Choosing an SEO Company
Google Tips for Choosing an SEO Company
Now that you have understood the basics that are involved in optimising your website/Blog for the search engines, it is time to go ahead and put it all into practice. If you do not have the expertise to do all the necessary work that is required to design and build a website on your own, then obviously the answer lies in hiring a good web designer and a reputed SEO company that can handle things for you in an efficient and satisfactory manner.
We have already discussed the things that you need to keep in mind while hiring a good web designer. Therefore, in this chapter, we will highlight the points that you need to keep in mind while hiring a good and reputed SEO company that can deliver what it promises. Towards this end, Google has provided adequate guidelines in its own website to help all the users. The tips and guidelines provided by Google for choosing the right SEO Company have been reproduced below, in this chapter, word-for- word from Google Webmaster Central and can be found at this link:
"If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier you do so the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEa can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine- friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEa can also help improve an existing site.
Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:
· Do you follow the Google Web master Guidelines?
· What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
· What's your experience in my country/city?
· What are your most important SEO techniques?
· How can I expect to communicate with you?
Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.
You should never have to link to an SEO.
Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of ''free-for-all' links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines - at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO:
While Google doesn't comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behaviour. Be careful.
Be sure to understand where the money goes.
While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they "control" other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn't work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you're considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.
What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
What are some other things to look out for?
There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It's far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:
· Puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
· Doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
· Operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
· Has had domains removed from Google's index or is not itself listed in Google."