3 Tips to Spotting Dodgy SEO Companies

3 Tips to Spotting Dodgy SEO Companies

In the wake of Google’s Panda, Penguin and Pigeon updates, many businesses felt the sting of working with SEO companies that were prepared to risk going against Google’s terms of service.

A risk these companies certainly did not communicate to their clients.

Some businesses actually failed when they were penalised, when the stream of organic visitors they had been enjoying dried up overnight. Some businesses had to start over with a new website and domain.

There was a lot of avoidable pain caused by SEO companies that were supposed to be helping businesses flourish online, not dooming them to failure.

I’d like to advise you to be on the look out for the following red flags that may tip you off to SEO companies that you may want to avoid.

1. Guarantees or promises of any kind

Google can, and does change their search algorithm daily. Most changes are minor and unnoticeable. Others can change the game considerably. No company can guarantee number one rankings with any certainty.

“I guaran-damn-tee you’ll be number one on Google, tomorrow!”
They’re either falsely selling Adwords as organic results (and even then probably couldn’t secure ad-spot #1!) or are just full of it.

“But, but look at all these #1 positions we’ve secured for other clients!”
Oh, a phrase you’ve practically invented that no one will ever actually enter into Google? Great!

2. Bad practices on their own site

If their website reads like it has been obviously keyword stuffed or written for search engines, not humans, that’s a red flag.

Is the phrase ‘SEO Perth’ jammed into their site repetitively? There’s a reason for that.

Here’s an example from a company, currently ranking highly, and advertising on Google for SEO services Perth:

“The Perth SEO Market

The Perth SEO market is quite a competitive one with many Perth SEO Companies professing to be capable of performing Search Engine optimisation for Perth businesses and their websites. The reality is that many Perth SEO providers have a sales team and thats all. Most SEO Companies in Perth outsource their business to a 3rd party company, generally overseas.”

…and it goes on, and on. On one page they’ve mentioned ‘SEO’ 45 times, and ‘Perth’ 13 times.

That is not optimisation. That is spam.

2008 called, they want their bad SEO back.

3. Lack of identifying information on the About Us / Contact us pages

If the website is very vague with who is actually running the business, and doing the work, it’s usually a sign that it’s someone inexperienced, working out of their bedroom, at their parents house, possibly outsourcing the work to a third word country.

No team member photos or bios? No, I’m not talking about stock photos featuring a beautiful rainbow of races and sexes all smiling. I’m talking about real humans that do the work. That you can speak to and meet.

No address? Probably working from home, mum’s home.

No phone number? Can’t even call them? Don’t waste your time.

Been burned in the past?

There are probably thousands of companies you could hire. Put bluntly, the majority of them suck.

  • It doesn’t matter how flashy their website is; anyone can outsource web design to India.
  • It doesn’t matter how well they rank themselves; do you know what methods they’ve used to get there? How long will it last?
  • It doesn’t matter how good their sales people are; will they be doing the optimisation work? No.

Why partner with Resonance?

We care.
We build mutually beneficial, long-term business partnerships.
Many SEO agencies employ a churn and burn policy. We think that stinks.
Our reputation is on the line, and we like our reputation.

We don’t overbook
Because one account manager cannot effectively manage two dozen accounts.

We don’t promise the world
Because we have limited control on delivering it.
We might consider a small country though, how about Monaco?

We don’t do SEO packages
There is no one size fits all soltuion.
Every business is unique.

We do deliver results, consistently
Because we’re dedicated on improving your website, and its authority online.
We do work that matters, now and in the long run.

Everything we do is communicated to you. Making sure you understand what is happening is important.
Our reports aren’t just numbers and graphs, they are stories, chronicling the work completed and its effect.

We don’t employ any salespeople
We get most of our work through word of mouth and recommendations.

Want to talk about how we can work together to improve your results?

Get in touch


Online marketing specialist, making other people rich since 2004.
Also known to frequent: Google+, Twitter, Blog.

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