Disreputable SEO companies target website owners.
We’ve had many clients contact us after receiving a call from an “SEO Expert” or “SEO Specialist,” wondering if they need website help. Often, the expert has told them they’re not ranking well for certain key words and phrases, and that he or she can help improve their rankings. Other times, the expert claims he or she can provide recommendations for improving social media presence. For example, here’s part of an email received by one of our clients:
“I’ve been doing a ton of research on your online presence and noticed that you in particular have a ton of opportunity to make social media and these customer review sites really work for you to spread word of mouth! These are the sites people go to when they are deciding where to spend their money, so it is imperative that you look as good as possible. I noticed that there are a bunch of tools that you can be using that can make it a lot easier for people to find you. By using these sites in the right way you can gain exposure to more, local potential customers.
I would like to schedule a free consultation with you to cover your social media presence and pass along some specific recommendations, tailored to your business, on how you can make the most out of these sites.”
So the question is, “Are these guys for real, or are you being targeted by an SEO Scam Artist?”
Unfortunately, a growing number of disreputable SEO companies and SEO scams are targeting naïve website owners, generally promising a huge improvement in rankings and online presence in a very short amount of time. Here are some of the most common claims made by SEO scam artists:
I can get you a #1 ranking on Google. When it comes to organic search engine results (rather than paid ads), no one can guarantee a #1 ranking.
I have a special relationship with Google. No SEO company gets “priority” or any other kind of favoritism with Google.
I’ll give you a free trial period. No legitimate company provides SEO services for free, and by giving your username and password to anyone, you are risking your site’s performance and integrity.
I’ll submit your site to dozens/hundreds/thousands of search engines. There’s no benefit to submitting your site to the dozens/hundreds/thousands of search engines that nobody uses.
I can’t disclose my SEO secrets. There are no SEO secrets, just a lot of involved and (oftentimes) tedious work. If an “expert” says they have a secret SEO strategy, they may be using black hat techniques, which can get your site banned by major search engines.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Along with these, there are many other tactics used by SEO scam artists, but in most cases, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So when someone calls you or emails you out of the blue, always be cautious. Think about it this way: the “SEO Expert” found you online, which means you do have a web presence.