Not To Do With
Search Engine Optimization
PT Barnum Style Marketeers
There are a lot of folks out there that profess to do web promotion in one form or another. Some of these companies offer fantastic service (like us!) and others are always making the Better Business Bureau's "little more shady" list.
Beware of these "tricks" that do more harm than good when it comes to website promotion.
We recommend steering clear of search engine optimization companies that claim any of the following:
Does your current SEO company do something you don't understand? Run it by us. We'd be happy to let you know if we think it's useful and/or ethical.
This term refers to websites that are considered to be full of spam. You may have heard the term Free For All (or FFA) websites, or maybe Link Farms. These types of websites are designed with the sole purpose of making the owners a quick buck.
Avoid FFA and Link Farms
Here's how they work and why they're useless (and even dangerous):
Sometimes the search engines will see these types of sites as 'spam', and as a result will punish any sites that appear there. This is uncommon, but not unheard of. It is best to simply avoid this form of promotion altogether.
This is perhaps the latest form of bad optimization. It has been brought into the spotlight as a result of Google's "Florida" algorithm update. Websites that employ too much optimization are being punished. Search engines are viewing these sites as trying to outsmart them, and don't appreciate it.
Our approach to Search Engine Optimization is quite organic; there are some simple, often overlooked things that we can do to improve how the search engines rank your site. We don't try to outsmart the engines - in time, we would lose. We do the opposite in fact - we let the engines tell us what they like. And then we do it. Simple.
A very common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a website by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains will often be owned by the search engine optimization company that claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
Here is an example of a company that employs shadow domains.
Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. Search engines look down upon this practice, and this technique typically has little to no value. These pages are typically one-way by design, meaning that no other pages on the site will link back to them. This will devalue the doorway page significantly. Another drawback is that these pages can be easily stolen and employed by competitors.
No one can guarantee first place rankings on the major search engines. It's impossible. The very nature of how these search engines crawl and organize their databases preclude anyone from a 'guarantee' first place.
That said, there are some search engine optimization companies that are better than others. Just be sure to do your homework when researching this service, and be sure the company you choose offers a money back guarantee.