Each year new SEO scams surface and end up burying many companies into an SEO hole. It can be incredibly difficult to spot SEO scams and oftentimes even if you do start to see red flags it’s too late. The best thing you can try to do is know the popular scams out there each year so that you have the knowledge to identify them right away. In general scams happen when you trust an agency or an expert to complete your SEO, but sometimes scams can simply be something you read online or somewhere you post a link manually. Wherever there is false information, there is usually a scam.
Fortunately in 2015 a few of the scams we’re seeing most have been on this type of list for a few years now, but there are a few new ones to keep on your radar. Some of the most common SEO scams thus far include:
“We just did a free analysis of your site and you need better search placement.”
This scam almost always comes in the form of an email. How the scammer got your email address is another issue, but the point is that an email with this information reached your inbox somehow. If SEO was something you had been considering, hearing this information can be pretty tempting. Unfortunately, this is the exact mentality the scammers want to tap into so that they can get your business.
The truth is that no good SEO agency or expert is going to run any type of test before talking with you first. That takes too much time, money, and effort if they don’t know the goals of your website or what you might have in the works. In general good SEO agencies won’t even reach out to you out of the blue, but if they do, they definitely should not be saying that they know anything about your website. In fact, most agencies don’t have the technology to run a true analysis of your website until they have certain information from you in the first place.
Rankings guaranteed for mobile SEO.
By now you probably know that there is going to be a major Google algorithm update on April 21 (and if you don’t, learn more hereimmediately!). This has put many marketers into a panic, and for many this means hiring an agency. This has therefore helped scammers create the perfect scam—advertising themselves as mobile SEO-gurus who can guarantee you results on a mobile SERP just in time for the update.
The truth is that SEO agencies cannot guarantee results of any kind, and that includes mobile. Guaranteed results has been a scam for a while, it is only recently that companies have been trying to capitalize on mobile. Anything that says “First page rankings within one month,” or even something as simple as “Guaranteed results on mobile SERPs” is a scam because SEO takes time to see results. It’s impossible to know when results will happen and if at all, so if you hear this move on immediately.
They are Google algorithm experts.
Plain and simple, no one is a Google algorithm expert. If this were the case then Google simply would not be a fair playing field. It’s true that many SEO agencies have knowledge about Google and what some of their algorithms may do for websites, but nobody knows the actual algorithm. This scam seemed to have lost a little bit of traction over the last few years, but in 2015 it’s back.
So How Do You Avoid Scams?
Avoiding these scams is all about knowing the warning signs and having an idea of some of the most popular scams out there, both of the past and the present. I highly recommend checking out this article from Purely Branded or this article I wrote a few years ago for a list of other scams that have been around for several years, especially if you’re new to SEO. Some of these scams include the scammers claiming to know someone at Google, offering free SEO trial services, submitting your website to hundreds of search engines, any “secret” SEO strategies, lowest priced SEO, and more.
Have you seen any other scams so far in 2015? Let us know in the comment section below.