My Personal Top 5 SEO SCAMS.
SEO better known as Search Engine Optimzation is a process that can be as simple as adding a few keywords to your website content or as complicated as creating a full scale content marketing strategy. Now today more than ever Snake Oil Salesmen are using SEO to sell you snake oil. In this article I will explain to you the different types of SEO Scams that are being sold to unsuspecting business owners on an unprecedented level.
1. The Local Listings SEO Scam
The local listings SEO Scam is one of the oldest and biggest SEO scams out there today.
How Does The Local Listings SEO Scam Work?
You will get a phone call or an in person visit from a salesperson telling you that they will guarantee first place placement on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp and other online local business directories for a small monthly fee ranging anywhere from $40 to upwards of $300 per month. Many times these scoundrels will tell you that they are in partnership with Google and sometimes they will even pretend to be Google themselves.
The scam is is that you are paying a monthly fee for a Google+ page or better known as Google Places or Google Maps listings. These listings are absolutely 100% free. Even Yahoo Local, Yelp, Merchant Circle and others are 100% free. There are reputable online services that can help manage your local listings for a monthly or yearly fee.
Bottom line. If someone is trying to confuse or scare you about your Google+ listings, then it’s a scam.
Does it work?
No. There is no way that you can guarantee a top position in Google Maps or Google Plus for any keyword. You also run the risk of creating future problems for verifying your business listing.
Watch this video to see how Google+ listings are created.
2. We’re Certified By Google To Do SEO & Web Design
Let’s get this straight. Google does not have ANY certifications for web design and Organic SEO. And ANYONE that tells you this is scamming you!
My SEO Company Has A Certification On Their Website (Is This Legit?)
The only certifications/programs that Google offers to SEOs and Website Designers is is for Google Advertising which is a Pay Per Click program called Google Adwords. Please take note that Google Adwords is a completely different service than Organic SEO. Reference the websites below.
- Google Adwords Certified Partner Program
- Google Adwords Certified Individual
- Google Partners Program (Training Program With No Certification)
Some SEO companies will try and confuse their potential victims that they are certified to do SEO by Google using these certifications. Make no mistake, these certifications and programs have little to do with SEO and Social Media Optimization and are strictly for use with Google Advertising Services which are completely different than Organic SEO.
If you are being told that they are certified for SEO, Organic Search or Local Search Optimization by Google, you should look for another service provider.
3. We Use A Secret Mathematical Algorithmic Formula To Rank Your Website
This has to be the biggest load of elephant crap that I’ve ever heard in my life. First off, there are NO mathematical algorithmic formulas that an SEO can use to rank your website. In other words it means keyword density, keyword stuffing to be more exact. The entire process of Search Engine Optimization is about publishing content on and off your website. Math has nothing to do with it except for the amount of content that you publish on and off site.
4. For Only $40 A Month We’ll Rank You For Any Keyword
While the price may sound nice, this will only work if your keywords don’t have any competition. For example Real Estate Keywords in any mid sized to major metropolitan area will have tons of competition and the people that are at the top are spending a lot more than $40 a month for SEO. Most often these bargain basement SEO companies will rank you for long tail keywords that no one looks for or gets rarely searched. I spoke with a man the other day that is paying for this service and has received ZERO phone calls for the entire year that he’s been signed up with this person. In addition the monthly fee is being disguised as a “maintenance fee” on a site that is hosted on FREE Google Sites.
5. The SEO Company You Hired Doesn’t Rank For Their Own Keywords Nor Do Their Clients.
Did you get a phone call from a SEO company promising to rank your website at the top of local and organic search results? While many reputable SEO companies engage in telemarketing 90% of these companies don’t rank for their own keywords. Think about it. You got a phone call from a telemarketer telling you that they’ll rank your website, yet you never checked to see where their own website traffic comes from.
Their Clients Don’t Rank Either
Often times these Telemarketing Based SEO companies don’t even get their own clients ranked. The entire scam is based on selling you snake oil until you realize that your website is not getting ranked at all. Many times they won’t do much but create local listings on Google and other free business directory websites and collect a check from you every month. Other times the SEO WILL get you ranked for keywords that are not competitive or rarely searched.
How Can I Tell If An SEO Company Is Legit?
- A Good SEO company should rank their own clients for competitive keywords
- A Good SEO company should rank for their own keywords
- A Good SEO company’s website won’t be stuffed with nonsensical repeated keywords
- A Good SEO company will produce or help you create quality content for your website, blog, and social media campaigns.
- A Good SEO company won’t try and fool you with irrelevant certifications
Identifying A Good SEO Company Can Be Difficult
The problem is that many small businesses are not educated about the internet, marketing, and information technology in general making them an easy target for SEO Scams. Many SEO companies will either not get you ranked or just want to make a quick buck on selling you snake oil for a few months. Other times bargain basement SEO Companies are simply not putting in enough work or not doing anything at all to get your website ranked. In competitive markets SEO must be an ongoing effort in order to keep you ranked at the top. Most SEOs are not doing that. Other SEO companies can get you ranked by spamming the search engines using techniques that are called blackhat SEO.
So what is Blackhat SEO?
Blackhat SEO is the art or “psuedo science” of using techniques that are intended to fooling Google into thinking that your website is important or relevant to the keywords users are searching for.
What techniques do Blackhat SEO Companies employ?
The techniques that blackhat SEO companies employ can not only get your website banned and removed from Google’s Organic Search results, they can also reflect poorly on your brand and reputation. These techniques include but are not limited the following:
Spamdexing is the “art” of creating multiple websites/business listings with the same content and keywords in an attempt to take up all the search results for virtually the same website or business.
3. Link Farming & Link Wheels
Link farming and link wheels is the “art” of creating multiple websites with artificial links that point back to a main website. Getting links from link farms and bad neighborhoods can actually hurt your rankings.
3. Blog Comment Spam
Did an SEO company ever tell you that they could get thousands if not millions of links to your website for under 1 cent per link? What the spammer does is uses an automated program that places irrelevant comments on websites with backlinks back to your website. The problem with this is that Google knows about it and will penalize your website for link spam.
4. Keyword Stuffed Business Listings In Multiple Cities Or Keyword Stuffed Business Listings
This is the oldest technique in the world of blackhat SEO. By creating keyword stuffed business listings or multiple business listing you are running the risk of getting penalized from Google’s Search Results.
5. Copying Content From Competitors Or Other Websites
Copying content from a competitor or another website offers little or no value to your website readers. In addition you run the risk of getting hit with a hefty penalty by Google for publishing duplicate or plagiarized content. And Google will know if your site content is original or re-spun content.
Do You Recommend Any SEO Companies?
Whenever you hire an SEO company they should adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which can be viewed here.
Do You Only Do SEO In Ventura County?
No. We have clients located across the United States that use our SEO Services. We are simply a Located in Ventura County that offers whitehat SEO services.
Interested In Getting SEO For Your Website?
Call 805-620-0742 or email [email protected]