New businesses and those new to online marketing can be pulled into traps when they are looking for someone to conduct there SEO campaign. So if you are one of those that need help with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) then you could find yourself falling into the grubby hands of some “dodgy” SEOs. Just make sure that you avoid those that promise you these things:
– “I promise to get your site to number 1 in 3 months”. This can mean anything, and usually it won’t benefit you. They could mean your brand name or some really long tail key term. Make sure that you find out exactly what terms they are “definitely” going to get to number 1 for you. Just be sure about what they are promising, if they say you will be number 1 for “click here” in 3 months, then hold them to it, but trust me it’s not likely.
– “I will increase you traffic 100 fold in one week”. This could mean anything, there are companies that you can pay dedicated to increasing your traffic using Proxy and IP servers, appearing to have clicked on your site 1000’s of times. Traffic doesn’t mean anything without a conversion
– “I am in need for a budget for Paid Links”. Frowned upon by most SEOs and Google, this is where an SEO will spend all their time and your money buying links on blogs and high PR sites. If you want to go down this route you can, but there is every chance your site will get a penalty, given out by Google.
Just remember though, that directory links are not “paid links” if an SEO wants your site to have Yahoo directory link, although expensive is beneficial and not frowned upon. Make sure that you find out where your SEO is planning on spending our budget. Blog links = bad. Directory links = good.
The other factor is that the link you paid for would be devalued as well, providing a lot less power to your site. The referring site may also incur a penalty, all recently admitted by Google in their last PageRank update
– “We need more flash on your website”. Not likely that any SEO will suggest this, but if they do then run. Flash is one of the most pointless coding and design systems to have on your site, it has no benefit to your site. In fact the code involved can be detrimental to your site. It is messy and takes up a lot of room, not to mention that Google’s BOT can’t understand much of it.
– “Google doesn’t pay too much attention to Meta Tags”. Leave the room or hang up the phone now! This is ridiculous but I actually heard someone say this once. Google puts heavy weight on your Title Tag, although the description tag isn’t quite so important as far as Google’s algorithm is concerned, it is for users, a good tool for conversion!
The Description and the Keyword Meta Tags are still used in other search engines. Yahoo and Bing both confirmed that they still use the content in the Description to help identify the reality of a website. Although the weight isn’t as great as it was, it is a factor for SEO in these search engines and conversion factor for Google!
– “I can get your site to a Page Rank 9 by the next update!” Watch out with this one, unless you are getting a legitimate link from the BBC, Microsoft or Google, you could find yourself falling into a trap called “Cloaking”. This is where an SEO will 301 redirect your website to a more powerful one like Microsoft, Adobe, BBC or even Google, giving the impression that your site is actually the one you are redirecting too. This will boost your PR but it wont provide any benefit to your site.
In fact you could have issues ranking for anything in the future if you are caught, your site could be removed from the Google Index altogether.
– “Have you ever used a Link Farm – They’re great!” Another “no no”, this is one of the easiest ways to identify “dodgy” links. Basically a host of sites all link together passing power between each other, with a more powerful site linking between them as well. Hence forth the power from the more powerful site is distributed among them.
If you receive one link from these sites, you probably won’t even get noticed. However if you pick up links from all of them, you could be identified as being a part of the Link Farm and your site being devalued as well as the others. Stay away from Link Farms they create a pattern that is very easy to spot.
– “I want to target all 200 of your key terms to the home page!” This is actually something I have come across a few times. Some SEOs still build links all to the home page, because this is where the bulk of a sites power is. However it is in my opinion one of the worst practices. You can’t possibly hope to accommodate more than 10 terms to one page, it becomes extremely hard.
The advantage with having multiple pages is that you can optimize each one individually for each term. It also helps to improve conversion because people land right on the page they want. Although it may take a little longer it is much more beneficial, and also opens avenues for you to spread power across your site, gaining links to deeper individual pages, making the linking process look much more natural!
Hopefully you aren’t one of those with an SEO like this but hopefully you will know what to watch out for if you are new to this!
This is a guest post by Marcus, who works with Fresh Egg