3 Things a Trustworthy SEO Firm Would Never Say

Written by Nick Stamoulis

For the most part the SEO industry is full of passionate, dedicated, honest, and hardworking professionals who just want the best for our clients. But unfortunately a few rotten eggs have spoiled the industry’s reputation, making it harder for legitimate SEO firms to gain the trust of website owners that have been burned. If you are looking to hire an SEO firm I implore you to do your due diligence and make sure you are putting your website in good hands. And while you don’t have to be an SEO expert you do need to know what the red flags look like so an SEO con man doesn’t take you in.

Here are three things a trustworthy SEO firm would never say:

1. Oh yeah, we can get you on page 1 of Google within X months. We have a contact over there.

According to the Google Webmaster Guidelines, “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.” There are over 200 factors in the Google algorithm that determine where a site falls in the SERPs and no SEO firm knows them all. No SEO firm has the inside track at Google and can push your site to the top of the SERPs.

In the same vein, no SEO firm can guarantee a set percentage of traffic growth in a set time either. How competitive in your niche? How established is your website compared to the other key players? How much search traffic is there to be had? How much content are you producing? What kind of state is your existing link profile in? All of this and more affects how quickly you grow organic traffic to you site and no SEO firm can predict a hard and fast number with any certainty.

2. The more links you build the better off you’ll be.

It’s not a question of how many links your website has, it’s how good those links are that matters the most. In the wake of the Penguin updates some previously accepted link-building tactics are now no longer acceptable (or at least have been modified). For instance, you can no longer use anchor text in press releases; you have to use the full HTTP link. A good SEO firm keeps their finger on the pulse of the SEO industry and knows when they need to adjust the kind of work they are doing for clients. If your SEO firm is still telling you that directories, blog networks, and article submission sites are a good way to build links quickly it’s time to find a new SEO firm!

3. We can’t disclose our SEO tactics to you.

Let’s make something very clear—you are responsible for what kind of SEO work is done in the name of your website. Google doesn’t care who built those links, who wrote that content, who optimized your site; at the end of the day it all comes back to you. If your SEO firm refuses to send you link-building reports because their actions are “proprietary” you need to dump them ASAP! We are working with a client who trusted an SEO firm that kept them in the dark about what kind of links were being created and now they are suffering through a partial manual action penalty. This is your website and you have every right to know what your SEO firm is doing with it!

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