Back to Matt's Blog

Watch out for link building & SEO scams…

More and more we hear about claims such as, “we will get you to page one of Google instantly!“. They claim to be able to increase the rank of a site in a short period of time.

These companies are cold calling many website owners with these claims and it does certainly make a compelling argument for you to part with your hard earned cash. We have spent time talking options through with many of these companies on our clients behalf and time and time again we see the same thing. What could be termed ‘black hat’ at worst but is certainly counter productive at best according to the guidelines issued by many of the top Search Engines (SEs). Essentially these companies are avoiding doing the hard analysis and detailed project design that is required to give your website a true long term advantage in the marketplace.

In a lot of cases you would be as well to spend the money on an AdWord campaign for the same permanence of affect that it has! These are effectively pyramid sales schemes with your website. They rely on an ever increasing network of websites for them to drive their rank increasing process.

We have seen these companies do a couple of things to participating websites.

  • A basic review of your homepage title, description and meta data to give the impression that this is a key part of their work. This should just be the tip of the iceberg if best practice techniques were to be followed.
  • The key is usually some link exchange code that allows them to add links from other sites they control. So several sites will reference you and you will reference several others. The more relevant the links the more they charge (over £200 per month per link in some cases!). Most website owners go for the cheaper options which means irrelevant links appear on your site and irrelevant websites reference yours….

This is what the major SEs view as counter productive because one of their key aims is to give users of the Internet only relevant websites whenever they search it. These SEs are applying ever more complex algorithms and becoming ever more adept at identifying relevant websites. They gather huge amounts of data about client behaviour through applications like the Google or Yahoo! Toolbar and Google Chrome. It is only a matter of time before any non-compliant websites slip down the rankings. They then have to play catch up by doing the detailed SEO and link building work that should have done in the first place in a planned and analytical manner.

Like a lot of things in life, the rewarding activities are those that require focus and application to achieve. Short cuts are rarely as effective and this topic is no exception.

Leave a Reply