Google spells it out for website owners in their Webmaster Guidelines for SEO, “Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.” Regardless of what others may say regarding their motives, Google does not want to see website owners get taken advantage of by unscrupulous, black hat SEO service providers. While some of these “SEO con men” have the smooth talking skills to convince unsuspecting website owners to hire them on as SEO consultants, you don’t have to be one of them! One of the biggest red flags warning you about the motives and practices of an SEO provider is if they contact you first.
Unsolicited e-mails or phone calls are annoying for everyone. I get my fair share of people I don’t know trying to sell me something I don’t need. How many e-mails have you gotten about miracle weight loss meal plans, mail-order Russian brides and African governments that need your help to transfer money? Do you trust the people sending these emails? Hopefully not and hopefully not because you were personally fleeced by one of them. The same rule should apply for SEO providers. If they contact your first, without reason, they’re probably SEO con men.
The simple fact is that reputable, good SEO consultants and companies don’t need to resort to unsolicited cold-calling in order to get business. A good SEO company will build their business because of their brand. Their past and current clients recommend them to other site owners. Their own marketing strategy helps deliver qualified leads. References and referrals help keep a good SEO company busy, not calling site owners out of the blue.
Companies that already worked with an SEO provider might be the first on the SEO con men’s list to contact. If you were happy with your SEO provider and provided a client testimonial, they pulled your company and name right out of it. If you are still with your good SEO provider, these SEO con men will try to convince you that you are overpaying for your SEO services and they can do the same work for half the price! Don’t let this used-car salesman line trick you into dumping your good SEO partner for these SEO con men.
It is these SEO con men that have given the industry a negative reputation. Website and small business owners are seduced by a flashy coat of paint and end up driving away with a lemon instead of a hot rod. Don’t be a victim of SEO con men! If you’ve been contacted out of the blue by an SEO provider, proceed with caution!