When it comes to online marketing and SEO, there are reliable companies and companies that should be avoided at all costs. As is true in any industry, some companies make deceptive claims about their ability to deliver results that they know full well they cannot make. In their wake of deception, these unethical companies take businesses’ money and ultimately create a bad reputation for the ethical companies providing good services.
Don’t be fooled by unethical companies claiming to give you “top rankings” in just “two weeks” when you hire them to do your SEO. Be aware and know what to look for when one of these SEO look-alikes contacts you. Below are just a few of the ways that unethical SEO services might put your website in danger of receiving penalties from the search engines:
- Link Exchanges—link building is one of the key tools of good SEO. With time, proper SEO will develop natural and relevant link building with good websites. Unethical SEO services promise hundreds or thousands of links with a short period of time. They are able to do this by using link farms. These farms are just places where URLs exist to have somewhere for a site to link to. Search engines do look for link building with relevant and quality sites, but if your site is using a link farm, your website could be penalized.
- Scraper Site—quality copy with key term phrases is another essential tool of good SEO. Unethical SEO services harvest content from other sites to provide the “quality copy” that is needed for ranking consideration. They then take that text and use it for your website, thus giving you duplicate copy on your site. Duplicate copy is a big no-no, and search engines will likely penalize your site for having it.
- Key Word Stuffing—key words are the words that users type into search engines to find your products or services. Unethical services will “stuff” your web pages with these terms in an effort to appear the most relevant to the user’s search. However, when your site is crawled, it might be flagged for key word stuffing, and eventually penalized.
In some instances, these unethical companies might use AdWord scams or software to hijack your browser and trick you into thinking you have a top-ranking when you don’t. But, if you know what to look for, you won’t be fooled by their tactics.