At a recent networking meeting, two small business owners could be overheard criticizing the whole idea of search engine optimization (SEO). Both men had a story of being burned by someone who sold them on a quick SEO fix and convinced them that they could generate fast, guaranteed results. This line could be repeated over and over again. Sadly, SEO scams have sullied the name of viable firms that perform quality SEO that works to get small companies high rankings that generate warm leads.
Anyone who is considering paying a company to perform their SEO should be leery of three particular promises:
Any company that offers you high rankings fast is likely either flat out lying to you or is using tactics that the search engines regard as dishonest (known as blackhat tactics). Blackhat tactics can cause your site to be de-indexed, which means you are essentially unseen to everyone in the world via the search engines. Companies that promise fast results in the short term risk devastating effects in the long term. A well-executed SEO campaign should take months to start delivering desired results.
Any company that guarantees very certain and specific results is also probably using blackhat tactics. The algorithms that dictate which websites are served up in an online search are frequently changing. Google is constantly trying to create a system that serves up random results that are geographically relevant. If some SEO company promises you a specific placement, it is wise to entertain other company’s offers.
If an SEO company promises you number one placement, they’re either telling you what you want to hear to get your business or their simply not experienced enough in this space and probably are underserving of your time and money. As stated above, the formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and it takes diligence, time, and hard work to get desired results.
Evaluate any SEO firm that you’re considering and be sure to talk to multiple companies. The company that makes fast and concrete promises is likely just trying to get your business, but the company that is upfront and honest about the challenges of SEO and is willing to take the time to get you the results that you seek is probably your best choice.