In the process of learning SEO, I have tried many different tactics to improve rankings as I am sure other SEO companies have also done. There is some trial and error as it relates to SEO and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.
There is a big difference between doing testing and trial and error on your own websites versus those of a client. I learned SEO through building and doing SEO on approximately 50 of my own niche websites. Some were successful and ended up earning me some money, some where not, but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by learning the SEO business this way. If I messed up, I was only hurting myself.
Unfortunately not all SEO companies are created equal. It would seem that many SEO companies are still using techniques that are old and out-dated and are more likely to get your site de-indexed by Google, rather than get it onto the front page.
Two scenarios come to mind when I think about all the different problematic SEO tactics I have seen used by SEO companies in the past 5 years.
1. A few years back I owned a few article directories. This was when article marketing was at the height of it’s effectiveness for SEO. Day after day I would clear out hundreds of spammy articles, written by offshore writers for some pretty reputable companies. Time after time I would see the same poor quality article, submitted to all 4 of my article directories. Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and often they just didn’t make any sense whatsoever.
A few times I was tempted to contact the owners of the businesses being represented in the articles to let them know what their SEO company was up to, but I never did. It would have been a full-time job in itself. I think it’s safe to say that they had no idea what their SEO company was doing to get them higher rankings.
2. A few months ago I was doing some SEO work for a client. When I logged into the control panel for their website, I noticed that their website had hundreds of blog posts about various topics, which in no way related to their business. It would seem that their SEO company had signed them up to some sort of private blog network which allowed other people to post articles on their website (unknowingly) everyday, linking to various websites. None of the posts were accessible through the website’s main navigation, so customers weren’t seeing these articles, however they were there. Google was indexing these articles and many were about gambling, online poker, online dating and prescriptions drugs.
What’s My Advice?
While you don’t need to know every detail of your SEO company and what they do to get your website to the front page of Google, you need to be able to trust them. If you don’t get the sense that you can trust them, don’t work with them. It’s that simple! Get to know your SEO company or SEO expert, ask them questions, learn about their integrity (if they have any) and then move ahead with the business relationship. You don’t need to choose your SEO company overnight either. Choose carefully and make sure you are going to be comfortable working with them since this is not a one-time transaction.
A word of advice though: Don’t breathe down their neck. SEO takes time and sometimes, LOTS of time. If you hire an SEO company today, don’t ask them in 3 days why your website isn’t on the front page of Google. It takes time. Most likely they will want to work with you ongoing for several months to start and at first, you may not see a lot of results. Rest assured that a good SEO company is building a foundation and that over time, you will see those rankings improve.