Google and other search engines strongly disapprove manipulative and deceiving SEO tactics, and punish websites utilising unethical strategies by demotion or elimination from their indexes. To avoid this from happening to your website, it is therefore of utmost importance to be very careful whom you hire to make your website more likeable to search engines. But how can you tell who is using exclusively ethical SEO strategies and who can get you in trouble with search engines? Here are top 5 most obvious signs of SEO scams:
1. Promise to get your website to #1 on Google.
No one can guarantee #1 on Google and other search engines. How far your website will progress in search engine results pages (SERP) after the completion of your SEO campaign also depends greatly on competition. If competition is very high, you may not make it to the 1st page of search results and much less to the 1st place. Also, just because your website #1 on Google that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay there. If any unethical tactics have been used, your website is at risk of being demoted or even banned by search engines.
2. Claim to bring noticeable results in a very short period of time.
SEO takes time to show results. It may take weeks or even months to achieve any significant progress in SERP. Any promises of extremely fast results should therefore raise a red flag. Not only they are highly unlikely to be realised, they are also highly likely to be based on manipulative and deceiving SEO tactics.
3. Guarantee to bring thousands of visitors to your website.
Most web users choose to open only a few websites on the first few pages of search results. As a result, the higher your website ranks in SERP the more visitors it receives. However, your website’s traffic doesn’t only depend on its SERP ranking but it also depends on the number of searches for relevant keywords and keyword phrases. To generate high traffic, you need to rank high in SERP for highly searched keywords.
4. Offering “highest quality” service at an extremely low price.
It is highly important to be aware that there is no such thing as cheap yet high quality SEO service. Search engine optimisation is a highly complex, labour intensive and time consuming job which requires specialised knowledge. The price doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality and it is also possible to find high quality service at an affordable price. However, it is not realistic to expect to have the job done properly for a couple hundred pounds.
5. Refusing/avoiding answering your questions.
All SEO providers promise to improve your website’s visibility and deliver the highest quality service for your money. Unfortunately, many don’t. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to find out who really delivers what they promise and who may get you in trouble with search engines – ask many questions and expect to be asked plenty of questions yourself. If you receive unsatisfactory or no answers at all, or if SEO provider isn’t showing much interest in your needs and expectations, they are highly unlikely to do a good job.