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  • 10 Most Common SEO Scams

    Top 10 Most Common SEO Scams

    SEO is the ideal way to obtain high search rankings for your website organically.

    Organic listings in Google are trusted more than advertising and paid listings. That’s why business owners invest a lot in search engine optimization.

    Many companies provide legitimate SEO services, but there are many pretenders out there.

    If you see a company offering one of the SEO scams we mention here, better keep looking for other, more reputable search engine optimization services.

    We Guarantee a #1 Placement

    We Guarantee a #1 Placement
    Who doesn’t want their site to come up first in Google? But most people don’t want to think that a #1 ranking isn’t possible all day, every day.

    If you don’t believe a #1 search engine placement is a scam, note that Google has said it cannot guarantee top placement in search results. Companies that make that promise should be avoided, the search giant continued.

    Remember that competition for your niche’s keywords is intense unless you target phrases that few want. Also, your competitors didn’t hit #1 in a day. They’re probably spending thousands per month on SEO and have done it for years.

    So, if you see a company offering #1 placement for $300 or something, remember this is a classic SEO scam!

    We Have THE SEO Secret!

    Here’s the truth: There is no ‘secret sauce’ that one SEO company has that others don’t know about. No one can say they understand every aspect of the Google algorithm, not even Google! That said, there are best practices and techniques that any SEO company worth a darn knows will work over time.

    If the SEO company doesn’t detail their processes for you, odds are they aren’t doing anything or are using ‘black hat’ methods that can get your domain name blacklisted.

    Remember that Google holds you accountable for what your SEO does. If they find violations, Google will remove you from their site without warning. The search giant recently said that the business owner is responsible for their contracting companies’ actions, so you need to know how the SEO company is doing their job.

    Unsolicited Emails

    Unsolicited Emails
    Almost all unsolicited emails through your website or personal email should be thrown in the trash. If you didn’t contact the fir, they’re probably part of a massive spam operation. Scrapers and bots find email addresses on the Internet and send out millions of spam emails daily.

    And check this out: Spam email from SEO companies often shows up in your inbox when your SEO is working, and the site ranks well. So, your current SEO strategy is probably doing the job.

    We Have Contacts At Google

    This MIGHT be true sometimes, but it’s misleading. It’s probably not going to help you, anyway.

    Note that a company may partner with Google for ads, but never for SEO. Google has no financial incentive to provide a business user with an SEO service. But it has a considerable interest in making sure its search algorithm is a secret.

    A partner in Google advertising has an account representative who works with them to manage their advertising campaigns. It doesn’t mean they have insider info on its search algorithm.

    You’ll Get a Zillion visitors To Your Site Per Day

    These ‘targeted visitors’ probably are just fake traffic produced by a bot. Traffic alone is only a phony metric.

    Conversions won’t change from fake traffic that totally misses search intent.

    Further, bot traffic affects the site’s Google Analytics data, so you should pass on these offers.

    Our Link Building Is The Best

    A link building scammer may offer to create thousands of links to your site. Somehow, all these excellent links will boost your search results. Backlink quality is one of Google’s algorithm’s most vital parts.

    A quality link to your site means it comes from a respected and trusted website. You can’t pay for quality links. They don’t come easily. If your site has thousands of links from no-name websites, Google will think you’re trying to manipulate their search engine. You don’t want that.

    Google will detect link schemes and penalize your site if it has an abnormal link profile. The search engine finds link building schemes quickly and will ding your site. They might even take manual action on your site and damage your ranking.

    Your Site Is Submitted to Hundreds of Search Engines

    Your Site Is Submitted to Hundreds of Search Engines
    If you get this offer, look at the search engines they mention. You’ll probably notice most are fake or have been history for many years.

    Remember: 3 search engines on Earth account for almost 100% of search traffic. They are:

    • Google
    • Bing
    • Yahoo

    The rest don’t matter or don’t exist.

    Free Trial

    Free 30 Day Trial Meme

    Some SEO companies give you a free trial for up to a month. This is desperation to pick up new clients. A skilled SEO company never offers services for free.

    Additionally, 30 days isn’t enough to produce results. Even Google says most SEOs need four months to a year to obtain benefits. If you fire your current company and take a 30-day-free offer, the new SEO could do NOTHING for a month, and they’ll get credit for the results.

    We’ll Do It Better For Less

    The SEO company has no idea what your current company is doing, so how can they make this promise? This is pure deception.

    Second, no matter what the new guys do, you probably won’t see any results for at least 60 days. The SEO process takes months to work.

    Also, you probably won’t see a traffic reduction after many months, so they’re deceiving you that they can do it for less.

    The SEO Company Owns and Hosts Your Domain

    Watch out for this one!

    Some SEOs will take over your online presence by owning the URL and hosting.

    But what if you decide to part ways?

    Now your SEO company controls you. Don’t expect them to give you the best customer service when you drop them as a vendor.

    Always own your domain yourself and use a hosting company separate from the SEO agency.


    SEO optimization is vital for your business’ marketing plan and hiring a reputable SEO company pays off.

    But watch out for the scams for SEO services we highlight here – not only are you wasting your money, but Google could take action that damages your website for years.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter