In the world of SEO, any company can make any promise they want. Well, technically it’s illegal to make false promises, but a company in India can represent itself as being in the U.S., get your money, and move on. Situations like this do happen, but they’re not the rule. However, you understand the point: you never know who you’re working with until you actually have experience working with them. If you don’t have experience working with multiple SEO companies, then you should be aware of 5 signs that indicate you are working with a company that doesn’t provide you with good value:
- They promise thousands of links within months. This is possible to do, but it’s a bad idea. Google likes to see what it calls a “natural” linking pattern. If it sees no links for a long time and then a dramatic spike, this looks very unnatural. Your rankings will suffer as a result. However, Google rewards consistent hard work. If your links are built at a slow, steady rate, it may not be desirable from your end, but it will be from Google, the guy who makes the rules.
- They include content on your site that is not part of the front page navigation. Even that SEO content, which helps optimize your site for various keywords and provides a little value to visitors, has to be a part of the main navigation. If Google finds out you’re not doing this, then they get upset and can penalize or ban you from their search engine rankings. When a company creates SEO content like this, make sure they link to it from the front page of your site. This can be done in a discreet way so people don’t visit it.
- They’re hard to get a hold of. It’s tough to get a hold of anyone by phone anymore. Companies that pick up the phone are worth their weight in gold. But, if you work with a company that doesn’t communicate via phone, don’t necessarily be worried. Many are used to communicating via e-mail. The only time you should be worried is if they don’t return your communications. This point sounds simple, but how many times do people end up ignoring this and lose their money?
- You find duplicate content that they created. What exactly is “duplicate content?” That’s hard to say. There is no doubt that content that is 90% the same from one page to the next is duplicate. So what percentage is the cutoff point? No one knows precisely. But, if you find content on your site used on another site, you will experience damaged SEO rankings. If you find content on your site that is used repeatedly except for changes in keywords, that’s duplicate content also. This should never appear in any company’s work.
- Content is written for search engines not people. The priority of quality content is for it to be written for people, not search engines. Yes, it is important to get those keywords in there. But, the idea written should be valuable and of interest to your targeted audience/market. And, it should make sense. Writing for search engines turns into rambling gibberish and nonsensical language that is difficult to understand. And, it’s easy to pick out the keywords.
- You can’t find your site in the SERPs. If your site doesn’t rank anywhere in the search engines, then you know you’re working with a poor SEO company. How can you check this? Simply type, “site:www.mysite.com,” and if Google returns no results, then you’re not listed at all.
This isn’t a complete list of signs you’re working with the wrong SEO company, but these are some of the red flags. Have you noticed these, or other, signs?
If you enjoyed this article from Devenia, you might also like 5 Reasons Why Your Site Needs Meaningful Content.
Last Updated on September 26, 2012 by Dan Stelter