There’s No Quick Money When it Comes to SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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Websites Should be Mobile Friendly By April 21st, Warns Google

When it comes to SEO, there’s no such thing as making “quick money”. In fact, chasing fast money can do a lot more harm than good. When you hire an SEO firm, you need to treat them as a partner. This comes in especially handy when you’re presented with opportunities that may seem a little out of the ordinary.

We have a full service SEO client that has been with us off and on for many years. Initially, the client had someone redesign their website. After the website redesign, organic visitors trended up consistently over a two year period. Suddenly, we noticed that organic search traffic during one of the months took a sudden nosedive. After two years of consistent growth, how could this happen?

For the next six months, the traffic stayed in the negative. During the time when the traffic dipped, they decided to put our full service SEO work on hold. Although this particular business has been with us for many years, they haven’t been consistent and often stop our SEO services, only to start up again when they need feel that they really need us.

Upon further investigating, we realized that the client allowed a company to pay for a footer link, which is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This resulted in a penalty that was caused from the link itself and the keyword rich anchor text that was used for the link. We asked the client how much they got paid for the link; they said they were offered $1000 per year. Payment was exchanged and they slapped the link on the footer page. The month that they allowed the company to advertise this way, they were hit with a penalty, which is why their traffic dropped.

Now, it will take the company a while to recover from this penalty, if they recover at all. Unfortunately, it’s unpredictable how long it will take to clear the penalty. They’ve already removed the link and returned the company’s money. However, the repercussions of that action will be felt for a long time. Because of the loss in traffic and search engine rankings, this could result in a direct loss in business that will cost them a lot more than the $1000 a year that they got paid!

Because of the penalty, they decided to use our SEO services once again. By employing a consistent, white hat SEO program, the hope is that the penalty will be removed and the traffic will start to rebound 6 months to a year from now. However, it’s such an unfortunate situation, especially since their SEO efforts were yielding positive results.

Here’s what the client learned from this situation:

  1. Don’t start and stop your SEO program. It’s better to stay consistent and maintain a good relationship with your SEO firm. For instance, if we were in the picture when the $1000 offer came up, we would have encouraged this business to turn it down!
  2. If something seems too good to be true, it really is! When it comes to maintaining your web presence, there’s no such thing as quick, easy money when it comes to SEO. While the $1000 may have looked easy at first, there’s nothing easy about dealing with the repercussions!

If someone offers to pay $10,000 a year to advertise something (through a paid review, footer link or guest blog post with links) on the Brick Marketing blog, I’d say no. It’s taken me 10 years and a significant amount of money to build Brick Marketing as a solid, respectable brand, which is worth more than a $10,000 paycheck. Think about the consequences of a potential Google SEO penalty if you’re ever confronted with this kind of choice. The fast money is never worth it!


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