adwords might benefit you with pretty much instant results whilst you’re also running an organic SEO campaign. We recommend an holistic, integrated approach to marketing. Take a step back and realise that there is certainly almost always an opportunity in search engine optimisation for any given business but don’t neglect your other forms of marketing or think that SEO is a silver bullet or cheap or in any way free. Good SEO consultants like ourselves provide fair value but aren’t cheap. If you’re looking for cheap SEO then you’ll find it. There are SEO scammers prying on prospects looking to pay cheap (then pay twice).