Google Warning: Be careful when hiring an SEO company

Whether you’re launching a new site or just trying to get better results from your existing site, you know that a big part of your success will come from ranking well in Google’s organic search results. Most web pages won’t be able to do this without a lot of blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes in the form of search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is a big and complicated business, and the rules that determine your site’s ranking change almost daily. Even professionals sometimes struggle to keep up with the latest patents, algorithms and tweaks from Google that can turn a winning site into a big loser almost overnight.

While many companies claim to offer SEO services – and some even guarantee certain results – it’s important to do your research before hiring an individual or business to manage your business’s search rankings. Below, we’ve shared the red flags that Google warns companies to avoid when choosing someone to optimize a website.

Google says (borrowed from here):

If you are considering hiring an SEO, the sooner the better. The perfect time to hire is when you are considering a site redesign or planning to launch a new site. This way you and your SEO can make sure that your site is designed to be bottom-up search engine friendly. However, good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Beware of SEO companies and web consultants or agencies that send you emails out of the blue.

Surprisingly, we also get these spam emails:

I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories… ”

Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited e-mail regarding search engines as you do for “nighttime fat-burning” diet pills or requests for money transfer assistance from fallen dictators.

No one can guarantee a # 1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs who claim to guarantee rankings, claim a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submission” to Google. There is no priority submission for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a sitemap and you can do it yourself at no cost.

Be careful if a business is secretive or doesn’t make it clear what it intends to do. Ask for an explanation if something is not clear. If an SEO creates deceptive or deceptive content on your behalf, such as front door pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed from Google’s index entirely. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to make sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If a SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain any changes they make to your site.

A final rating from ImageWorks

While these three caveats might sound like common sense, it’s easy to get caught up in the promise of high rankings and better sales. We also wish that there was a way to guarantee the SEO performance of our site!

Since there are no (deemed) guarantees available, we are doing the right thing. We are constantly reviewing and analyzing recent changes to Google’s algorithm, and we are adjusting our site accordingly. Most importantly, we try to make sure that everything we post is useful to you, our visitors. We can make sure your site performs the same, while growing your business according to the SEO best practices we know!

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