An article was published in Search Engine Watch last month that described some very insidious tricks performed by SEO con artists. Some of these tricks are very difficult to detect including one that I’ve seen done to companies I’ve worked with where the SEO rewrites traffic from one source to appear as though it came from another source in order to make their SEO results appear better.
Garry Przyklenk outlines five giveaways that can help you identify SEO con artists. Read the article to get more advice on how to protect yourself from these tactics including:
The “Bait and Switch”
Where traffic is purchased from paid listings such as Google AdWords. In some cases the SEO Con artist might even rewrite the traffic coming from AdWords to make it appear as legitimate organic traffic in logs and web analytics reporting.
I’m quite sure this has happened to at least a couple of companies we’ve worked with including a past client. We ran their Google AdWords for years and they were very happy with the results. Then they had their web site redesigned by a new company who also did search marketing. Within about 8 months this new company was showing the customer how much the important non brand organic traffic had grown. At the same time our AdWords performance had declined. Hmm!
Looking closer, nothing matched up between the analytics reports being shown to the client and what was being reported by Google’s Webmaster Tools for organic rankings and clicks (Of course the Webmaster Tools reports were not being shown to the client).
Hijacking Affiliate Codes.
Similar to the above, the con artist rewrites affiliate traffic to make their SEO efforts appear to be generating better results than they are.
Social Media Smoke & Mirrors.
Setting up social media venues, such as a blog, and keeping it updated with low quality, cheap content which can sink your rankings and traffic.
Bare Minimum Meta Tags.
There are SEO companies that charge a fair amount to update meta tags only. This is just one, relatively minor task that by itself will not likely make much difference.
Here One Minute, Gone the Next.
Because these con artist don’t tend to stay in one place it’s not uncommon that they disappear quickly.
eVision can help you with search engine marketing right over the phone. Using screen share technology, SEO industry expert George Aspland can answer your questions and help you determine steps you can take to improve your organic search results.