Over the years, the entire world has started shifting to online shopping; it has changed the market in plenty of ways. How businesses market their...
Let’s go by the statistics first! Almost 70% of businesses are offered search engine optimization services, if not more, once every week.
Yes, that’s how crucial search engine optimization (SEO) has become. But, with the competition growing ever more than before and ranking being extremely difficult, business owners might get a bit impatient.
That’s where scammers pop in, offering several search engine optimization services, promising to get the best results for you! However, in the end, they turn out to be fake promises and such services can break your trust and hamper your business.
So, what scams might one encounter, and how do we avoid them? Well, this article has a list of all possible scams and the ways to avoid them.
Let’s get started!
What Is Seach Engine Optimisation?
Before digging deeper into all these nasty scams, let’s understand what we exactly mean by SEO and how it actually works.
SEO basically refers to the process that leads businesses to acquire organic traffic, which organically increases the profit level. Several techniques are used to optimize your website and get a higher ranking.
SEO generally focuses on getting organic traffic to web pages instead of paid promotions, advertisements, etc.
When it comes to Search engine optimization strategy of your website, there are 2 broad categories – On page SEO and off page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to those features of a website that influences the ranking of a particular website in search engines. The purpose of on-page SEO involves persuading visitors to click through your listing in search engine results page and offering them high-quality, engaging content.
Off-page SEO refers to those factors that are outside of your website and still influence your Rankings. These tactics are followed in order to improve the ranking of your website in search rankings. They pertain to link development, citation building, content dissemination, and other competitive advantages.
Top 8 SEO Scams And Ways To Identity them
1. Link Building or Guest Posting
The most frequent scam flooded all over social media platforms, especially Facebook, is guest posting.
Google ranks those websites with a high number of relevant backlinks. But, you will never rank if you only have backlinks and no content satisfying the search intent.
So sellers come off with their website or someone else’s website and offer that they will be posting content on the website, giving you the backlink.
First thing, as per google, buying backlinks by paying money to different website owners may lead to blacklisting of your website.
Secondly, sellers charge in advance for a guest post on a high authority website, and there are high chances of you getting nothing in return.
Even if they provide a live link, at times, there is no guarantee that the link will be a permanent one!
2. Guaranteed Rankings
If any SEO Agency or freelancer positioning themselves as “Experts” get in touch with you, promising guaranteed rankings at cheapest rate, you need to take their promise with a pinch of salt.
They will rank your website on keywords relevant to your business as promised. But rest assured, these keywords will have negligible value or search volume.
Once you agree to hire them, they curate a bunch of low-competition yet relevant keywords for your company. So it might appear as if you have ranked on google, yet your ranking will never bring clients and conversions.
3. The Google Partner
You will come across a few agencies claiming to be a “Google Partner” to establish an image of a reputed agency in your mind.
The thing there is no official google SEO partner program launched yet. However, certification programs include Google ads, Analytics, etc.
No matter what their claims are, if you hear this term, be sure that they are just about to scam you.
4. Search Engine Submittal
So, here it is, yet another trending scam. A company will approach you, suggesting they will submit your website to search engines for high ranking.
An SEO agency with the primary motive to scam you will insist that they have tools that can push your website to the top of google’s ranking. That is the first page itself.
Of course, google allows indexing of web pages through Google Console. This, however, is not the same thing. Google console is free of cost, takes 15 minutes to set up, and doesn’t promise top page ranking. Your ranking depends on your domain authority or the credibility of your website, which takes time to build.
5. Surprise Redirects
Scammers might come up and present redirecting as one of the best-used tactics to increase your website’s domain authority and ranking. However, that’s not the case. These tactics are nothing but a way by which scammers take out money from your pocket.
No doubt redirecting users can be effective when it comes to rebranding, but directing the visitor to some other website other than the one that they came for, isn’t recommended.
6. We’ll Do It Better For Less
There will always be a company offering services at a higher or lower price than the agency you are currently working with. However, if someone pitches you with a separate marketing or SEO plan which might be better for your website, then go for it.
But on the other hand, if their primary statement is to offer you service at a low price than your current agency, you should be aware their main motive is to acquire you as a client no matter what. These agencies completely work for money and care less about your website’s ranking.
7. 1,000 Visitors Per Day to Your Website
Scammers might spam your website contact form offering services like 2000 visitors daily. Rest assured, this is not easy to achieve organically. This scammer might as well give their service on a free trial basis, But no matter what they offer, it’s best to stay away from anyone claiming to get you this number of visitors a day.
Want to know how this scam works? It’s quite simple, the person offering this service gets you bot traffic. There’s no way your sales is pacing up with such traffic.
8. Someone Who Works At Google
We won’t completely discard this claim; though there might be 10% truth, this is still irrelevant to how they can help you rank your website.
Having a google partner for Google ads still makes sense, but it’s completely different for SEO. Either the person might have certain certifications offered by google on digital marketing, or the person might be an account representative. This has nothing to do with their relationship with google’s ranking algorithm, and there is no way they can manipulate it to your benefit.
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5 Major Red Flags of A Poor SEO Or Digital Marketing Agency:
1. They demand ownership of your data and logins.
2. They guarantee #1 rankings/top results
3. And tell their story rather than yours.
4. The Partnership Is Intended To Be Transactional
5. Their Case Studies Have Expired
Most scams can be avoided by not hiring anyone who sells their services through mass email lists. If you are still concerned that something is wrong, there are numerous SEO forums on all social media platforms. Even a shout for help on Twitter will usually elicit a quick response.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How do I stop SEO scams?
Here are some examples:
- Google penalties– This can be imposed if you violate Google’s terms and conditions or use SEO services incorrectly. In the best-case scenario, you may lose visibility and rankings. In addition, Google may also remove you from search results.
- Negative reputation– A shady company will associate your brand with low-quality content. Malicious businesses will use deceptive links. While a few infractions may not seem a big deal, a bad SEO company can damage your brand image over time.
- Investment loss– While a low-quality SEO company may be inexpensive in comparison, they may still cause you to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars by providing SEO services that are against the rules.
How do you spot if someone is scamming you?
- SEO fundamentals– Understanding the fundamentals of SEO is critical.
- Processes and staffing– It is critical to investigate each potential SEO company’s processes and staffing.
- Testimonials and reviews– Check out the SEO company’s testimonials and reviews.
What is the most common way to get scammed?
- Huge promises
- Low cost
- Native authors
- Uncertain processes
- Pushy salespeople
- A bad reputation
Is Digital Marketing Safe?
Digital marketing is one of the best things your business can have to attract several global customers. However, one must be very careful regarding their marketing tactics as wrong tactics can lead to the downfall of your business. But, with proper knowledge and research, digital marketing is safe for everyone!
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