Are You Part of the Solution, or Part of the Problem?

Written: 20-Jul-2008 | | Filed under: Search Optimization

Even the most avid DIY Webmaster sometimes needs to hire an expert or two to help out with specialized tasks — like Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So if you find yourself in the position of hiring an SEO expert to help with all or some of your site’s optimization, how do you know the service provider you’re hiring is any good?

Well, as it happens, there are three simple and memorable rules that will help you steer clear of most problems.

Rule number one? Keep in mind some folks will tell you almost anything to get you to buy what they’re selling. The worst offenders are the con artists and scammers. If everything they tell you is just what you wanted to hear, your spider-sense should be tingling.

Rule number two? If what they’re telling you sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember: there’s fast, there’s cheap and there’s good. You only get to pick two. If they’re promising overnight success for a bargain-basement price, anyone who signs up is facing near certain disappointment.

And rule number three? The ones who really know what they’re doing can explain their techniques and plans in simple terms — and will be glad to do so. They want you to understand what they’re going to do. Anybody who can’t, or won’t, explain clearly what they’re about and what they’re going to do — without technical jargon — is someone to steer clear of.

There are plenty of good SEOs out there. I know a lot of them in person and from the various forums and social networking sites I participate in. And I can tell you something they all find incredibly frustrating is when people willingly sign up for SEO “services” that are pretty obvious frauds.

I dunno why. People just seem to be extra-willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to the web. They start believing in leprechauns, fairies and “secret sauce.” You get slick con artists talking about guaranteed rankings, special proprietary methodologies, “latent semantic indexing” and other nonsense… and normally hard-headed businesspeople apparently toss all their common sense out the window.

Now, I understand you might feel a little like a fish out of water with this whole SEO thing. Trust me, it wasn’t that many years ago I was in the same boat. Just keep in mind the three rules I mentioned above and you should be OK.

And if you need further help in separating the good, the bad and the ugly, a whole bunch of skilled, ethical search marketers now share with you the biggest scams they’ve encountered, so you’ll know specifically some of the most egregious scams and spams to look out for.

Read this article and promise me (and yourself) you won’t fall for any of the scams and cons highlighted. And promise to engage your brain every time you talk to anyone offering site optimization services.

Remember, there are out there dedicated, hard-working, ethical SEOs who will bring you real results. But every time you plunk down cash for a scammer or spammer because they’ve offered you a bargain basement price and filled your head with empty promises, you become part of the problem. Your actions encourage even more con artists and incompetents to jump on the bandwagon seeking what seem to be easy pickings. And you make real SEOs cry.

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