The Top 11 Ways to Tell Your SEO Partner May Be Full Of It

We get a lot of clients coming to us for SEO services (SEO being organic search engine optimization, or the process of getting a website to rank highly for popular relevant keywords). A lot of times, they’ve been burned by shady SEO companies in the past, or have been fed a bunch of misinformation about what SEO really is. Or sometimes both…

It seems we most often only hear about SEO when a major brand runs afoul of Google’s policies and the story hits the media, leading readers to believe that search engine optimization is some sort of black magic, or requires a “special relationship” with Google — both of which are obviously untrue. So, without further ado, here are the Top 11 Ways to Tell Your SEO Partner May Be Full of it.

  1. They insist that massive amounts of content is the key to rankings. Yes, those keyword-stuffed articles written by someone with an eighth-grader’s grasp of English sure are helping you out.
  2. They guarantee particular rankings by a certain date. No SEO company controls the search engines.
  3. They tell you SEO is a one-time process. Actually, search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and fresh content is valued.
  4. They say they have special relationship with Google. Not even Google’s own employees can control rankings or manipulate the algorithm because a client asked them to.
  5. They say all you need is more links. Like content, it’s quality over quantity.
  6. Their strategy is to submit your site to hundreds of search engines. Google, Bing, and Yahoo crawlers will discover your site on their own, and most of the other search engines that these SEO companiessubmit to are only visited by other SEO companies submitting their own client sites.
  7. They claim to own the keywords, but will “lease” them to you. No one owns the organic keywords.
  8. They present their client rankings in case study PDFs on their site. A good SEO company will let you Google their client keywords right in front of them.
  9. They say their process is proprietary, and they can’t share it with you…until they get your check! They should be able to describe their process in detail in a way that’s possible for a third grader to understand.
  10. They say there are no benefits to doing SEM (Search Engine Marketing), because no one clicks on paid search listings. Granted, more people DO click on the organic listings, but paid search not only helps promote brand awareness, it is becoming an increasingly larger element of the mobile search user experience.


The say they don’t need any input or information from you to get started. A quality SEO firm starts by researching and understanding a client’s business and customers inside and out so they can choose the best and most accurate keywords and marketing channels.


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