Warning Signs that You’re Dealing with a Bad SEO Company

Yeah, it can happen. There are tons of folks out there claiming to be SEOs, who don’t really have the chops. So, you hire them because they gave you good speak, but when it comes down to the brass tacks, they don’t have a clue.  Here’s an article from my friend, Chloe, who alerts you to what to watch out for:

Warning Signs that You’re Dealing with a Bad SEO Company

SEO strategies are constantly changing in response to updated algorithms, the discovery of new successful techniques, and the behavior of the competition. Staying on top of all those changes can be a lot of work – and a lot more time and energy that you have or want to spend.

Hiring an SEO company can help you to ensure that your site is in top shape without you having to spend any time on it yourself. However, there are thousands of SEO companies out there all promising you results, and it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad. Here are a few warning signs that will let you know that you’re dealing with a bad SEO company:

They Offer a Free Trial

Good SEO work requires a lot of time, effort and patience. You should not only not be getting it for free, but you should be paying quite a bit of money for the service. Anyone who offers you a free trial is likely not worth the money they would charge you later. In addition, free trials are often covers for scams. The companies gain your login information during the trial and then use it to crash your site or to steal your data. Steer clear of any company that offers you a free trial of their services.

They Offer Results in a Short Time Frame

Getting results with SEO takes time. It requires a lot of analysis and a lot of adjustment. There is also a lot of waiting, as the SEO expert puts strategies into place, waits to see how they impact the site, and then makes adjustments as necessary. The site should be expected to continue to grow over time, and when it reaches its page rank, it can expect it to remain somewhat stable.

SEO companies that offer to get results in a short time frame – such as ranking on page 1 in 24 or 48 hours – are lying. They are making promises they can’t keep. And if they do get you to page 1 in that short a time, worry. They’re using black hat tactics that may get you banned from the index! That means, no listing in search engines at all, maybe ever. Avoid doing business with any company that makes such promises.

They Guarantee Results

There are no guarantees in SEO. Even if you optimize the site, build up quality links and create strong social media profiles, your site may still not reach a top page rank and may still not get the traffic you want. SEOs who make a guarantee of getting you to a PR1 – or make a guarantee of any specific page rank or traffic numbers at all – is lying or is overly confident. They may or may not be able to achieve these results for you, but they can’t guarantee anything.

What you should expect to see from a good SEO is the continued growth of your site in terms of page rank and traffic. A good SEO should also provide you with a detailed strategy for your site, as well as thoughtful reasoning behind the strategy.

They Focus on Thousands of Search Engines

There are thousands of search engines out there – most of them micro sites. However, few people actually use these sites, and most of them won’t bring you significant traffic. The primary search engine that matters is Google, followed by Yahoo! and Bing. An SEO who promises to submit your site to thousands of search engines is either misguided, out-of-the-loop or plain doesn’t know what he’s doing. 

They Offer Too Many Links Too Soon

Getting quality links is an important way to build your page rank and drive traffic to your site. However, it takes time to get quality links. An SEO company that offers you hundreds or thousands of links is likely not going to deliver you quality links. They are typically going to be placed on spammy sites and in forums and comments. These are not only not going to help your site, but they could also actively bring down your page rank and hurt your traffic.

Hiring an SEO company is a great way to improve traffic to your site while freeing up your time to grow your business in other ways. Make sure that your money is well-spent by hiring a quality SEO company that will get you real results. Pay attention to these warning signs to help you steer clear of scam artists and fly-by-night companies.

What other warning signs have you noticed when dealing with shady SEO companies? Share your experiences in the comments!


Chloe Trogden is a seasoned financial aid writer and a major contributor at http://www.collegegrant.net. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and volunteer work.