Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
There is no shortage of cheap SEO services out there available for sale. Buy 500 links for $50! Get to the top of Google in one month for only $350! Guaranteed SEO results in 60 days or your money back! In the 12+ years I’ve been in the online marketing industry, I have seen just about every cheap SEO gimmick there is to be found. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting site owners with small SEO budgets get caught off guard by the promise of effective and, more importantly, cheap SEO. SEO can be completely affordable for just about any business, depending on the scope and depth of your campaign, but a cheap SEO service is almost always going to come back to haunt you in the end.
Cheap SEO can do more harm than good in the long run.
When Google’s Penguin update attacking web spam went live back in April, many site owners found that some of their older SEO efforts had finally caught up with them. Low-quality inbound links, either created by the site owner or a cheap SEO provider, were finally getting flagged by the search engines and many sites felt the residual effects. Even if they had been on the SEO “straight and narrow” for some time, if there were enough bad links stuffing their link profile it’s possible they were still hit. That cheap SEO may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was while you could still get away with it, but the game has changed and cheap SEO tactics are actually doing more harm than good nowadays.
Cheap SEO is hardly worth it anyway.
Most of the time, the work that you are getting on the cheap from an SEO provider is going to have so little positive impact that it’s not worth your money anyway, no matter what a good deal it may sound like. Think about it—how much work are you willing to do over the course of a month for $50? Why would you expect an SEO company or consultant to behave any differently? In my opinion, you are much better off taking that $50 or $100 or whatever your cheap SEO plan costs and stashing it away for a few months until you’ve saved up enough to take an SEO workshop or training course. It’s better to learn the fundamentals of SEO for yourself and do it little by little than wasting your limited budget on a cheap SEO service or solution provider.
I’m always excited to see small business owners interested in building and executing an SEO campaign. However, many small business owners are stuck in that SEO limbo where they know they need help but can’t afford a full service SEO provider. Even though you may feel like it’s the best available option, cheap SEO is not the way to go! You’re better off taking an SEO class or working with a consultant for a few hours than wasting your money on something that will have little effect, or worse, a negative effect down the road.