Practically on a daily basis, we see people trying to toss their hats into the rink to become an SEO “expert.” Everyone and his brother seems to think that they “know” how to do SEO and that they can make some easy money while doing it. The fact remains however that while there are plenty of people who can build links for you, fewer know how to do it correctly.
Whether you work with us or another SEO company entirely, it’s important you know exactly what it is that you are buying into. Here’s how to tell what an experienced SEO consultant would know about as opposed to the guy just trying to make a few bucks:
They Won’t Make Promises They Can’t Keep
An experienced and established SEO consultant knows that nobody can absolutely guarantee that you will make it to first place on the Google search engine results page. It’s just not possible no matter what anyone tells you. Mind you, it is possible to get there, but to make a “guarantee?” That’s not possible and everyone who is honest in the SEO world knows it.
The fact is that getting to the very first listing in Google, especially for a highly competitive keyword is really, really hard to do. No matter how much effort an SEO consultant puts in for you, there are no absolute guarantees that they can get you all the way there.
Mind you, I’ve seen dozens if not hundreds of SEO consultants who claim that they can “guarantee” Google’s first place listing to you. Now think about this though: there’s just one first place listing for every single keyword.
If you are in a very competitive niche, say make money online, how is it that several hundred SEO companies, presumably not all working for the same place targeting that keyword can all “guarantee” that they will get their customers to first place? Someone is going to be shown to be a liar. In fact, multiple someones will be shown to be liars because after all, there is only one first place listing.
What I have seen and what I can believe is the places that guarantee that they’ll get you to number one or keep working for free until they do. However, I have a feeling that even those guys after a certain point, if they are not successful will find a way to try to get out of the guarantee.
That’s why established SEO consultants simply don’t make those kinds of claims to begin with – they know better and they have enough steady customers to build links for that they don’t need to make ridiculous offers.
They Understand that Google Isn’t Everything
These days, when there is such a tremendous amount of competition for keyword dominance, especially in hot niches like weight loss and make money online, it’s simply foolhardy to rely exclusively on Google for traffic. I wrote a while back that in the future, SEO will become a bit different – instead of focusing on trying to get to the top of Google’s rankings, we’ll focus on getting quality traffic.
Remember that while Google is obviously important, there are plenty of other places to get traffic from and ultimately, an SEO consultant’s primary job is to get you traffic. In fact, if your site never showed up in the Google listings but you were getting more traffic than you could handle, you really wouldn’t care very much where the traffic was coming from.
The new guys in this business focus exclusively on helping you to build backlinks which will be read by Google but ignored completely by human beings. They’re still trying to game the system. The established SEO consultant by comparison will work with you to get you some organic traffic in addition to the traffic from Google.
They’ll do it by getting you guest posts on high quality blogs in your niche or related niches as well as getting you links from other sites where actual people will see the links and it’s not going to be just Google’s bots that will see the links.
Of course, this is also what Google wants you to do anyway – they’re not interested in having you build junk links which are for their benefit. They want you to build links real people would see and click on because that’s what they consider to be worth something.
Established SEO consultants understand this well and they tend to avoid using lots of bots and offering super cheap links which have no value. Instead, they offer you manually created links which are actually worth something and which will get noticed by real, honest to goodness people.
Unfortunately, I see way too many so called SEO “experts” who think that they can offer you all kinds of dirty tricks to get around the Google rankings. Either they engage in Google bowling of your competition or they engage in very questionable grey hat SEO practices which are completely worthless because Google’s engineers will eventually catch on to it.
A good example of this is a trick I found a few months ago where someone discovered that if you changed the ascii text to a different coding, it would appear in Google as if it had almost no matches. In essence, it was just a trick which was designed to allow you to create a website with all PLR content because Google wouldn’t notice that you had changed the encoding.
This idea is no different in my opinion than when people figured out that they could simply stuff their pages with keywords by putting into the same color as the background (i.e. they would make the keyword appear multiple times in white on a white background). Or they would code in the keyword in order to keep it for Google but not for the site visitors.
All of these kinds of “tricks” are hallmarks of people who are trying to rip you off. Almost inevitably, they’ll work for a short while and then they’ll ultimately backfire on you and get you into a whole lot of trouble. If you try these “tricks” on your own websites then you could easily see them end up being de-indexed.
And yes, I know that the tricks sometimes do work. This reminds me however of an old story back in the 1980s where someone was selling “information” about how to send out letters with just a 3 cent stamp (even then it was significantly more expensive). They would send a photocopy of an old postal regulation saying that the cost of mailing a letter was 3 cents. As proof, they would say to look at the envelope where they had indeed used a 3 cent stamp to mail the letter.
The post office, asked to explain how they could get away with this explained that their automation machines sometimes mistook older 3 cent stamps and assumed that they were the current postage. It didn’t work all the time but it worked just often enough for the above scam to be run. These days, the machines are supposed to be more sophisticated and able to tell the difference.
The above is an example though of how a scammer can rip you off – yes, they can offer you some dirty tricks which may work for a short while. You’ll pay good money for those tricks and then when it blows up in your face, they’ll say they never heard of you.
They Don’t Offer Just One Kind of Link Package
An established SEO consultant knows that building backlinks means doing more than plugging a keyword into a bot and hitting run. Even if they do use a bot, they have to program it properly to make the anchor text and words surrounding it diverse. They also know that you need to create lots and lots of different kinds of backlinks from all kinds of places.
The newbies in this business tend to have a handful of types of links they say are the be all end all. It used to be article directories. Then it was forum profiles. Then it was wikis and these days, I hear a lot of people talking about web 2.0 sites. You know what? All of these kinds of links can and should be part of your package. However, none of them should be the only thing that you do.
An established SEO consultant knows that in order to survive in a post Penguin world, you need lots of anchor text diversity and lots of link diversity. They also know that insisting on exclusively do follow links is a fool’s errand both because some sites will change later anyway and because Google’s system can easily detect that kind of footprint.
Finally, an established SEO consultant will take the time to understand your business and what it is that you need done. They won’t just offer you a quickie package and say give me a few keywords you want to rank for and then run a bot. They’ll explain what they want to do for you and how they plan on doing it. They’ll also show you in detail what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about their services.
The new guys are desperate to attract business and so they won’t spend time talking with you and learning about your business. They’re already looking to get the next client and the next client. The established SEO consultants though know that this is not the way to build a sustainable business and they’ll get to know you and your business and will be involved in helping you to build your business.