Every morning my mailbox gets a new set of offers from SEO gurus offering to get me a number one ranking. It’s quite sad that the SEO industry is still plagued by charlatans such as these who have one goal. Separate hard working small business owners from their even harder earned money. Business owners may not always recognize when an SEO snake oil salesman is trying to con them, especially when it relates to something they don’t know much about.
Many business owners don’t know how to improve their search rankings. They search for their business using what they think are good keywords and their site doesn’t show up. What do they do? They turn to supposed SEO gurus who spam them for help.
Except instead of helping, these SEO gurus are harming the small business owner. The outdated tactics these so called SEO gurus are using are causing more harm than good. Their tactics may have worked once upon a time, but thanks to Google and their constant algorithmic updates, these Top 10 lies from SEO gurus I am about to share with you are no longer valid.
Yet these so called SEO gurus continue to perpetuate them! So, in the interest of saving small business owners the challenge of getting taken to the cleaners here are ten lies to watch out for when interviewing an SEO to help with your search engine rankings.
Top 10 Lies from SEO Gurus
- I Can Guarantee You The #1 Position On Google.
This is the number one lie. I can guarantee you a #1 position on Google. Why this lie continues to perpetuate, I’ll never understand. But please pay attention! No one can guarantee rankings on search engines, let alone a number 1 position. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines state very clearly to be wary of SEO firms or web consultants or agencies that guarantee a first place ranking on Google. Be very skeptical of anyone who promises you top positioning.
Especially promising the #1 Position On Google!
It is very possible to achieve a number one position on Google; but it takes hard work, dedication, time and money. Plus of course compelling content that people are actually searching for. Be careful, as some of these unscrupulous SEO gurus will actually be selling you a PPC solution, then it can be achieved almost instantly. But remember, with PPC you are Paying Per Click!
- I Don’t Need Specific Experience In Your Field.
This is in response to your question, “Do you have experience helping companies in my industry?”
Ideally, the SEO professional you work with will have expertise in your field. The truth is that all industries are not equal in the SEO world. Some, like business services, are much more competitive for top keywords — others, like manufacturing, are less competitive and therefore easier to dominate.
Unless you’re in a very small niche that no one will have experience in, keep looking until you find an SEO expert who has a proven track record in your field.
- Duplicate Content Is Fine.
Duplicate content is never fine! Unique content is essential to your SEO strategy. Taking one post or article and spamming the internet with it is not a wise strategy, but there are so many so called SEO gurus that still hold on to this outdated tactic.
No matter how awesome or well-written it may have been re-posting an article you published elsewhere is not a good idea. This is due to duplicate content filtering and the effects of the Panda algorithm which Google continues to refine.
- The More Links, The Better.
The Google algorithm was built on the premise that the more links to a site, then the more authoritative the site must be. The original intent was that if you liked content, you would link to it and share it. Then the Black and Gray hat SEO’s got their hands on linking and ruined it. SEO gurus would use many spammy tactics for acquiring links to their clients’ websites, and Google largely permitted it. Though it wasn’t officially allowed by Google, Google did nothing to penalize those who were doing it. And the sad truth is that those tactics worked extremely well. As such, SEO was mostly a popularity contest driven by the number of inbound links you had to your website.
Those days are thankfully gone, so don’t let anyone tell you differently. While the acquisition of inbound links is considered an important part of any SEO strategy, Google has shifted their emphasis from quantity to quality. Large quantities of spammy inbound links can now harm your rankings — or even get you slapped with a manual penalty.
- The More Keywords, The Better.
While keyword density (what percentage of the total copy of a page your keywords comprised) was a major buzzword a few years ago, the focus now is on using a variety of keywords and their variations (known as long-tail keywords) sprinkled naturally throughout the body copy.
“Naturally,” you will note, does not mean that every third word is that keyword. Don’t work with anyone who tells you differently. When you write your copy, write for humans, not the search engines. It’s not Google who is going to buy your product or service it’s a human being.
- I’ll Submit Your Site To Hundreds Of Search Engine Directories.
And you’ll be wasting my time. Yes, while you can submit your site to the major search engines, this will yield absolutely zero benefit. Plus,there are not hundreds of search engines you want to be found on. Honestly, there never were. This tactic can actually trigger an unnatural link warning or penalty from Google, so stay far away from anyone who says they’ll do any link building or “submissions” on such a large scale.
- My Techniques Are Too Complicated To Explain.
You may not be a technology whiz, but you are perfectly capable of understanding how someone you’re paying money to can improve the rankings of your site. In all honesty, it’s not complicated at all. Good SEO campaigns are the result of the successful melding of compelling content and good search engine optimization structure. It’s not complicated nor difficult; it’s just a matter of having content people want to read and giving the search engines the ability to find it, crawl it and index it.
- You Don’t Need To Worry About Google Algorithm Updates.
The truth is we all need to at least be aware of them and how they change the industry. In general, if you’re practicing above-board SEO strategies that involve producing useful and relevant content in order to build your brand organically and naturally, you should be fine. But still keep your ear to the ground on whatever changes Google is making to their algorithm.
Here’s a handy resource for keeping track of each Google algorithm update, when it occurred, and what it changed: Google Algorithm Change History.
- All You Need Is SEO.
Also known as the “put all your eggs into my basket” plan. No online marketing plan will succeed if it’s focused on a single marketing discipline. Your website rankings can improve through your active presence on social media, consistent blog posts, some paid search and even your offline marketing efforts. Please don’t put all your eggs in one basket; especially a so called SEO guru. Ensure that each piece of your marketing strategy maximizes your SEO benefits.
- I‘ll Get Your SEO Fixed In A Month For A Flat Rate.
SEO is not a “do it once and forget it” strategy; it needs ongoing attention. Remember that SEO does not happen in a vacuum. Your competitors are constantly working to improve their SEO, so if you stop doing so, you’ll fall behind. Certain one-time projects can be extremely beneficial, such as initial SEO website audits, link profile audits, and professional keyword research. But these should be treated as foundations and starting points of successful ongoing SEO campaigns.
Ultimately, you need someone who’s willing to work with your company for the foreseeable future and make recommendations for improvement as you go along.
Be Smart When Hiring An SEO Consultant
If you’re going to invest time and money in hiring someone to help you with your SEO efforts, you need to be confident in their ability to do the job right. Start by doing your homework on a few potential firms. A smart SEO company will have plenty of information on its website about how they help customers and the strategies they use.
Next, look for reviews of those companies. Try searching for the company name and “review” and see what pops up. Usually no news is good news; if the company has had angry customers; mentions are likely to pop up.
Finally, see how the company’s own site measures in terms of search ranking. If they can’t get themselves a decent ranking, how can they expect to get you one? Remember: SEO is imperative for the survival of your brand online. Work with a company or individual that doesn’t make promises they can’t keep.
Have you heard other lies from SEO gurus? Leave a comment and let me know!