There’s so much SEO spam being sent to inboxes these days that’s it’s near impossible to distinguish between legitimate offers and utter scam. If you have an email address, and you are in any way connected to an online business, you’ve probably had at least one of these emails sent to you.
You probably read those ridiculous email subject lines
“Guaranteed Search Engine Dominance!”
“RE: Your Top Ranking”
And other wild claims, naturally. You are hardly alone in this infestation. There is really no other way to describe it. It is an infestation. There’s just so much of that garbage being sent to online business owners.
If you are looking for a company that will help your website rank higher on Google and other search engines, here are the five signs that you should look out for. These five signs can indicate whether the SEO company that you’re thinking of doing business with is either clueless, fraudulent, or possibly both. These are red flags. If any of these show up in your dealings with a potential SEO provider, run away as fast as you can in the other direction. Otherwise, get ready to say good-bye to your hard-earned online advertising money.
Entrusting your hard-earned money to these clowns can, at best, get you penalized by Google, and at worst, get you into all sorts of legal trouble. Regardless of how you cut it, you’re not going to get what you bargain for. You might get some temporary benefits or temporary increase in your ranking, but that’s going to evaporate almost overnight. Don’t get fooled. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on companies that have any of these signs.
Sign of Trouble 5: Uses SEO techniques from 2000
This is very easy to spot. When they tell you that they’re going to build lots of links, or that they are going to create web 2.0 links, or they’re going to post articles for backlinks, you’re dealing with a company that is completely clueless.
Make no mistake about it, after the Google Panda update, the SEO game has dramatically changed. Old techniques like building links everywhere doesn’t work anymore. Google Penguin made sure that you will get penalized if you build links intensively. The reality is that Google is cracking down on all sorts of link building methods all the time. If you need proof, just look up MyBlogGuest.com (read the full story here). That company just got its ass handed to it by Google because of Google’s unfair claim that the website facilitated guest post spam.
However, people have moved on and people have gotten the message that Google isn’t playing around when it comes to link building. This is precisely the kind of memo you should get if you want to deal with a company that uses SEO techniques from the year 2000. Simply building links from all over the place isn’t going to do you any good. If anything, it might torpedo whatever rankings your website has managed to get at this time.
Signs of Trouble 4: Build Links Instead of Earning Them
If you’re dealing with a company that keeps talking about link building, link building, link building, you know you’re dealing with a company that is completely clueless. Either that or they are completely evil and are involved in fraud. Regardless of how you cut it, it’s a bad idea to do business with that company.
The reality is that after Google Penguin, building links as a form of SEO is dying and it’s dying really fast. Make no mistake about it, don’t focus on building links. Focus instead on earning them. This is completely different from simply filling out an online form and getting a backlink in return. Those days are over. Instead, you have to do a lot of outreach. You have to hit the digital pavement to establish real relationships with other people in your niche so you can get high-quality backlinks. There’s a lot more of work involved in SEO for the year 2014 and beyond than ever before. If you think that you can get an instant SEO boost just by simply sending money to people that will build tons of links for you, you have a nasty surprise coming your way.
Sign of Trouble 3: Guaranteed Placement
Whenever somebody guarantees anything, especially something as elusive as search engine rankings, you should have a little doubt in the back of your mind… Listen to that little voice!
In fact, you shouldn’t just doubt these claims. You should outright not believe them. Seriously. Nobody can guarantee search engine rankings. This is a sign of fraud. Why? What they would do is they will rank you for low-quality keywords that very few people search for. In fact, they might rank you for keywords that nobody searches for. It’s very easy to rank for keywords that nobody is using. Any monkey can do that. Any monkey can get you to rank for keywords that don’t have any search volume.
If they really are saying that they can guarantee placement, test them. Give them a highly competitive keyword that is very relevant to your niche and see if they can deliver the goods.
Be aware of the other kind of scam that they use. They might say that they can guarantee competitive keywords, but it will take several months. The catch is that during those several months, you’re making monthly payments. Don’t fall for this scam. They will probably make all sorts of excuses why it didn’t work, but at the end of the day, they have your money, and you don’t. The bottom line is nobody can guarantee SEO results due to the huge number of variables involved.
Sign of Trouble 2: Generates Link Everyone Else can Get
When you look at these emails, and you click on the link to go to a website, and they list the link sources, be very skeptical. Always ask yourself:
“Are these the types of links that any idiot can get?”
If the answer is yes, click the back button or close the window and forget about that website. The new rule of SEO is that the harder the links that you get, the better it is for your rankings. That’s the new rule. If you’re dealing with a company that will get you links that everybody else can get, you really don’t have a competitive advantage. Moreover, Google might penalize you because the company you’re dealing with might be cutting a lot of corners to get easy backlinks.
Sign of Trouble 1: Focusing on Volume or Page Rank
This is the number-one sign of cluelessness when it comes to SEO. Real SEOs don’t focus on page rank or link volume. If the company you’re thinking of doing business with talks about the number of links or the page rank of those sources, chances are, you’re dealing with a company that is clueless.
The reality is that you should focus on quality of link partnerships and relationships. You shouldn’t even be thinking of links at all. You should be thinking about content marketing and building alliances with your brand. New SEO is all about relationship building. New SEO is all about brand building. Beware of companies that don’t focus on these and focus instead of the quantity of the links they can deliver or the page rank of the link sources that they can deliver.