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7 Signs to Identify an SEO Firm That’s Not Worth the Money

EVERGREEN, COLORADO – While treading through the jungle of SEO, you must be very careful to not step on poisonous snakes. Yes, I’m talking about bad SEO firms or companies. I think there cannot be a better word than “poisonous snake” to refer to a bad SEO agency as far as the health of your site is concerned.

As you may know, around 62 percent of searchers click links appearing on the first page of search results. To achieve a higher click-through rate, your site links should make it to the first page of search engine results.

SEO is a complicated process. You must always choose to work with a good professional SEO company to get your site ranked at the top of search engines like Google via white-hat techniques. But how do you identify an SEO firm that’s truly worth your money?

Given below are seven telltale signs that you can use to spot a bad SEO agency so you know what’s actually “good.”

#1. A Low Quote
Recently, Ali (CEO at Millionairium) wrote a blog post titled “I Wanted Cheap SEO.” In this article, he talks about companies that hired SEO firms, grew in search rankings and dropped after a short period of time. These client sites were badly hit by the Google Panda updates. It happened only because those clients wanted to hire an SEO firm that was the cheapest.

The point that I’m trying to make is that a low quote or cheap price often signals low quality of SEO work. Just because an SEO agency offers you the cheapest rate for SEO services doesn’t mean you should choose them.

So, beware of a low quote!

#2. Top Ranking Overnight
When you are out to hire an SEO services company, you’ll come across thousands of firms- all of which claim to be the best. No matter how good an SEO company looks, they can never guarantee top search rankings instantly. Depending on the current status of your website, it may take weeks or months to start appearing at the top of SERPs. Promises of instant top search rankings only translate to poorly done SEO.

#3. Free Trial
The word “free” is powerful. That’s why many SEO companies offer free trials to attract more clients quickly. When you come across a service that offers a free SEO trial, you need to be careful. If the free service sounds too good to be true, it may be. Bad agencies often offer free trials only for the sake of collecting your website information and emails.

#4. Hundreds of Backlinks Instantly
The recent Google Penguin updates (that check link spam) have made link building tougher and more competitive. You can no longer do mass-submission to link directories and gain top rankings. Any backlinks that you create for your site must always look natural to search engines. In any case, acquiring tons of links quickly is bound to make search engines suspicious. Therefore, you should beware of bad SEO firms that promise hundreds of links (via shoddy link schemes) instantly.

#5. No Questions
SEO requirements vary from one site to another. SEO should always be done strategically in light of the goals that a small business owner wants to achieve. Therefore, a good SEO firm will never fail to ask you plenty of questions about your small business, the industry you cater to, your goals, etc. To drive only highly qualified organic traffic to your site, an SEO agency needs to know your goals in a crystal-clear way.

#6. Unsolicited Emails
Yes, it happens. Many SEO companies will send you emails out of the blue claiming they know your site really well and can improve your search rankings for certain high-traffic keywords. Spammers have special software programs to automatically gather emails and URLs from across the Web. Therefore, you should be careful about such unsolicited offers so that you don’t end up working with an SEO firm that’s not actually worth your money.

#7. One-Time Fix
When it comes to doing SEO effectively, there’s no such thing as “one-time fix.” You can never expect to retain top rankings in search engines unless you consistently pay attention to your website’s SEO. Any company that says or believes SEO is just for one time is certainly a bad one.

Do you want to share more signs for spotting a bad SEO company? Please feel free to share them in comments.

7 Signs to Identify an SEO Firm That’s Not Worth the Money was last modified: July 18th, 2019 by Millionairium
  • Such a great and informative post about SEO services. This will really help business owners. Keep posting.

    Kendra 6 years ago
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    Ward 6 years ago
  • You have presented a very nice article about to identity an SEO firm. I really very much impressed with your post.

    conceptllc 7 years ago
  • This is indeed a helpful and informative post for business owners. This will help them to fully understand SEO services.

    Collin 7 years ago
  • This is a very useful article for those who are looking for seo firms and it will help to choose correct seo firm. thank you

    mitchellm 7 years ago
  • @Thomas Zickell

    I respect your thinking process. However, if you truly understand how Google functions and what trigers its red-flag, then by following white-hat SEO techniques, you can improve your ranks and even guarantee top of Google results. The clients you see on our Case-Study page (and many more over the years) all have experienced long-term success with our SEO programs.

    Just because Randy cannot guarantee top of Google results, doesn\’t mean no one else can. 😉

    Ali Husayni 7 years ago
  • @Edmund Sykes

    Hi Edmund,

    I recently wrote a list of questions you should ask an SEO firm before hiring them. Here it is. I also wrote the answers you should or you shouldn\’t expect. I hope this helps you next time you\’re hiring an SEO firm.

    About Panda update: it was mostly about content. See here. So, by fixing your content, you could get your rankings back.

    Let me know if we could help you any further.

    Ali Husayni 7 years ago
  • Great tips, sometimes people don\’t know what are red flags in regards to hiring SEO firms.

    jared 7 years ago
  • I want to say something that might not be so popular. However one of the number one things that I know honest people in this industry agree people like Rand Fishkin is never promise results as you can not do that I could not promise you a page-one ranking ever because Google come out with the next patch something like Penguin and destroy all of the things that are done to make search engines more likely to rank sites that have been optimized. So while I believe this firm is an honest firm I would never go as far as to promise a ranking and that is what I heard from the video. I am not saying that this company is dishonest I\’m saying I would never make a promise like that and there are a lot of dishonest people out there it\’s good to see that this company is not dishonest however never make a promise to rank.

    Thomas Zickell 7 years ago
  • Too true. We used an Australian SEO, not particularly cheap, and fell from ranking 6 to 66 in just a month. OK, Panda / Penguin may have been to blame but everyone denies everything. I always compare SEO with our business which is discount international courier. If we don’t get your parcel there on time you get your money back, if we loose it you collect the insurance as well. We just discount the regular FedEx and UPS prices through volume. So many people in SEO just take your money and you have zero guarantee.

    How about an article that tells you what to look for rather than what not to look for? I want to get back on the front page of a Google search for “courier Spain” how can I get some form of guarantee? Our web site is packed with information on exporting from Spain with links to tens of US Government/Customs forms and advice on many other countries.

    Let’s hear something positive rather than negative.

    Edmund Sykes 7 years ago
  • Nobody can know for sure. I hired a very cheap SEO service once, and it went well. It is important the clients also know a thing or two about SEO so that won’t get swindled.

    Vincent 7 years ago
  • This is a very useful article for those who are looking for seo firms and it will help to choose correct seo firm. thank you

    vikas 7 years ago
  • Hi. I liked low quote and no questions parts better. I think the less the SEO firm cares about your business and your problems, the likelier they just want your money!
    So, I too suggest to be careful in choosing your optimization company and learn about seo before taking any decision.

    One other thing I believe works fine is to acquire information from those who have had good/bad experiences with the company you wanna choose.

    Amin 7 years ago