Search engine optimization (SEO) is a topic that is often discussed by many marketers.
Every business wants its website to appear not only on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP) but also when a person searches a term relating to their business.
The early days of SEO services were like the Wild West, and everyone had their favorite gunslinger tactic for appearing higher on a SERP.
However, those days are long gone and search engines are constantly refining their algorithm to determine why one website will rank higher than the other.
As a result of all of the changes, there are many misconceptions about search engine optimization. Because of the ambiguity, SEO services companies have emerged.
I believe that most people would agree that the SEO business is a shady industry.
There are so many companies who are looking to make a quick buck and if they have a good enough sales team they can sound pretty convincing.
Below are a few red flags to look out for when speaking with SEO companies or “experts.”
Submission SEO Services
Any company that wants you to pay a monthly fee and promises that your company will receive “a top ranking on Google” after a certain amount of months is a huge red flag.
Those companies are a scam, plain and simple. Make sure you stay away from them.
You will want to weary of any SEO company that pitches your search engine submission services.
It is highly unlikely that even if the search engine used the submission services to crawl your site that it would even have enough link juice to give your website a noticeable ranking.
The same applies to companies that are touting that they will submit your website to “hundreds of local directories.”
This is a frequently abused manipulative link building technique for many in the SEO industry. Any pay-for-placement web directories that your website is listed on won’t do your company any good.
Search engines are smarter than you think and are constantly being updated. Being listed on low-quality directors, aggregating fake web reviews and using link networks provide no benefit to your company.
If you are a local business and are interested in getting listed on local web directory, that does matter.
Moz Local has a great service that makes sure your business listings are correct, consistent and visible on all of the major data aggregators and top online directories that matter.
Meta Keyword Tags
Meta keywords tag used to an important part of SEO.
However, long gone are the days where search engines actually take into account since the processes was spammed to death by users trying to rank higher.
If an SEO company talks about including the meta keywords tag in their SEO services to help boost your page ranking, you should take note.
They are clearly stuck in the past.
Have you ever read an article or web page that seems to repeat the same phrase over and over again?
If so, they may be a culprit of keyword stuffing, which is an SEO technique that does work.
Some “SEO Experts” still believe that increasing a page’s keyword density will help increase the rank of the web page.
Keyword Density= # of Words on a Page / # of Time that keyword is used
However, this is completely false.
Instead of writing for search engines, you need to write for people and use keywords intelligently.
Your Orange County website should be more focused on providing relevant interesting information that will be shared by others rather than creating content that looks like spam.
Don’t believe any SEO expert that tells you that your SEO density needs to be increased beyond being used three or four times within an article or web page.
Want to know the best way to link build?
Produce high-quality content that people will share, reference and will earn you editorial links from quality web pages.
Any SEO company that tells you they are going to increase the number of links to your website make sure you ask them how they are going to do it.
If your website is caught in a manipulative link building scheme, there will be repercussions and your PageRank will suffer as a result.
Here is a few PageRank schemes that will harm your site:
- Link Exchange Programs: Person A agrees to link to Person B’s website as long as Person B links back to Person A’s website. This is called link exchange and search engines will quickly spot this tend and devalue the link.
- Paid Links: Paying money to have a link to your website placed another page will not do your site any good. Any shorter-term gains your page might receive from it (probably wouldn’t be much) will be outweighed by negative long-term consequences.
- Link Farms: Networks of fake website exists solely to house website links to increase page rankings. Search engines have been getting increasingly better at detecting these and devaluing the site links. Being listed on a link farm can also negatively impact your search ranking.
When working with any company that offers SEO services, make sure you ask them to clarify how it will help your search engine rankings.
If they mention using any of these techniques then you will want to run far away.
We will be publishing a new article within the next few days discussing the correct ways to increase your SEO and services that actually do work. Root Marketing is a local Orange County Marketing agency and is happy to discuss your particular situation.