How to Know You’re Getting Scammed in SEO
Search engine optimization is a vital tactic for most businesses and brands, as it can help boost visibility in search results across multiple search engines. While there are plenty of paid strategies for instantly boosting brand visibility, SEO is popular because of its passive, recurring benefits. The more popular and prominent a brand becomes, the more traffic it tends to generate via search.
Many brands do not have the time nor patience to personally invest in crafting every aspect of their SEO strategies. This is where expert assistance can be helpful – but all too often, there are firms and individuals pretending to be more experienced than is the case.
Below, we’ll look at some tell-tale signs that you’re being scammed by someone not well-versed in SEO.
Packaged or Bundled Offerings
The simple reality is that SEO is far too complex and multi-faceted in 2018 for package deals to be a relevant strategy for businesses. While it was possible in the past to sell piecemeal packages that focused on keywords or links, this is no longer viable – and should be your first red flag that a firm or individual cannot guarantee results.
Many of these deals ultimately lead to major damage being done to the sites involved, due to sketchy link building tactics pinging servers on Google, Bing and other search engines. In many cases, the traffic that is delivered is meaningless or irrelevant; you don’t want any traffic, but rather, quality and relevant traffic.
Guaranteed Concrete Results
While any good SEO firm can promise that with enough effort, time and investment, real progress will be made, some firms make explicit promises that are not possible.
Perhaps the most common example of this is the promise that your website will be on the first page of search engine results – and often within a specific time-frame. Nobody has enough of a grasp of the complex algorithms governing SEO to make that promise and be able to always honor it.
Real SEO firms understand there are many factors that can impact rankings and results, and while it is possible to promise improvements in traffic, rankings and more over time, it is not feasible to declare absolute results before the work even begins.
“I Know People at Google”
Whenever somebody claims to have inside knowledge of what search engine companies are doing – and can therefore manipulate it in your favor – run. Many companies imply that their knowledge of SEO extends to understanding what Google and other search engines will do next, but this just isn’t true.
These companies have strict and punitive contracts with employees that prevent this kind of information from falling into the wrong hands – and even if it did, do you think a run-of-the-mill SEO provider would be offering this holy grail to everyday customers?
SEO takes time, dedication and – if you don’t have the skills -outside investment and resources. There is nothing wrong with tasking a firm in helping you with promoting content, pinging servers with links and building credibility, but not all firms are credible. If you see any of these red flags when negotiating an arrangement for services, avoid them like the plague.