Importance of not falling for SEO Scammers

  • October 13, 2014
  • Bradley Taylor

paymentLike any business where big money is at stake, the SEO world has attracted its fair share of scammers.  These are people who promise the world, overstate their qualifications, overpromise end results and will take any amount of money that you are willing to send.

It’s a fact that most small business owners prefer to hire someone to do their SEO work.  After all, there are some things that are best left to the professional.  And just like you’d want to hire a good mechanic or electrician, you also need to make sure you hire a good SEO expert. 

What is a scammer?

In today’s world, it’s so easy for anyone to start an SEO business.  They can throw around some big words and make fantastic promises and for people who may not have experience in SEO, this may be more than enough to sign on the bottom line.  These scammers regularly do several things.

  1. Overstate Experience.  They may say they have 12 years of experience, but what they really mean is that they’ve played around with building webpages using a free tool they found online.  And they read some online journals.  But this self-described experienced SEO artist is simply full of hot air.
  2. Overstate Promised Results. You will be promised some fantastic results in a very short amount of time.  This includes being listed first in multiple search engines or increasing traffic by hundreds of percent in “JUST 7 DAYS!”  The results of good SEO work take some time and may take a little bit of trial and error before results are seen.
  3. Giving too much away for free. Many will promise no or low fees in exchange for admin access to your website.  But this is very unrealistic.  Would you trust a mechanic who will fix your car for free so long as you leave the keys and a copy of the title?  Of course not!

How to protect yourself!

There is not a top SEO certifying agency that protects you as a consumer.  But even without looking for accreditation, there are some sure fire ways to spot an SEO scammer.  These include:

  1. Sending an email from Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail. If an SEO expert doesn’t have an email from his own company, it’s more than likely spam. You should also always check out their website and make sure that it’s well written, has great content and provides reviews from existing clients.
  2. Guaranteed promises of the number one spot! Search engines don’t work this way.  While it is entirely possible to work towards a page one ranking, the number one spot cannot be pre-determined.  In some cases, the search engine will pull up the top 3 to 5 spots and then randomly display them.
  3. Not answering direct questions directly. Spammers use a variety of illicit or shady tactics to make it appear as if you’re getting more traffic or better results.  If they say a lot of words but don’t really provide answers to your questions, be wary.
  4. Not allowing you to talk to their existing customers. Any good SEO expert will have a variety of satisfied customers that will take the time to talk to you about his experience.  Be leery if you can’t get a phone number or direct contact information for somebody from a real company.

When it comes to all scammers, the bottom line is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut instinct and know that search engine optimization is not free, is not lightning fast and there is no “secret formula.”