You're probably deciding if you should hire us as your SEO company. We know, it's a big decision and investment. SEO can potentially improve your site's ranking, increasing traffic and sales, but if SEO is not done right, it can create an enormous negative affect on your site and business reputation. Be diligent in your quest for the benefits of great SEO services as well as ramifications that an irresponsible SEO company can do to your site.
Even if you do not go with us, we're happy to share a few tips with you:
Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted by the heading "Sponsored Links") as well.
While the claims that advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in our search results, some clients who advertised large sums of money seems to indicate a lower organic search ranking.
If you're interested in becoming an educated consumer about SEO and would like to become familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:
If you're thinking about hiring us as your SEO company, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, we can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.
While other SEO companies can provide clients with unbelievable claims of "guaranteed positions" or incredibly low prices or even other benefits, we would caution you about unethical SEO practicess have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate Google's guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site's presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:
Here's a typical SPAM / FRAUD / CON ARTIST email:
"Dear John Doe,
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."
Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
Beware of SEO companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through their specific requirements.
Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO company creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.
Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of "free-for-all" links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines -- at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
While you consider whether to go with an SEO company, you may want to do some research on the industry. While we cannot comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEO specialists who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.
One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO company. It's far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO company: