How to Tell Your SEO Services Company is Doing Shady Business

Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson

Date: 7.30.2012

A lot of websites and businesses have been affected by the latest algorithm updates from Google Panda and Google Penguin. Many of them saw adverse effects on their Google rankings, with businesses scrambling to figure out how to rebuild their strategy and improve their plummeted rankings.

If you’ve been performing your own ethical SEO, you likely haven’t been as heavily hit by the Google updates as those who used shady link building strategies to get more traffic to the site. If, on the other hand, you saw a severe plummet in your rankings and used an SEO services company, this could be a sign that your hired help may have contributed to the downfall of your Internet presence.

Spammy sites and seedy link building practices have been kept alive for a long time before Google Panda and Google Penguin. Soon, however, Google would uncover spammy link networks and the shoddy content associated with them. As a result, Google made good on their word and downgraded the link networks, content farms, and any websites that participated in the darker arts of SEO.

Now, however, bad SEO is just not cutting it, thanks to Google’s more stringent guidelines for creating healthy links and good content. Bad SEO nowadays leads not only to plummeting rankings, but noticeably less organic traffic.

There are a few signs to determine if an SEO services company is using poor SEO, one of which being shoddy content. Often, a bad SEO linking strategy is built around horribly written blog posts on fake link networking sites or article submission sites and directories. The keywords linked to these blogs will often go back to the landing page of your business website. The dates of the postings will likely reflect the traffic boom that occurred just before Google Penguin shut them down. Such links are not good or well-earned links, but were purchased in bulk and are of very low quality.

Besides the shaddy link building strategies is the blog content itself, which usually contains grammatically errorneous articles that are also useless and provide anchor texts in a way that doesn’t flow seamlessly with the rest of the content.

The worst spamming SEO services may even stick a link to their own website on your site, without your permission!

If your suspect that your SEO company is doing shady “black hat” business, contact them immediately and ask for a list of links associated with your business. If they refuse to do so or don’t respond, take this as a big red flag to stay away from them.

If you’re the victim of shady SEO practices, you could also suffer in terms of knowing who to trust. If you confront them with the issue of shady business when your rankings go down, they’ll likely use the excuse that you and the SEO consultant both choose the keywords together. They may even go so far as to threaten you, saying that if those keywords get extracted, your traffic will plummet even more!

The truth of the matter is, any SEO company performing spam knows that it’s a spammy practice. Don’t let a black hat SEO rope you in and turn you into a sucker.

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