Many enterprises fail to realize how dreadful can be the consequences of implementing black hat SEO techniques. Selecting the top SEO service providers is of utmost importance. Neglecting this aspect would lead to nothing but heavy penalties if you end up with black hat SEO companies. Let us look at some stories of big companies charged for black hat SEO.
In 2013, Rap Genius invited bloggers to add links to the content of its lyrics. To return the favor Rap Genius was supposed to tweet the posts from those bloggers. When the story emanated in Christmas 2013, Google’s webspam team showed serious reservations. The head of the team, Matt Cutts declared that Google would investigate Rap Genius. They saw the practice as adding unnatural links. A heavy portion of the website was degraded from ranking on the first page of Google search results. Penalty period was 10 days.
You may find it unbelievable that Google has even penalized respected British Broadcasting Corporation like BBC for unnatural links. After receiving manual action notice, they sought help in Google’s Webmaster forums. Finally, the penalty affected only one article. Penalty period and how the issue was resolved remains unknown.
There are plenty of other examples as well. Getting de-indexed or penalized are the most common outcomes of using unfair SEO practices.
Therefore, it makes sense that you ensure to stay safe from the trap of black hat SEO, regardless of whether you have selected individual SEO consultants, SEO companies, SEO agencies or in-house SEO,
Otherwise, you can get into serious troubles. Moreover, you have to give the SEO team access to your website, at least partially. So take your time to find out someone who you can trust.
If you really want to land up on Google’s first search results, you need to find out top SEO service providers. To find top SEO service providers, you need a disciplined approach. You should know what top SEO service providers will never do. Here we enlist some of those things.
- They Will Never Buy Backlinks
Yes, backlinks are the backbone of SEO infrastructure, but we have just seen examples of what happens when you get low-quality backlinks.
The SEO firm, which buys backlinks from unrepeatable services, would likely give you low quality and automated backlinks. Most of the pages these links appear on are called free for all pages. This name makes sense, as these pages are full of irrelevant links.
Moreover, it is illegal to buy backlinks. This is the sure way to get a penalty from Google.
If someone says, he will get you a number of backlinks for less than a dollar, just run away. It surely is a fraud. You may find plenty of such gigs on Fiverr, who claim to provide hundreds of backlinks.
In short, top SEO service providers always provide genuine backlinks.
- They Will Not Do SEO Copywriting
Top SEO service providers will never offer “SEO copywriting”. It is not their agenda. Practices like keyword stuffing and writing particularly for search engines is the worst SEO practice ever. Google has changed the algorithms it uses to rank the content.
Top SEO provider always knows your audience and writes the consistent tone of your brand to increase user engagement. They will tell a compelling story and heed grammar and spelling. Moreover, they write the content that resonates with your audience. They do not forcefully shove keywords into content where it does not make any sense.
We know that Black hat SEO utilize unethical SEO methods. They use aggressive means to rank a website on a search engine. They have a variety of notorious tools in their toolkit and SEO copywriting is one of them. They try to trick the search engines, rather than using fair means. Their methods are keyword stuffing, page swapping, invisible text and adding irrelevant keywords to increase traffic and customers.
Serious agencies, on the other hand, have an extensive portfolio. You may easily find a case similar to yours and clearly know what you can expect. People prefer black hat SEO as it provides result in lesser time, but forget the fact these results are not only unethical but also not reliable. Search engines have smart mechanisms and eventually, you will be held accountable.
- They Will Not Ensure Quick Results
Serious companies would not throw around any ranking guarantees. SEO is both science and art. Remember we have just talked about people opting black hat SEO to get faster results.
To avoid the company that promises results within a month or week. That is just not possible without black hat techniques. Professional and high-quality SEO takes time. You need to be patient. Top SEO provider will keep on throwing positive results on a monthly basis or perhaps yearly basis.
They have the experience, expertise, and knowledge.
They know how to make it work.
Browsing on the Internet would take you to thousands of websites with decorative badges that say, “100% guaranteed increased rankings”. Click on it and you will find nothing to support the claim.
These counterfeit enterprises usually have no portfolio. They have no previous work to show.
- They Have No Special Tools
Serious SEO companies know that Google has cracked down. It has changed its algorithm to focus on natural and organic content. It is now marketer’s space. Obviously, special tools would not work anymore.
You may come across a firm who boast about its secret sauce. They let you know about their special automated processes and proprietary tools, which would help you, rank fast. Do not be fooled. This secret sauce is not going to do anything for you. Other than violating Google’s policies and banning your website for an undefined period.
SEO provider always optimizes your website in natural and legal ways, which definitely take some time as we have talked above.
- They Do Not Run Away From Technical SEO
Before going into depth of this topic, we need to learn some terminologies.
In Technical SEO, we deal with the aspects of SEO that search engines really care about. Some examples are finding and addressing web crawler errors, 404 pages, redirect problems, and evaluating site navigation.
In On-Page SEO, we are primarily concerned with the content on the website. We make sure it is well optimized for relevant keywords and provides a good user experience.
In Off-Page SEO, inbound links from another website to your site are managed. If you have a natural link from a relevant and authoritative website, you have an independent vote of confidence. Search engines trust your website more.
Once you hire a company, at least basic technical SEO audit should be done shortly. If they don’t have it as part of their process, they are not good SEO services provider.
- They Will Not Ensure Ranking Number One For Particular Keyword
You may feel like, we have discussed this before in point 3. Yeah, there is a resemblance, but there is a difference too. That point was general. Good SEO provider does not claim fast results. Here at this point, we are talking about a specific claim. This specific claim is to guarantee you ranking number one for a particular keyword. Companies make such claims usually when they are just trying to make a sale. Remember no one in the world, can ever guarantee ranking number one. There are various reasons why.
Number one, no one knows the exact Google algorithm. If any organization claims to know, it is clearly lying. If they really knew, they could make much more money than an average SEO consultant could.
Number Two, nobody knows how and when Google’s algorithms change. Google is an ever-growing and learning system who makes more than one algorithm changes per day. You cannot know it unless you are an employee at Google.
Number Three, manual reviews and penalties can be triggered at any time.
Therefore, SEO companies can increase your search traffic over time, but they cannot guarantee specific keyword rankings. If they do they are either just trying to make a sale or are inexperienced.
However, there is another point to remember. Some companies may ask you which keyword you want to target. Some may suggest a keyword. If your targeted keyword is very easy, then they may not be so wrong if they guarantee success.
Also, notice that offering a guarantee and guaranteeing number one ranking are different things. When they offer a guarantee, it means that they expect it is possible to rank number one for an easy keyword, but in case they could not help, they will offer some refund.
- They Will Not Try To Lock You In
Take a step back, if SEO firm tries to lock you in. If they want long-term commitment for one year or more than that, it is a warning sign. You must ask yourself why.
Is it that you cannot drop their services if you feel they are not delivering their best or fulfilling their commitments? Why would they feel like they need a long-term contract if they do not have any loophole within?
Good SEO companies know their strengths and weaknesses. They do not need to bound their clients.
- They Will Not Hesitate Providing References
Before hiring an SEO firm, you should talk in detail with their clients and references. This is one of the most essential measures. References are always readily available upon request in ideal cases.
Unluckily if they are not, you are not dealing with top SEO service providers. As the only reason for not providing references is not having any satisfied customers from the past.
- Their Packages Are Not Like One Size Fits All
The proverb perfectly demonstrates the policy of non-professional SEO organizations.
We know that every business has a different website. Different website means different needs, different goals, different target audience, and different overall specific reasons to jump into the SEO game.
If you come across the firm whose packages are “one size fits all,” you should go look for a better fit. Good firms carefully inspect your business, learn your objectives, research your competition and thoroughly analyze your website. Only then can they put together a solution. Be careful not to be tricked by companies that have ‘packages’. Do not let them sell you any random package unless you are sure they study your business area.
- They Will Not Go Out of Touch For Longer Times
Top SEO provider will always stay in touch with you on almost weekly or at least monthly basis. They will send you regular reports. The most common frequency is once per month. However, some will send you weekly updates as well. They keep you updated with any changes they make on the website, as they have access to it.
If they do not make any website changes, this is another warning sign. As there are many website changes you just cannot avoid, especially while on-page SEO.
Make sure your SEO providers keep the proper track of changes. Imagine that they suddenly go non-responsive, and you are stuck in a broken or damaged website.
The outside consultant you hire to encounter the situation will need to know what caused the problem, in order to fix it. Therefore, changes need to be tracked.
Monitored Patience is the Key in the End
SEO is a long-term project, which needs patience, but it is imperative to ensure that you do not patiently wait for the sun to rise from the west.
An example may seem out of context, but this is no different than giving the SEO keys to the wrong firm and keep waiting for several months with a totally positive attitude.
We mentioned 10 things top SEO service providers never do. To apply what you have read, you need a bit of counter-intuitive approach. We normally look for what professional companies do, but today we studied what they never do.
Hiring an SEO Company is a sensitive business decision in today’s age. Make sure they do not do any of the things mentioned above. Otherwise, you will be swimming in dangerous waters!