2010
01.13

In our third segment on Hiring the Right SEO for your website article, we will continue our discussion on the guidelines which we left off from yesterday.

seo-consultants

•  Choose wisely

While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, they’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. So be careful.

• Be sure to understand where the money goes

While Google never sells better ranking in their search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEO’s will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because their advertising is clearly labeled and separated from their search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

• What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

• What are some other things to look out for?

Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It’s far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

  • owns shadow domains
  • puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
  • offers to sell keywords in the address bar
  • doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
  • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
  • operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
  • gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or scumware
  • has had domains removed from Google’s index or is not itself listed in Google

Not sure which SEO agent to trust anymore? Are you on the look out for Professional, Industry recognized SEO specialists? Then look no further. Our specialized services at ExtremeWeb can help you to get to the top of the search results. We will help you by finding the best keywords for organic SEO and paid search marketing. We will also help you to optimize the content of your web pages for search engines, along with all aspects of successful link building and much more.

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