A lot of people don’t know or understand enough about the dynamics of SEO. They either choose to ignore it or become targets of SEO companies that start guaranteeing results. Remember the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” “There is no free lunch.” You get the idea.
These companies use techniques called “black hat” which in the short term could raise your traffic, but in the long term it could get you banned from search engines and then who would really lose? It’s important to remember that no SEO company controls rankings on competitive search key words.
I read a post recently by Janet Meiners, Five tips for avoiding deceptive SEO companies, in which she outlines both questionable and downright deceptive tactics. Here’s a summary of what she wrote:
- Putting too many key words on your site. It’s called key word stuffing and they repeat words/phrases. This is an ineffective practice that does nothing more than confuse everybody including the spider.
- Overuse of bolded text or too many links. It looks terrible and doesn’t build trust with people.
- Hidden Links. These are hidden in code or in the footer and may not even be related to your site.
- Complicated link schemes. Google can detect unnatural link patterns. Some people build programs that link automatically that are full of spam content.
- Multiple domains with virtually the same content but different key words. Content is deliberately duplicated across domain names in an attempt to manipulate search engine results.
There are no short cuts. The best rule of thumb is to make your site a good experience for your visitors. This means good original content or other elements that want to make people want to link to you. And as in looking at any service provider, do your home work, get references and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.