Are Those SEO Claims Real?
If you own a web site, sooner or later you will start receiving solicitations from people who claim to be able to get your site to the “top of Google search”. If you have a contact form on your site, they will send you solicitations that way (even if you post a statement that it is not to be used for that purpose). If you post an e-mail address, they’ll send spam to that. Even if you don’t, they know most sites have an “[email protected]” e-mail address and they’ll use that. Incidentally, you don’t have to have an “info@” e-mail address, so if you don’t want to receive those messages, don’t choose that address. You can still set up an e-mail for administrative purposes. Just choose something that nobody will be able to guess, like “[email protected]”. And don’t post it anywhere.
Can these SEO “experts” really do what they claim? Should you spend any money on them? The answer is “no” and “definitely not”. These people are generally incompetent at best and unscrupulous at worst. They can actually even hurt your Google ranking by employing “black hat” SEO techniques that Google and other search engines frown on. How can you tell if someone is “for real”? My first criterion is to check whether they have a “real” e-mail address. If you get a solicitation from “[email protected]”, this is not a real SEO company. It is some kid who thinks he will make a killing by sending out 1,000 spam messages every day. The next level up from this is someone who actually has a registered domain with a web site. If you get a message from “[email protected]”, go and see if they actually have a web site. If it comes up, see what their Google PR (Page Rank) is. If their site is Page Rank zero (or even unrated), these people are not going to be able to help you “rise to the top of Google”. If you don’t know what Google Page Rank is or how to check it, we’re going to post an article on that soon.
Recently, one of the sites we administer got one of these e-mail solicitations from an “SEO expert”. They actually had a web site. It was a cookie-cutter design using WordPress and somebody’s business theme with very commonplace business-oriented clip art. The site was unrated by Google. Wondering why this might be the case, I did a “whois” lookup on their domain and discovered that it had been registered by GoDaddy one month previous. They used private registration, so you couldn’t find out who the real owner was. They had not done ANY SEO optimization on their site. What if you were to hire this person to do SEO for you? First, you would have no idea who you were actually working with. Second, they have no track record or references to check. How could they help you when they can’t even get their own site to show up in Google search?
Don’t fall for these tactics. Anyone that sends you unsolicited e-mail messages claiming to improve your search ranking is not someone you should be dealing with. Ever! The really good SEO companies do not solicit business in this way. First of all, they have a well-established customer base. Good SEO is expensive, and it is not a one-time investment. If you want good search results, you have to continually invest in SEO by refreshing your site content and your social media presence, etc. There are good SEO companies that use ethical techniques. They are expensive and they do good work– you get what you pay for.
When choosing an SEO company, the best way to go about it is to do your own research online, or consult a friend who has had a successful business relationship. Expect to make a significant investment if you want to hire a professional SEO company– we’re talking anywhere from $1,000 up to $20,000 per month. If you can’t afford that much, consider doing the work yourself a little at a time using legitimate SEO techniques. It will take longer, but if you have the time, you can get good results on your own. I try to share ideas on this site that you may find useful.