12 Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Company

Sinoun Chea

Ranking number one on Google is the goal of any business with a website. A high Google ranking is incredibly powerful because it can lead to more website visits, more clicks, more customers, and ultimately more money. However, when you are searching for an SEO company to help you drive traffic to your website, you want to make sure you are choosing the right company. When it comes to SEO, many SEO companies make promises that are too good to be true. Through SEO black hat techniques, these companies can actually hurt your site’s ranking, rather than increase it. Below we will go over 12 warning signs of a bad SEO company. Avoiding companies that use the techniques listed below will help you choose a good SEO company for your business.

Guarantee Page Rank

Never do business with an SEO company that guarantees page rank in a specified amount of time, especially if the time limit is relatively short. This is noteworthy because Google does not rank pages everyday. In fact, Google ranking is only done periodically. For this reason, nothing an SEO company does will guarantee a certain page ranking. Since Google will compare your page to other pages, it is also dependent on how many other pages are competing with a certain page as well.

The most crucial thing to remember about SEO ranking is that it can take time to rise to the top. No one can predict exactly where a page’s ranking will eventually fall. In fact, fast SEO results can only be achieved if they are done poorly, and with blackhat SEO techniques. However, poor SEO will not stand the test of time, which means it will offer little to no use to your business.

Keyword Stuffing

The key to good SEO is using keywords effectively. The biggest mistake an SEO company can make when dealing with keywords is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is overusing a keyword in content. In fact, search engines penalize sites that overuse keywords. Keyword stuffing penalties can result in a loss of traffic, and damage to a company’s reputation.

Unsolicited SEO Offers

Almost any unsolicited SEO company offer is spam. These spam SEO offers often say something like, we visited your site, and we want to help. The help they offer is usually an incredible deal, but like we discussed earlier, any SEO deal that is too good to be true, probably is. When these types of offers show up in your email, ignore them. These are obviously not the type of people you want to do business with, and their “help” will likely not help you at all.

Underpriced or Overpriced Services

Have you ever heard the phrase, you get what you pay for? Well, when it comes to SEO, it is essential to be suspicious of underpriced services. Overpriced services should also be considered suspicious. When trying to decide which company to go with, research a company’s reputation before you agree to any prices.

Massive Search Engine Submission

Almost every SEO company promises to submit your article to all the major search engines. However, an excellent site doesn’t need to submit its content to search engines to be picked up. MSN, Yahoo and Google even warn that continuously submitting to the major search engines, can hurt your site, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen.

Target Wrong Keywords

If an SEO company doesn’t target the right keywords in your content, you will not receive any benefits. When it comes to keywords, you want to make sure you are diversified, so you draw in lots of traffic, but you must make sure your keywords match your content. A failure to accomplish this will damage your site, and its reputation.

Employing Shoddy Linking Schemes

Avoid any SEO company that employs shoddy linking schemes. Links that are built too fast and for the wrong reasons are called blackhat SEO techniques. These tactics can destroy the credibility of a site. In fact, if Google catches a site using blackhat techniques, the site can be penalized or blacklisted by search engines. On the other hand, a good SEO company will build quality in-bound links, and the best way to do this is through high-quality and relevant content.

Promising to List Your Site in Hundreds of Online Directories

At first, this sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t want to have tons of inbound traffic? However, it is important to know that this particular process usually includes a great deal of low-quality links. In fact, only a handful of links through this method will even be considered by the search engines, which means you will definitely not benefit from hundreds of directory listings.

Driving Irrelevant Traffic

Once you have begun working with an SEO company, it is necessary to regularly check your website’s traffic before and after the SEO campaign begins. When examining this data, it is vital that you don’t just consider the number of visits, you also have to see what viewers are doing when they get to your page. If people are just clicking on the site, and leaving, your SEO content may be driving irrelevant traffic. If this is the case, move on to a new SEO company, who can deliver high-quality content that will keep viewers on your page.

Everything is a BIG Secret

When you are working with an SEO company, you want to work with someone who will work with you. SEOs should be honest and explain what they’re going to do. Think of it this way, most of what SEO companies do is widely searchable on the web. So, you aren’t actually paying for that information. Instead, you are paying the company to do it in an experienced way.

For this reason, any SEO company that won’t tell you what is going on probably isn’t being honest about what they are doing. If this happens, move on. There are plenty of valuable SEO companies, so there is no reason to work with an SEO company that won’t answer your questions.

Do Not Give Valuable Feedback

An important part of working with an SEO company is getting advice on what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. If an SEO company refuses to give you any valuable feedback, find another company to work with.

In conclusion, it is incredibly valuable to use a reputable, high-quality SEO company. To do this you want to ask an SEO company for references before signing a contract. Remember, any SEO company that won’t offer you honest, direct answers is probably using bad SEO tactics like blackhat SEO, or they simply don’t know what they are doing. Being able to recognize the signs of a bad SEO company can help you save a great deal of time, and money.

Do you need help SEO, but don’t know where to begin? We provide free consultations.

Are you looking to experiment on SEO on your own? We highly recommend this easy to use and powerful software created by SEOmoz. SEOmoz is ShiftWeb’s favorite and most trusted resource for keeping up with the latest trends in SEO. Sign up for a FREE trial of the software and check it out yourself!


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Sinoun Chea

I help small businesses Do Better Online™. When businesses thrive, people also thrive. #morethanjustbusiness

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