The Dark Side of SEO: How to Spot the Bad Guys
Are you afraid that you might be getting taken for a ride by your seo company?
You are not alone. It can be hard to tell the good from the bad, and if you don’t know what SEO is or how to make sure you’re getting the most for your money, it can be a scary situation.
How do you identify the bad apples from the good ones? In this blog post, we will discuss the dark side of SEO and provide you with some red flags to look out for when searching for a reliable SEO firm. From unproven tactics to false promises, this post will provide you with the knowledge and tools to make an informed decision when it comes to hiring an SEO firm.
Why Are There So Many Bad Actors In The SEO Industry?
We know that the SEO industry is unfortunately plagued by bad actors, but why? Take a look at some of the unique aspects of SEO that make it easy for shady firms to take your money and run.
High Demand Due to Value of Being #1
Being ranked number one on search engines like Google is extremely valuable for businesses. This has led to a surplus of SEO providers in the market. Unfortunately, not all of these providers have the expertise or ethics to deliver effective and sustainable results. Every business wants to be at the top of search engine results, and they are willing to pay a premium to achieve this. This high demand creates a breeding ground for unethical SEO firms that are only interested in taking advantage of unsuspecting business owners.
Easy to Make Excuses for Failure Due to Complexity
SEO involves understanding and adapting to constantly changing search engine algorithms, which can be difficult even for legitimate SEO firms. This complexity provides an opportunity for shady SEO firms to make excuses for their lack of results. Business owners who don’t fully understand the intricacies of SEO may be easily fooled by these excuses, leaving them unsure if they were scammed or if the process simply didn’t work for them.
Business Owners Wanting Get-Rich-Quick Solutions
Some responsibility has to be placed on the shoulders of the business owner. It’s not uncommon to find business owners who are looking for a get-rich-quick solution to their SEO needs, all while wanting to pay as little as possible. It’s understandable that everyone wants to see their website at the top of search engine results overnight, but the reality is that SEO is a premium service that requires time, effort, and expertise.
Shady SEO firms take advantage of this demand by offering their services at a fraction of the price. They prey on business owners who are willing to take a gamble on a cheap provider in the hopes of hitting the SEO jackpot. However, when the promised results don’t materialize, they simply move on to the next unsuspecting business owner.
In a situation like this, the business owner rarely leaves a bad review because they know in their heart they shouldn’t have expected much from such a cheap service to begin with.
Scam #1 - Promises of Guaranteed #1 Ranking
Promises of guaranteed #1 ranking are one of the biggest red flags when it comes to choosing an SEO firm. The truth is, no legitimate SEO firm can guarantee a top ranking on search engine results pages. Why? Well, it all comes down to the complexity of search engine algorithms.
Over 200 Factors Affecting SEO
When it comes to SEO, there are over 200 factors that can affect your website’s rankings. These factors include everything from the location of the search, to the user’s intent, to the click-through rate of your website. With so many variables at play, it is impossible for any SEO firm to guarantee a specific outcome or guarantee a top ranking on search engine results pages
Search Intent is Unpredictable
SEO is not just about optimizing keywords and meta tags; it’s about understanding the intent of the users. The success of an SEO strategy lies in providing what the users are looking for. But here’s the catch – user intent is constantly changing. What may have worked in the past may not work anymore.
Search engines strive to deliver the best and most relevant results to users. They take into account various factors, such as the user’s location, search history, and browsing behavior, to understand their intent. This means that SEO strategies need to adapt and evolve to meet the changing demands of users. Guaranteeing a specific search position or maintaining it is simply not possible in such a dynamic landscape.
You Don't Know What The Competition is Doing
In the competitive world of SEO, there is only room for one website to claim the coveted #1 spot in search engine rankings. This means that if you want to be at the top, you have to outrank all of your competitors. To claim the #1 spot, you not only need to have a solid SEO strategy, but you also need to have a better strategy than your competitors. This means that even if you hire the best SEO firm in the world, there is still no guarantee that you will reach the #1 spot if your competitors have equally skilled SEO firms working for them.
SEO Tip - Don't Try to Become #1 Overnight
Scam #2- Cheap & Quick Results
It is not reasonable to think that you can become #1 for cheap. However, many business owners are lured by the promise of quick results for a fraction of the cost. They believe that they can pay a minimal fee and magically skyrocket to the top of search engine rankings. But the reality is that achieving and maintaining a high-ranking position requires time, effort, and a strategic approach.
Quality SEO services come at a price, and for good reason. SEO involves extensive research, optimization, content creation, link building, and continuous monitoring. It requires expertise, resources, and ongoing maintenance. Cheap service providers often cut corners and use ineffective tactics that can harm your website’s reputation and visibility in the long run.
Scam #3 - Lack of Transparency
Lack of transparency is a major red flag when it comes to choosing an SEO firm. If a company is not transparent about their strategies, methods, or even their pricing, it’s a clear indication that they have something to hide. Transparency is crucial in any business relationship, and it is especially important when it comes to SEO.
No Clear Plan of Action
Your SEO firm should be able to clearly outline their plan of action for improving your search engine ranking. This includes identifying the target keywords that will drive traffic to your site, creating engaging and relevant content, building quality backlinks and establishing your authority in your niche.
Hiding Behind Proprietary Strategies
Some SEO firms may try to hide behind a veil of secrecy and claim that their strategies are proprietary, making it difficult for you to understand exactly what they’re doing. This lack of transparency is a major red flag when it comes to choosing an SEO firm. A reputable SEO firm should be able to explain their strategies and tactics in a way that is clear and understandable to you. They should be able to show you what steps they will take to improve your website’s rankings and visibility.
Scam #4 - Unethical Tactics
By using black hat tactics, these bad SEO firms are essentially trying to cheat the system. However, search engines are constantly evolving and getting better at detecting and penalizing these tactics. In the long run, using black hat techniques will harm your website’s reputation and visibility.
It’s crucial to choose an SEO firm that follows ethical practices and focuses on long-term, sustainable strategies. By doing so, you can ensure that your website ranks well and maintains its online reputation without resorting to black hat tactics.
Scam #5 - No Input From Business Owner
In order to create an effective SEO campaign, it’s crucial for the business owner or an industry expert to provide input. While a skilled SEO specialist can analyze data, conduct keyword research, and optimize a website, they will not have the necessary industry knowledge to create relevant and expert content.
Think about it: would you want a SEO specialist who specializes in healthcare to write content about how to fix a roof leak? Probably not. It’s important to have input from the business owner or someone with industry expertise to ensure that the content produced aligns with the goals and values of the business.
AI Still Incapable of Matching Expertise of Industry Experts
A bad SEO firm may try to convince you that they can handle everything using AI or automated tools. While AI can be useful in certain aspects of SEO, it can never replace the human touch. AI lacks the industry expertise, creativity, and understanding of consumer expectations that only a business owner can provide.
Choose an SEO firm that values your input and recognizes the importance of collaboration. Together, you can create a strong and effective SEO strategy that drives organic traffic, improves your website’s visibility, and ultimately helps your business grow.