Run away screaming from SEO offers!

I’m pissed. Sorry for the language, but I am. Probably like you, I run a top-notch company, I’m an honest person, and I work really hard. So, it really gets to me when I trust another company and get scr%@ed. I’m talking about SEO – search engine optimization. You know, the way for your site to climb to the top of Google’s rankings.

You probably get tons of those SEO company promises in your email. I get about 20 a day. “We’ll get you top ranking in Google!”. All you have to do is pay about $150 per month and they will add tons of links to your site, submit to directories, write articles, post blogs, fix your meta tags, write content, social marketing, and on and on….if you see this….run! Back in 2010, these things were credible in Google, but since Panda and Penguin (Google algorithm updates) things all changed. Adding your site to a web directory isn’t that important any more, other than maybe under 20 national well established directories, and a handful of (your industry) related directories. Content on your site is still important, but now you can be penalized by Google for too many of your primary keywords on the same page, and not enough ‘synonym’ keywords. If you think that adding 150 links per month will help you, you are wrong. Each link must be relevant to your business, come from a respected site, and ‘trading’ links (reciprocal links) doesn’t help you, and could even hurt you if done too much.  Article sites aren’t not important any more, you need to build your reputation by creating information so valuable that it gets distributed via social sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, etc). So, if you go with the ‘old school’ SEO you’ll probably regret it! They will most likely put up a bunch on links to your site, that you will end up spending untold hours trying to get rid of.

I tried that approach way back when. As I became pretty much an expert in SEO, I hired a local company to help out. Several thousand dollars later, I found out that they put up questionable links as well, and I fired them. Next I went to the top and hired a nationally recognized company to do SEO for me. Big mistake. One day I called them and asked why I didn’t see any links. They had contracted to add 125 ‘industry relevant’ links per month. Apparently they had forgotten, and quickly ‘subbed out’ to another company, which in turn put out some horrible links. I’m talking links to dog, cat, and horse websites! Thousands more dollars down the drain…I can’t even say their name publicly because they made me sign an agreement in order for me to get a partial refund.

So, I guess you can see why I’m pissed. Now we do our own SEO in house and the results are great. Our link building is slow, steady, and relevant. We are getting back in good standing with Google finally after undoing all of the bad work done by other companies I trusted (and paid). I hope this will give you some advise so that you don’t have to go through what I did. I wish you well!