SEO companies are like car dealerships. There are honest ones and there are crooks. Just like cars, you don’t know what goes into SEO work, so the SEO guy can easily manipulate and lie to you or sell you something that has little value or benefit, if any. Here are some lines SEO companies and their salespeople use to make you believe they’re great, while in reality, they’re not.
1 – “We will guarantee your site’s position.”
Everyone says that. But when you hear the above, the first question you should ask is: “on what search engines?” If they say, Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. then you need to tell them that you’re only interested in Google. Ask them if they can get you ranked at the top of Google.
And here is why:
Google holds more than 74 percent of the total search market; followed by Yahoo! with only 15 percent (do you see the huge gap?). If your site is ranking on Google, then you basically don’t need to worry about the other search engines. If it doesn’t, then it could be No. 1 on all the other search engines and you still would see very little traffic coming to your site.
If the SEO company can get your Web site to rank at the top of Google search results, then you’re in good hands. If not, do not WASTE your money with them.
The second question you need to ask them is: “for what keywords?” It is very common for crook SEO companies to place your site on the first page or at the top for mundane keywords that NO ONE is searching for. It doesn’t matter if your site is coming up for “I want to buy red shoes online.” Who is going to type that in the Google search box? If they can get you to rank for “shoes online,” then you’re talking.
The reason they do that is because it is easy to optimize for these “long” keywords. All they have to do is spend two hours optimizing your site and BOOM… your site appears at the top. However, since no one searches for that phrase, you’re not going to get any business from it.
The free tool you can use to see what keywords are popular keywords is the Google Keyword Selector Tool. It will tell you the search volume for any particular keyword you type in as well as its synonyms or combinations of multiple keywords.
2 – “We’ll place your site at the top in one month.”
Unless your Web site is already on the first page, no SEO company using “white-hat” SEO techniques can get it to rank at the top of organic results that fast. Most of the time it’ll take between three to six months and sometimes even a year (in very competitive markets) before you see your site at the top.
What these SEO companies could be talking about is placing your site at the top of Dog Pile or many other irrelevant search engines that only care for “on-site” optimization.
They could also be using “black-hat” SEO techniques, which means your site, will temporarily get top rankings and then will be “red-flagged” by Google and dropped from their database entirely and for good.
“White-hat” SEO work that will get your site ranked at the top of Google and stay there is tedious, delicate work. It could take up to 500 hours or more of intense labor before your site ranks at the top.
3- “Be aware of those who guarantee first page of Google listings.”
This is my favorite line from SEO newbies. Just because some SEO “experts” (sarcasm, alright?) are unable to rank your Web site on the first page or at the top of Google, they tell you that no one else can.
I will show you many examples of Web sites we’ve placed at the top of Google organic results.
4- “We will submit your Web sites to hundreds of search engines.”
Pointless. Only Google counts. If they get your site to be at the top of Google search results, good. Other than that, you’ll be wasting your money.
Also, “submitting” alone will not do anything for your Web site. Google should find your Web site naturally by following inbound links pointing to your site.
5- “I know someone at Google who helps our clients rank on the first page.”
This is the funniest one. Google has no connection whatsoever with SEO companies. The last thing Google wants is to be perceived as “unfair.” They lay the groundwork for SEO and they support “white-hat” SEO techniques. But they will never, ever “help” any Web site to rank higher on their search engine.
As a matter of fact, I wrote a story about Google hiring a third-party SEO company to help them rank one of their Web sites at the top position (which was frowned upon by many).
If you want to be in good hands, make sure you study the SEO Company you want to work with. See their success rate and be aware that many SEO companies aren’t reputable. The last thing you want to happen to you is not to get your money’s worth or even worse: to be banned from Google search results for good).