Can You Trust Your SEO Firm?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As the Google search algorithms have gotten smarter and stricter over the years, lots of the phony SEO firms out there got filtered out of business. However, every time we think we’ve seen the last of the outdated, spammy, black-hat SEO practices, we have a conversation with a potential client and look at their reports and data from their current SEO firm and learn that some of these practices are still alive and well. So how do you know if you’re working with an SEO firm that you can trust? Here are 5 things to consider:


How long has the SEO firm been around? Are they established or a “new kid on the block”? Sure, SEO is being taught in college marketing programs now, but that doesn’t mean that a recent graduate can be considered an expert. Seasoned SEO professionals have seen it all and have experienced the biggest seismic shifts in the industry which means that they’ve learned how to adapt a strategy and know what tactics will always work for the long-term.

Google’s guidelines

Google has outlined what SEO is and isn’t and what should be done and shouldn’t be done to achieve organic search success in its Webmaster Guidelines. A trusted SEO firm follows these guidelines and strictly practices “white hat SEO.” “Black hat” and even “grey hat” SEO tactics can get you in trouble with Google and there’s no reason to risk it.


Do you know what your SEO firm is doing for you on a week to week/month to month/quarter to quarter basis? If the answer is no, then they are doing it wrong. A trustworthy SEO firm will always outline what they’re working on, explain the process, and get approvals before taking action.


Whether you bother to read the report or not, an SEO firm should at least be sending them. Reporting is going to look different for every client. Larger clients might need more reports and need them more often while a smaller client might be OK with quarterly reporting. Determine what the reporting schedule looks like ahead of time and gather reports that convey the success of the overall SEO campaign over the long term.


While it’s smart for an SEO client to educate themselves about SEO, it’s really up to their SEO provider to be keeping up with industry trends. A trustworthy SEO firm is always educating its team and taking courses, attending events, viewing webinars, and reading industry blogs. In addition to staying current, it’s also an important way to keep employees motivated.

If you’ve read this and are now questioning your SEO firm of choice, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the partnership. Sometimes a quick conversation can get things on track but in other situations a fresh start with a new firm might be the way to go.

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