How to Spot a Bad SEO Practitioner

November 1, 2013 Off By Koehler Home Decor

seo-oil-One of the main objectives of the Google Penguin update was to deal with bad linking practices and sites that had been “over SEO’d”.

The unfortunate surprise for some website owners came when they discovered their site had been penalized for practices that they either did not know had been implemented on their behalf or did not understand what was being done in their name by an outside SEO company.

Understanding that a small business owner rarely has the time to implement a regular SEO plan on their own, seeking help in doing so is fine. How you choose who to help with the project is very important though, especially now with the Google penalties coming faster than ever for those who do not ‘play by the rules’.

There are lots of good SEO providers out there who are very transparent in their practices, take the time to remain up to the minute on search engine best practices and who insist that a client has total control over the work implemented and reports back on everything they do.

However, there are also still plenty of scammers and black hat SEO practitioners lurking out there. Penguin did not kill them all off. Those out to make a quick buck by nefarious means are not the only ones you need to beware of though.

An increasing number of previously administrative only companies seem to be offering SEO packages right now. This is fine as long as they know what they are doing, but unfortunately many do not, they are merely trying to cash in on a ‘hot niche’ and their lack of knowledge about even the most basic current SEO techniques can be quite shocking. Before hiring such a firm ask to see proof of their previous SEO work and successes, as well as quizzing them about how they keep up with current SEO best practices.

There are other things that should send out huge warning signals that the SEO firm or practitioners you are considering are just not very good, or worse still out to scam you:

They Promise X Results or Promise a #1 Ranking – Any good SEO knows that promising a #1, or even a page one ranking for a site on Google is impossible. There are just too many constantly changing variables that make that an impossibility. All a real SEO pro will tell you is that they will use the best possible practices in line with all the latest information available about search engine practices to get you the best possible position in the search engine rankings that they can.

They Promise to Rank You for Junky Longtail Keywords – Be aware of just what keywords and terms an SEO plans to optimize for you. For example, an SEO might offer you long tail keyphrases that are easy to rank for. But what you have to look at is would anyone ever search for such a term? There is little point in being #1 in the SERPs for ‘super cheap New York wholesale holiday decorations’ or something similar because what normal consumer is actually going to search for such a vague (and rather silly) term.

They Cold Call You – Most really good SEOs really don’t have to look for business. On average, 85% of good SEO’s business for content, SEO and SMM is referral based. If an SEO is cold calling you then that may be a very bad sign.

They Suggest Taking Shortcuts – Although Google’s animals have killed off many of the blog rings and content farms that were basically used to get quick (but spammy) backlinks there are some still out there that have, thus far, dodged the bullet. If an SEO suggests you allow them to use content representing your business in this way be very cautious, as the chances are very good that it is one of the ‘services’ that will be targeted next and your business website (and your business) could suffer as a result.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.