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SEO Scams

“It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled”

Amazingly, Google also get spam emails too:

“Dear google.com,

I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

Over 70% of businesses are pitched Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, services at least once per week.

Some could be scams!

Below are the most common SEO scams:

1. Many SEO Scams involve guarantees 

Google warns businesses to “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings”. Google itself never guarantees top placement in the search results or for search ads. Beware of any company making these types of promises.

2. Instant Backlinks

Scammers will offer you hundreds of cheap Backlinks that will help your site rank overnight. Usually these Backlinks are low quality if not Spam. Low quality Backlinks  will hurt your site rankings and possibly get you penalized.

3. Promises to submit your website to 100s of search engines. 

Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo and Yandex account for most of the traffic on the internet. The other hundreds of search engines don’t matter as much.

4. The SEO service company owns the domain, the website and social media profiles. Also, they have access to all hosting and analytics services. 

This is a scam because as long as you work with them they will provide you SEO services.

But as soon as you try to leave they hold your domain, site and social media profiles to ransom.

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel your users to a site owned by the SEO by means of deceptive redirects. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain.

5. They claim to know an employee at Google, or have a special relationship with Google. 

Google is secretive about its Google search algorithm (the maths that determines who shows up 1st in the search results), but they are even more secretive about the people who work at Google, specifically on Google search.

And even if someone claimed to be friends with a Google employee there is never a chance that they have knowledge that could be useful for SEO other than what you find on Google developer’s site.

6. They offer FREE SEO trial services. 

SEO takes time, so a FREE trial probably is a sneaky way for “them” to buy some time and stop you going elsewhere.

7. They claim to have secret SEO strategies. 

Any legitimate SEO company should be able to explain what SEO they are using for your site. Be wary of SEO firms who have “SEO trade secrets” when they are likely planning to use black hat SEO techniques. Black Hat SEO techniques are illegal. They will get you site penalized and banned by all major search engines. 

8. They claim to know the Google Algorithm and are Google Algorithm experts. 

The Google Algorithm for search is a trade secret closely guarded by Google. It is complex and updated regularly, making it almost impossible to know it well.

9. Beware of SEO companies that want to own your content or linkable assets. 

If you do not own the content you use on your site, the SEO company could sell it to your competitors. 

10. They do not disclose where your money goes. 

Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but instead pay for search engine ads

11. They send you a Google Maps invoice.

Google does not charge for inclusion in Google Maps. Be wary of scam calls, pop-ups, or fake invoices from someone claiming to be Google or offering Google Maps SEO services.

Always remember: “you are responsible for the actions of any SEO companies that work for you”

Written by Simba

Author, Educator, Speaker & Creator of the Simba's Five Forces, Simba's Content Matrix, Customer Ikigai and 7Cs of Digital Marketing Mix

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