The world of search engine optimization is untamed and wild – companies are doing dramatically different things. Most companies try to do the right thing, but every industry has its fly-by-night types just waiting to get their hands on your money and run off with it. Still others provide you with some “quick wins” so you can see what they do “works,” only to leave later on when you are wondering why your business isn’t making any money or saving time as a result of their efforts.
Here are some of the myths you might experience while you are out there talking with different companies:
- Guaranteed results. A few disreputable companies will provide you with guarantees. Companies who know what they are doing don’t guarantee results because they know Google is unpredictable and takes a certain amount of time in order to gain ranking.
What that timeframe is, however, is unknown – it could be as short as 1 month (if you’re really lucky) or as long as 12. If a company guarantees results, make sure they have a clear policy on what happens if they don’t achieve those results. Otherwise, they’re just trying to blow up their promises so you buy into them and give them money.
- The more links, the better. This statement is by and large true, but only to a small degree. These days, Google is all about the quality of your links, not the quantity. A quantity of quality links is best. However, Google now looks more for link earning than it does link building.
Basically, you can think of it this way: the more work you put into getting the link, the more Google will like it. In terms of quality, the best links you can get are at highly reputable websites that focus on a great user experience. If the site appears to be low-quality, abandoned, or has numerous ads interfering with your experience, you can safely assume it’s not a great website to get links from.
- The search engines can be tricked. Actually, you can trick search engines for a period of time. However, Google is smart enough to catch on to deceptive SEO practices, like placing white text on a white background to get more keywords in. If Google’s algorithm can’t figure it out, Google has thousands of employees manually reviewing websites for black hat SEO practices. If someone promises fast rankings, you might very well be the victim of black hat SEO. Once Google finds out about your actions, you will find yourself penalized in the search engine rankings, or banned altogether.
- Outbound links hurt you rankings. Not all outbound links hurt your rankings, but some do. The question to really consider is, “What is the quality of the site you are linking to?” In the past, some people tried to trick Google by creating tons of low quality websites, and then linking them to a targeted high quality one. That doesn’t work anymore, as Google wants quality websites, not deceptive ones, at the tops of its rankings.
SEO is Much More Complex, But now You can Protect Yourself
You could hear many other different deceptive practices than this. However, this gives you an idea of what you might encounter, and why you should run the other way if you do encounter these situations.