Having made my first website using MS Publisher 95, and been optimizing websites ever since I consider myself a Digital Marketing expert. I have led a gazillion webinars, spoken at numerous Wordcamps, spoken at corporate seminars, participated in fortune 500 sound-boarding sessions on digital movement. Whether it is organic search engine optimization, Pay Per Click using Google Adwords or Bing Advertising, I have never solicited anyone with false promises.
I am a big advocate against improper SEO tactics and those who practice it. It gives us real professionals a big black eye. I have always said Google should certify us on Organic SEO just as they do with the Adwords Certification test.
Google is very clear as to what you should avoid. Below are Google guidelines which were written by Google for anyone looking to hire an SEO firm. Unfortunately, most people never take the time to research. Because I have seen it all, many of these tips are from my clients own experiences.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING AN SEO SCAM:
SEO Emails: Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue. Unless you contacted them. If you get an Email from an SEO company offering their services, DO NOT REPLY..TRASH IT!! DON’T THINK TWICE.
Ranking Guarantees: No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. I have never even guaranteed a first page ranking. If they do…Fire them!!
Priority Submit: There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
Link Building: Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. I have never submitted client sites to tons of search engines or went online looking for tons of links for my clients.
Phone Solicitation: If an SEO company calls you out of the blue, hang up. I get these empty promise calls all the time.Think about it? If an SEO company has to resort to code calling, then they are not doing a good job converting visitors to customers. Then again, maybe they are not getting any traffic to their website.
Third World Countries: I hate to be ethnocentric but using an SEO company from a third world country may be cheap but at the end of the day it will be costly. (There are some reputable SEO companies out there. Just do your homework)
Ask Questions: Just because someone talks SEO doesn’t mean they know SEO. You would be shocked at how many so called SEO experts know very little yet have many followers.
Get References: Ask for multiple references you can call. Ask about their results.
Use LinkedIn: Find them. Check out their recommendations and NOT their endorsements.
Check for Yourself: Check the sites they optimized. Check their rankings. Look at their own website.