Website Optimization Articles

Search Engine Optimization Scams and Fraudulent Guarantees of #1 Rankings

Promised high search engine rankings? Here's what to know before handing over the money for website search engine optimization.

You've seen the advertisements for high search engine rankings. They promise you #1 rankings or top ten rankings in search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Before clicking on that link and forking out the dough for that elusive #1 ranking, read on.  

Any website can rank #1. Even yours!

There are many tricks and scams out there that can take many small business owners for big bucks. They can not only drain your wallet but they can also get your website banned from the major search engines. Now don't get us wrong, there are many very good SEO companies out there who do great work. But keep an eye out for the following red flags. 

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google - Google is currently king of the search engine world, and they are constantly changing the algorithm used to rank websites. Google places high emphasis on inbound links to your site, so there is no way an SEO company can guarantee a #1 ranking.

  • Some companies target long tail keywords - Long tail keywords are phrases that may include 4-6 keywords such as "affordable plumbing business in Tallahassee" that has no search volume or competition. This is one of the most common scams, so be sure you know what search phrase is being targeted before you sign up.

  • Targeting little known search engines - Some companies use little known search engines that are not relevant and produce no real search volume. The only search engines worth spending money targeting are Google, Yahoo, MSN, and possibly AOL. Combined, these search engines generate approximately 85-90% of all search engine traffic.

  • Things to avoid and keep an eye out for - Some SEO firms use what are called "black hat" techniques to obtain high rankings in search engines. There have been many cases where these SEO firms not only got their own sites banned, but also all of their clients' sites as well. Here are a few of the techniques used in "black hat" SEO: keyword stuffing, meta tag stuffing, hidden text, doorway pages, cloaking and inbound links from link farms.

The world of SEO is ever changing. There are no guarantees!

There are so many things that impact a website's ranking in the search engines that there is no way to definitively tell where your site will rank. Factors such as domain history, competitiveness of search terms and numerous off-page factors make the only thing that's guaranteed is that SEO firms won't know where your site will rank. 

For more information on how your small business website can benefit from search engine optimization, contact us.