Given the convenience of the Internet, the sheer number of online scams should come as no surprise. However, the boom in the number of search engine optimisation scams from pretending to be SEO specialists can be blamed on the simple fact that such services have become essential to ensuring business success.
The consequences of becoming a victim of a search engine optimisation scam are serious. Examples include, but are not limited to, the loss of hard-earned cash, the conversion of websites into sources of malware, and even the loss of ranking on Google and other search engines because of unethical search engine optimisation practices. Caution is one of the best protections against search engine optimisation scams, as is research into existing schemes.
Here are some of the most common search engine optimisation scams out there:
Automation has no place in search engine optimisation. Not least because most search engines have set up measures to penalise such methods. Service providers that offer automated optimisation are either incompetent or outright malicious.
Smart businesses spend the time needed to read through their terms and conditions for problematic clauses. For example, some service providers ask their clients to relinquish ownership of their online content, which is not something that ethical businesses do.
Search engine optimisation is an exhaustive and time-consuming process, meaning that it makes little sense for specialists to offer free trials of their services. Some scams use such promises to gain authorised access to servers for their malicious purposes.
SEO guarantees need to be treated with caution. If someone guarantees that they can perform miracles without having thoroughly analysed your current situation, competitors and industry then don’t trust them. We have seen situations where the company has guaranteed the client to rank for an extensive list of keywords. They did achieve this, the catch was they were largely irrelevant keywords, or keywords with so few searches that very little value was actually provided.
Omission of Contact Information
Businesses should never trust service providers that refuse to provide contact information such as addresses and phone numbers that can be used to find them. Omitting such information makes it easier for the people running scams to disappear, meaning that businesses must never fail to exercise the effort needed to confirm that their service providers actually exist.
There is no panacea that can be used to optimise business websites for the efficient and effective communication of intended messages. In fact, most principles of search engine optimisation are simple and straightforward, though putting them to practice requires both time and effort.
In short, specialists that claim to possess secret strategies are distorting the truth to sell their services even in the best case scenario.
Google and other search engines are not going to offer special relationships for the simple reason that it ruins their reputations as impartial sources of information. Furthermore, even assuming that the service provider can call on special relationships with people at the search engines, using them is both unethical and counter-productive in the long run.
Although there are exceptions that prove the rule, the excellence of services tend to be correlated with the sums being spent on them. In some cases, scams might use bottom-tier prices to lure in clients, while in others, legitimate businesses are only able to offer such prices by cutting the costs needed to produce the best results.
By Aaron Enright