Search Engine Optimization
Pay Per Click (PPC)
High Ranking Reature Pages
SEO Tools and Software
SEO News & Tips
SEO Company Best Practice Guidelines
The lack of any Search Engine Optimization standards
and regulations has created a dangerous minefield for those considering
retaining an SEO firm. Many amateur and/or unethical SEO providers have
not met client expectations and have used unscrupulous business practices,
false advertising and fraudulent claims.
We believe that it is important to educate web site
owners on how to protect themselves and choose a credible, capable SEO
Listed below are the answers to 12 questions will give
you insight into the skill and competency of any SEO firm.
- Does the SEO firm optimize affiliate sites, link
farms or actual businesses like yours?
Request a list of clients the firm has worked with and verify it.
- Will the SEO company share its optimization techniques
Ask the SEO firm for an overview of how it achieves results. If the
firm won't give you an explanation, chances are the company is trying
to hide unethical techniques.
- Is pay-per-click (PPC) part of the firm's strategy?
A good SEM strategy includes PPC as part of the campaign. Optimization
results should not rely entirely on PPC. Organic placement initiatives
should be complemented by the PPC component. Performance results for
organic optimization and PPC should be evaluated separately.
- Can the firm guarantee your site will not be penalized
and removed from the search engines and directory indexes?
By using illegal techniques many SEO firms may produce short term
results, but in the long run will end up getting a client web site
banned or penalized by the major search engines.
- Does the firm optimize more than your homepage?
A good SEO firm will maximize the number of pages optimized on a web
site. It's more work for the firm but it will produce the greatest
results for you.
- Does the SEO firm provide an unrealistic guarantee?
Any SEO company that guarantees a specific position (like number one
or two) on Google or Yahoo) are being dishonest. It is impossible
to guarantee specific positions on search engines.
- Are automated submission tools used or are all
submissions processed manually?
Automated tools can often lead to penalization and result in your
site being excluded from the search engines.
- If the plan includes link popularity building,
is the firm using a link farm, or is it contacting sites by hand and
concentrating on link reputation more than link popularity?
Soon web sites linked to by link farms may be penalized and banned
from the major search engines.
- Does the firm's technique involve showing one page to the visitor
and a different page to the search engines?
If the answer is yes, then you are probably dealing with a search
engine optimization provider that uses "cloaking" techniques.
Many search engines specifically warn against this practice in the
organizations' terms of service. Google is particularly harsh on sites
that use cloaking, and is known to remove them entirely when it finds
- Is the SEO provider offering a one to three month
A good "campaign" should not be short term. It will be a
long-term strategy, indicating the firm intends to be there for the
- What kind of search engine saturation can the firm
While it's easy to focus on one particularly impressive position on
one popular engine, it's more important to focus on a broad range
of positions. Ask the SEO company to show you a report that demonstrates
solid positions for many popular key phrases.
- Does the firm have direct relationships with any
of the major search engines?
What about ties to leaders in the search engine industry? Reputable
SEO firms will most likely have industry affiliations. Fly-by-night
firms have not been around long enough to foster relationships or
the company uses unscrupulous practices and this causes peers to steer
With the evolving nature of the SEO industry and the search engines,
situations may arise where this list of questions will not be entirely
appropriate. In our experience if the answer to one or more of these
questions is unacceptable the chances are good that engagement of that
SEO firm will end in disappointment or worse.