The best advice I think we can give you about services to avoid are any company that doesn’t ask a lot of questions about your business is very likely a company or consultant to avoid. Some of the important questions being:
How do you make money?
What products have the highest margins?
Is there a specific product you want to sell more of?
Are there any customer service issues or requests for content?
What are the goals for the site and SEO and how do you measure success of the goals
If they haven’t seen your site and are already trying to sell you services and especially a “package” of services RUN DON’T WALK!
Companies and consultants providing the following search engine optimization and marketing services should be avoided at all costs. Do not take the word of those supplying these services about the benefits of their use or acceptance by search engines.
These companies and consultants spend a great deal of time propagating all the myths about why their services or programs are needed. In most cases, the myths do much more harm than good or are outright frauds.
The above statement was based on what we found at TrafficPower and others who later changed their methods, but later were found to be repeating the same behavior. We did not name them then because that was frowned upon, we believe presently that is to some extent slowly changing.
SEO Pros will not accept companies into the directory if they are displaying a guarantee on their site or contractually guaranteeing positions, either verbally or written. The reason for this choice is because of the problems of measuring rank with personalized search and they are guaranteeing results on search engines they have no direct control over.
In 2010/11 It is our opinion that consultants and companies that provide guarantees are more inclined to push the envelope or provide a misleading representation of the value of the work, often providing a number of rankings on SE’s (some they may even own) that provide no or very little value or traffic. They also will sometimes convince clients to sign agreements that enables them to meet the guarantee by buying PPC listings.
In 2020 The only real metric that counts is $ales and Qualified Lead Conversions. The main difference between $ales and Conversions and traffic and rankings is you can take sales to the bank, whereas traffic is actually a cost, because hosting and bandwidth aren’t free.
Remote Search Engine Submission Programs: The myth: they build traffic – the fact is that they mostly submit to Free for All link pages. Most major search engines are blocking ( not accepting submissions ) from them. We have tried a few and have never received results as good as a hand submission to only the major sites.
Although the statement about free for all links is passe’ you can, for the most part, say the same about all traditional SEO targets for links. That includes most free directories, press release sites and article marketing (not to be confused with premium content placement). Basically, the strategy of get a bunch of content written offshore, “repurpose the content” into twice as much and distribute to whoever will take it, is a technique with rapidly diminishing value. Enter: Facebook, Twitter and the myriad of Social Networking sites springing up everywhere.
Page generators based on keywords sometimes called “doorway or hallway pages”: the myth: these are an effective way to receive top listings – the facts are that these are truly a menace to the search engines and seldom provide top positions that last for any period of time.
Cloaking and IP Delivery: the myth: search engines do not regard this as spam – the facts are that most search engines do regard this as spam and it can result in de-listing or worse an outright blackballing of the domain! Use with care and do a little checking if you need it for something other than search engine optimization.
Remote search engine submission programs:
Keep in mind, just a handful of the search engines provide over 80% of all traffic from search engines. Of these, three are directories and must be hand submitted by someone who knows how to optimize and submit the listing for best results.
Submission Programs come in three basic flavors:
- Submission of pages at predetermined intervals. This is a major myth the engines seldom “lose” a page, it is still there, you just didn’t know how to find it! In the past, some engines did give higher relevance to pages freshly indexed. The abuse of this was significant, and to our knowledge, this is no longer the case with any!
- Online services that submit to several search engines in a single click. Most search engines that are worth your time no longer require this service.
- Standalone or submission programs residing on your computer. In a lot of cases these programs submissions are just going to result in a ton of spam email, listings that are refreshed regularly (requiring re-submission), provide little if any traffic and are subject to blocking by the major search engines. Low quality directories that are not for an industry niche or a single geo target like a city (best) but are more useful for Local Search Packs (local listings with a map) and localized search terms.
Page generators based on keywords sometimes called “doorway or hallway pages”:
I have had pages that have maintained top ten positions for years, this should be your goal! Many search engines will not index pages they do not discover themselves, page generating programs are one of the main reasons for this indexing behavior by search engines.
The above strategy is still around to some extent, only in many cases, instead of generating content they scrape it, meaning they index content like press releases and articles with a crawler and publish it on their site. The above strategy actually produced orphaned pages which meant the only way to enable indexing was to generate links to them without displaying the link to the user. The “real page” was cloaked behind the link usually with link text the same color as the background. This was what the Search engines were penalizing, but, one could easily argue this page was meant only for Search Engines and therefore should be regarded as greater than an acceptable risk to most consumers.
Cloaking and IP Delivery:
Cloaking and IP Delivery are a method of search engine optimization through technology. The program detects if the request is from a search engine and delivers the optimized page. If the program detects a user it provides a different page, often minus the meta tags and title, so other search engine optimization consultants can’t figure out how the optimized page received a high position.
Proper link development using a sound search engine optimization strategy are the keys to the search engine visibility door – they open the door, without them, you are locked out.