Hi, my name is Rob Arkell, Sales and Marketing Director here at Koozai, and today I wanted to talk to you about some of the top SEO scams that we’ve seen in 2011. Unfortunately in our industry we are subject to charlatans and certainly not just individuals, but also agencies that do take advantage of clients’ naiveté toward search. So I wanted to go through in this video some of the scams that have been used and tactics that have been used to convince clients to progress with search marketing services that don’t promote and advocate best practice. So hopefully, by the end of the video, you’ll have a good idea of the types of things you should look out for.
Before I move on to the points on the wall behind me, one of the first things that we see is individuals contacting potential prospects from Gmail addresses or Hotmail addresses. So first of all, look out for that. Make sure the email address does match the domain. The other thing that you’re going to want to look out for is that they have a physical office location. That’s very, very important. On top of that, you’re going to want to look out for a phone number. Make sure they’re contactable by every means.
Behind me on the wall here, as I say, the first point that we have is guarantees. It’s a big issue in the industry. You cannot guarantee keyword placement. So if you have an individual offering you a guarantee of a particular placement, make sure you do challenge it. Google’s guidelines very clearly state that if an agency offer a guarantee, you should basically run a mile.
The next point is guaranteed links. Once again, you cannot guarantee a volume of links, and certainly link development isn’t purely about volume. So again, if an individual is promising X amount of links for X amount of pounds, once again, do challenge it and be aware of it.
The next point that I’ve got here is Google connections. Nobody, no agency have a connection from a search perspective other than you’ll find agencies, such as Koozai, having the Google Certified Partner logo and accreditation. From an organic search point of view, there is nobody out there that has an inside connection with Google that can influence your position in organic search. So do be wary of that one as well.
The next point we’ve got here is trade secrets. When people talk about having trade secrets, tricks of the trade, and they don’t offer you any transparency as to what activities are going to be undertaken, again that is something to be very, very wary of. You want to make sure you challenge that. SEO is all about hard work. So it is all about making sure that you’re working with an individual or a reputable agency that have the skills, expertise, experience, and credentials to get you to where you need to be. There are no shortcuts.
Threats, you’ll find out there, there are a lot of companies that will almost come along. They will say, “If you don’t progress with us, we’re going to remove you from Google’s index,” that kind of thing. There is absolutely no way that an individual would be able to do that. They don’t have control over Google’s index. It is only Google themselves that can influence the results in that way.
The next one here is scare mongering. One of the things we’re seeing is prospects being contacted by agencies, and they’re being told their website doesn’t have any backlinks, the site isn’t indexed in Google, and there are real fundamental issues with the site. It’s very important that you do check these, get a third party view, and contact a reputable agency to get that feedback.
Hopefully that’s given you a good overview of some of the scare tactics that we have seen this year. If you would like to find out more, do visit our blog or follow us using any of the contact methods listed below.
Great tips Rob. I think you hit some really important points in the beginning. If someone e-mails you from with a gmail, yahoo, or hotmail address, and not from an e-mail from the domain they do business on… ignore or block them from sending further e-mail. Also… a reputable firm will have a physical address, a portfolio, and examples of some proven results.
Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?