Succeeding as a business in our modern world means having an online presence. And that means that your website needs to be easy to find. The best way to ensure your website isn’t in hiding is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What does that mean? In essence, SEO ensures that your website content has keywords used within it with the right amount of frequency to catch the “eye” of search engines. These keywords are based on what people are likely to type into the search bar when looking for a business like yours.

But many SEO services aren’t legitimate, and it can be hard to separate the good services from the bad ones. To help, we are going to look at 7 common rip-offs with SEO services that you need to avoid.

1. Guaranteed Rankings

This is easily the biggest scam in the SEO world. You will find many services that guarantee they will have you at number one on Google, or that you will have a first-page ranking. Many will even guarantee that this will happen within a certain amount of time, like 48-72 hours. If you see any SEO service stating this, they are lying. While a quality SEO service can and will move you up in the rankings, the variables at play means there can be no guarantees.

2. Free Services or Free Trial Services

SEO work isn’t simple; getting it right means days of work and constantly keeping an eye on data. This isn’t work that is offered for free. So why would an SEO service do so? There are really just two reasons. One, their service isn’t very good, but they are hoping that once they have you, you won’t bother looking for anyone else. Two, they want your username and password so they can access your website.

3. Submission to Hundreds or Thousands of Search Engines

We love big numbers; it is part of our nature. So hearing that an SEO service will have your website searchable by hundreds or thousands of search engines sounds great. But ask yourself how many search engines you have heard of. There is Google, Yahoo, Bing, and AOL; you probably can’t come up with another beyond those, and some of those are barely used anymore. So if SEO services are promising submissions to hundreds of search engines, they aren’t focus on what matters, and you are better off walking away.

4. The Lowest Priced SEO

Quality SEO drives traffic to your business, and that traffic converts into profits. Considering the massive role your online presence plays in your success, this isn’t something you want to pinch pennies with. If you opt for the lowest price, you can expect to get what you paid for. It is better to pay more for a quality service than lose business because of ineffective SEO.

5. Claims of a Special Relationship with Google

If you are looking at a website for an SEO service and they claim they work with someone at Google or they partner with Google, close the window. Google does not maintain any partnerships with SEO services, and who would risk their position working for Google by partnering with an SEO firm? No one would.

6. Name Dropping

Many SEO services will include the logos of businesses they have worked with in the past. And while this isn’t necessarily a scam as we usually think of them, it might not be as upfront as you think. Chances are they are referring to a small contract with a subsidiary of the larger business they are advertising, which isn’t as impressive as what you are being led to believe. As for references before you let these claims sway your decision.

7. Black Hat SEO

White hat SEO refers to SEO practices that follow search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO refers to those that do not. Some SEO services will advertise black hat SEO as a way to trick search engines and boost your rankings. However, as soon as your website is found out, you can expect to be penalized or even banned. And that is the exact opposite of the results you are looking for.

Did these tips help you? Do you have questions?

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