One of the worries we often hear about from potential clients is that they are worried that when they turn their site over to their SEO, they may never get full control of it back. Sadly, we have to day this is a legitimate concern. Their are some SEOs out there who lack ethics and a moral compass that have taken advantage of unsuspecting webmasters and essentially hijacked their sites. usually, those SEOs do not have a long life in the industry because word spreads fast, but there is always someone else out there looking to make a fast buck any way they can. Here are some ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
There are several venues that provide excellent information on this subject and we will share their insights along with our own to help you avoid the rogue SEO. Google has some terrific information regarding how to avoid being taken advantage of by a scammy, spammy, black hat SEO firm. Aside from looking for complaints on the web, there are some excellent indicators you can look for.
Before going into detail, keep this in mind: Many SEOs are actually well educated and well trained individuals that keep up with the latest tweaks to algorithms used by search engines and provide honest, trustworthy services that achieve consistent results. The rogue SEO is not the norm, but rather what we remember because bad press is often easier to recall than good press. Beware, however, SEO ‘gurus‘ that make fantastical claims without being able to back them up. Always ask for verifiable evidence.
When you first start shopping for an SEO, the first question to ask any SEO services firm is: Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines? This is a question that has only one correct answer. The answer should always be an unequivocal yes, and they should be able to converse with you about those guidelines in a knowledgeable manner. if they hesitate before answering yes or can’t converse with you on the guidelines intelligently, you don’t want then working on your site. Move on.
Rather than providing you with some kind of generic strategy that sounds like it has been designed to make a sale rather than improve your site, look for an SEO that understands your specific needs. They should be willing to discuss and share with you all the changes made to your site, and provide detailed information about their recommendations and the reasoning behind them. if they can’t explain why something needs to be done, it doesn’t need to be done – at least not by them. Move on.
Don’t pay top dollar for someone to learn on the job. Your SEO should have experience in your industry, and possibly in your city if you want to target local search. Don’t hire some fly by night who sends you an email and who doesn’t even show up in search results themselves for the services they offer. Again, make sure you get evidence that they can do what they promise and have an actual good track record.