Are SEO Businesses a Scam

34 replies
It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?
#businesses #scam #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabriel
    Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

    It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?
    So you are generalising a whole industry?
    Mmm
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Dayum, I wish someone told me SEO was a scam 20 years ago, right when I started learning the trade... guess I gotta destroy all those raving testimonials from ecstatic clients now.

    ...To be fair, I do see the OP's point, a lot of SEO's are frauds with no track record beyond making big promises and deliver nothing.

    But not all SEO's are like that.

    And it can be hard to spot the difference.

    No legit SEO will promise first page results for a highly competitive term, and most SEO's I know refuse to take on a site that is less than 6 - 12 months old.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

    It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?

    Questions > If I replaced..
    "Search Engine Optimization companies"

    with
    "DURABLEOILCOM"


    ..would that mean that all companies named DURABLEOILCOM "are just a bunch of con men that rip you off etc.?


    Of course not! Get the point?


    Take into consideration that anyone with a business education seeking any type of SEO service are people with an offline and/or online business background and are familiar with two basic business terms (Business 101)..


    "Caveat Emptor" aka "Let the buyer beware"
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Nope DO.

    Many legit SEO companies exist. Said companies promising long term results. Scammers promise quick results and we know only the clinically insane believe Google with its BILLIONS and brilliant work force can be gamed today. But legit folks help place your site over time using organic methods. Like bloggers and site owners who know SEO but with a company and laser sharp focus on one end.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    There are good and bad of anything you can name. The problem with SEO is that it does have a reputation for being the 'black hole' of Internet services. Hell, most small business owners can't even spell SEO, let alone know much about it.

    That was a joke folks.

    One thing I will tell you. I've never understood the fascination. I've never bothered with it, but most of my B2B work was local, so I used many advertising mediums that virtually eliminated the need for any SEO, whatsoever. The majority of my work came from cold-calling and referrals. If you want to be one of my clients, I insist that you work for me, as hard as I work for you. If you are meeting your clients needs, they are happy to do that for you.

    That Yoast SEO plugin on my sites. Never touched it. I know you think that's crazy, but I survived and thrived by being a contrarian. As soon as I am told that I have to do something, just watch me. While watching, hold your breath. I find purple to be one of nature's most beautiful hues.

    I never considered SEO important and I never got involved with it in any way with any of my clients. I wouldn't even refer my clients to anyone for SEO. Last thing I needed was someone else making me look bad. I felt bad for not doing it, but I warned them. All I ever heard, if they did hire someone, were horror stories.

    I feel sorry for anyone trying to make an honest living doing SEO. As soon as a business owner knows the reason for your call, you're perceived as being a carrier of the galloping yun-yun, Can't be an easy sell. My hat is off to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author redone111
    In every niche there is Scams and legit so there are some companys are legit but for sure not promise you sparkly results they work with the long term and most people use black hat for fast results and that drive you to punish by google one day
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

    It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?
    Google does not, nor have they ever changed their algorithm in the blink of an eye.

    The only people who have ever seen all of their work disappear instantly were spammers.

    As for PPC advertising, it is definitely superior to SEO in a lot of ways. SEOs are going to argue with that but that is only because they are clueless about PPC advertising and have never had any success with it.

    Ideally, they both work great together.
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    Since I have very little to do, to fritter away my time, these days, I think I am going to see if it's possible for someone who knows absolutely nothing about SEO could be capable to get a site onto the first page of Google, within 90 days - and keep it there.

    I can't even tell you if this is a realistic goal, something that anyone who applies themselves should be able to do or if this would simply be a waste of time and money. Maybe I'll start one of those Warrior Challenge threads.

    There are so few mysteries left for someone my age. Hell, I've even figured out, "What women want." :-)

    So - who thinks what, about this little personal challenge? Worth trying or ridiculous? Remember who you're talking to. If you tell me it's ridiculous and can't be done, I will have to devote every waking moment to proving you wrong. That's how I accomplished most things in my life. Why should this be any different? :-) :-) :-)

    Any bets? If I lose I'll verifiably contribute to the charity of your choice. If I win you have to refer to me as the SEO Stud Muffin in your signature for 3 months. lol

    C'mon. I'm bored!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

      Since I have very little to do, to fritter away my time, these days, I think I am going to see if it's possible for someone who knows absolutely nothing about SEO could be capable to get a site onto the first page of Google, within 90 days - and keep it there.

      I can't even tell you if this is a realistic goal, something that anyone who applies themselves should be able to do or if this would simply be a waste of time and money. Maybe I'll start one of those Warrior Challenge threads.

      There are so few mysteries left for someone my age. Hell, I've even figured out, "What women want." :-)

      So - who thinks what, about this little personal challenge? Worth trying or ridiculous? Remember who you're talking to. If you tell me it's ridiculous and can't be done, I will have to devote every waking moment to proving you wrong. That's how I accomplished most things in my life. Why should this be any different? :-) :-) :-)

      Any bets? If I lose I'll verifiably contribute to the charity of your choice. If I win you have to refer to me as the SEO Stud Muffin in your signature for 3 months. lol

      C'mon. I'm bored!!!
      Ranking on page 1 in 90 days is relative. Ranking for "big purple elephants with oversized orange balls" would be easy. Hell this page will probably rank on page 1 for that term by tomorrow, if not much sooner.

      Ranking on page 1 for "car insurance" in 90 days... won't happen.

      So your challenge will only be as challenging as the target you set for it.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Ranking on page 1 in 90 days is relative. Ranking for "big purple elephants with oversized orange balls" would be easy. Hell this page will probably rank on page 1 for that term by tomorrow, if not much sooner.

        Ranking on page 1 for "car insurance" in 90 days... won't happen.

        So your challenge will only be as challenging as the target you set for it.
        This how little I know on this subject, but yes, I get the principle.

        I have two projects that I could use for this experiment. The first is a new not-for-profit 'animal sanctuary.' This entity covers a 50 mile radius.

        The other is a long dormant website dedicated to 'fancy guppies.' This would have international reach.

        I don't even know how to do keyword research, so you can see what a challenge this would be for me.

        I have always prided myself on knowing a great deal about a couple of things, a lot on quite a few others, a little on many - but never 'nothing' on something that was actually a part of the world I lived in for 20 years. Of course, I always considered my business more offline than specifically online, which is why I always eschewed any immediacy with the world of SEO.

        Maybe the boredom will pass. Some days are worse than others. There are probably many things that would be better to devote my limited time, to. Additionally, it's 3 o'clock. I run out of steam by 3 o'clock, both mentally and physically. Suddenly, I'm too pooped to pop.

        Forget I said anything. :-( Sorry!
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          This how little I know on this subject, but yes, I get the principle.

          I have two projects that I could use for this experiment. The first is a new not-for-profit 'animal sanctuary.' This entity covers a 50 mile radius.

          The other is a long dormant website dedicated to 'fancy guppies.' This would have international reach.

          I don't even know how to do keyword research, so you can see what a challenge this would be for me.

          I have always prided myself on knowing a great deal about a couple of things, a lot on quite a few others, a little on many - but never 'nothing' on something that was actually a part of the world I lived in for 20 years. Of course, I always considered my business more offline than specifically online, which is why I always eschewed any immediacy with the world of SEO.

          Maybe the boredom will pass. Some days are worse than others. There are probably many things that would be better to devote my limited time, to. Additionally, it's 3 o'clock. I run out of steam by 3 o'clock, both mentally and physically. Suddenly, I'm too pooped to pop.

          Forget I said anything. :-( Sorry!

          Now you sound like Willie Wonka! Put your big boy pants on!!
          Just teasing you.


          Seriously, if anyone without SEO experience can make it work it is you because I think you are smarter that the average bear and a logical thinker.
          Thats just me thinking and yes it hurt.

          On the flip side if it it does not work for you then we all may learn how to do it it wrong? These days, its not always easy for the younger generation to learn from their mistakes.
          Hell, you may very well show someone(s) that sound logic may very well trump experience?
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        • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          This how little I know on this subject, but yes, I get the principle.

          I have two projects that I could use for this experiment. The first is a new not-for-profit 'animal sanctuary.' This entity covers a 50 mile radius.

          I don't even know how to do keyword research, so you can see what a challenge this would be for me.
          I would give this one a shot but make it a fun project not a work project. It could benefit the animal sanctuary and you won't have to make it a job. They may get some financial benefits that would only go to help the animals even more. You can play with it in when you are bored. Nobody would judge you on it. If you want share it in the Path.

          FYI - Maybe even create a go fund me page for the place ? Just a thought that would be better than someone with a 3 month signature that says your a SEO Stud Muffin
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          • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
            Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

            I would give this one a shot but make it a fun project not a work project.
            That would be the plan. My 'work' days are over. If I am going to work, I would at least want my 'non-profit' rate that I have always offered.

            The other problem is, NOT actually making it like work. I have two speeds. Off and full speed ahead. There is no moderation in my life. I'm also not good with 'shades of gray.' Things are either on or off, black or white, right or wrong, worth doing well or completely ignoring. Even though I have softened a wee bit, I'm not sure I can change who I am or how I operate at this point in my life.

            It could benefit the animal sanctuary and you won't have to make it a job. They may get some financial benefits that would only go to help the animals even more. You can play with it in when you are bored. Nobody would judge you on it. If you want share it in the Path.
            Well, this is already close to a job as I am the motivating force behind organizing the sanctuary. This started with getting a 60 acre horse farm to lease us their property for $1 per year. It was either that or I was going to have to buy at least 30 acres. Been there, done that. Those days, too, are behind me. lol

            Of course I found someone to do that in less than 30 days of deciding that this was something I might really want to be involved in and once again being told it could never be done. "No one, " I was told, would ever make a donation like that. Yeah. Right.

            FYI - Maybe even create a go fund me page for the place ? Just a thought that would be better than someone with a 3 month signature that says your a SEO Stud Muffin
            That's already in my master plan, along with 30 other ways to raise money, get volunteers and build something wonderful.

            I'm going to take a few days and see if I can get the swirling confusion to abate. I think I'll just bob up and down in the lake for a few days while it's brutally hot.

            I woke-up this morning ready to quit everything and buy a boat - and I hate boats. I have good reason. I've owned a boat. A beautiful Donzi "Sweet 16." By noon that thought was history. I had already moved-on to a bike with a sidecar for the dog and a cross-country adventure.

            This is what I'm dealing with. This swinging pendulum of inability to commit, or pack it in, completely, is killing me. I never had a mid-life crisis. I'm making up for it with a close-to-end-of-life crisis. Not a pretty sight. :-(
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            • Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

              This is what I'm dealing with. This swinging pendulum of inability to commit, or pack it in, completely, is killing me. I never had a mid-life crisis. I'm making up for it with a close-to-end-of-life crisis. Not a pretty sight. :-(

              Just keep thinking positive and if you believe, you will succeed! You can do it!

              Mark
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              • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

                Just keep thinking positive and if you believe, you will succeed! You can do it!

                Mark
                Right - and after I fake it 'til I make it, I can simply rinse and repeat and then scale-up!

                Damn. Problem solved!!! :-)
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              • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

                Just keep thinking positive and if you believe, you will succeed! You can do it!

                Mark
                No. No. You have it wrong. You forgot the most important step.

                You have to think positive and believe. Then you have to reach out to other website owners and make friends. Only then you will succeed.
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                • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                  Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                  No. No. You have it wrong. You forgot the most important step.

                  You have to think positive and believe. Then you have to reach out to other website owners and make friends. Only then you will succeed.
                  And - I have to give them everything I own and work for them for free. That's how you get the money rolling in. :-)
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                  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                    Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

                    And - I have to give them everything I own and work for them for free. That's how you get the money rolling in. :-)
                    Yes, by not focusing on the money, you get money. That's how business works.
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                    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                      Yes, by not focusing on the money, you get money. That's how business works.
                      Why isn't coaching listed in your signature offerings? You're being much, too modest.
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                      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

                        Why isn't coaching listed in your signature offerings? You're being much, too modest.
                        I don't have enough friends to qualify yet.
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                        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                          I don't have enough friends to qualify yet.
                          Well, you may be the one person that I think I have never insulted on this forum, so I'm going to keep my record intact and not say anything.

                          But, man - you sure do leave the door wide open. lol

                          And, just how have you escaped my wrath? :-) No bonehead posts, I'm guessing.
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                          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                            Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

                            And, just how have you escaped my wrath?
                            I generally use logic and reason in my posts, two things I know you are a fan of.
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                            • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                              I generally use logic and reason in my posts, two things I know you are a fan of.
                              Ah. The secret to success. Spread the word. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Berasha
    I do not quite agree, the algorithms of the work of such studios also try to be always in the trend of the latest innovations due to the "Big Brother". There are also many outreach companies in the SEOs of the industry that look more reliable
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  • Profile picture of the author imranimran
    Getting Results through SEO in short span is not possible , some companies promise very fast results and dump the clients but not every company does that , we need to choose wisely and generally companies take 6 months minimum to bring it in first page, your point of view in SEO is very wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Here's my approach FWIW:


    1. Get your target web site in order first. What good is a lot of traffic if you can't convert that traffic to subscribers and sales?


    2. Spend a little time optimizing your own site by following some generally accepted SEO principles regarding keywords, intuitive navigation, great original content, site index and linking, well laid out privacy policies, terms, contact info, etc.


    3. Distribute original and valuable content to authority sites in your niche with a link back to your business. Make content distribution a priority on your daily (at least weekly) planning calendar.


    4. Establish your brand and be consistent with it. Brand everything that leaves your shop. Give your traffic reasons to spend time on and come back to your site later. Ask your visitors to link to your site and invite them (with incentives you offer) to share details about your site with others in the niche.


    5. Be original. Let the search engines find things on your site that are highly targeted in the niche and not found elsewhere.


    Note: I am not saying you should never hire out SEO services. If you do, make sure you pay for documented performance as much as possible. As others have said, indexing long-tail obscure keywords that get you no traffic should not be what you are paying for.


    The very best to you all,


    Steve
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  • No it isnt scam! But yeah there are so many fake ones and its difficult to distinguish between the real and fake.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Owsley
    Here we go, with the SEO Scammers thing. SEO is so misunderstood by the general public. Many people still think that just because they've used one of these off-brand drag and drop platforms on Godaddy to design their website that when you approach them about performing SEO on their site that you're lying to them or trying to trick them or something. Are there some scammers out there, yes. Are there SEO's that do a half-assed job out there, yes. This is the same situation for many other businesses so SEO shouldn't be singled out.
    I've met quite a few business owners who don't want to do SEO to their site because it's "too expensive" but then they wonder why they're not getting any phone calls or interaction from their website. I just talked to a business owner who said that they just put of the site to have something to show people when they ask if I have a website but then in the next breath they complain about not getting any business. Many business owners don't realize how much money they're leaving on the table by not optimizing their website.
    Many people want something for nothing or very little. Take the time to find a good SEO company and you will find that they can actually be a bargain compared to some other form of marketing.
    Many businesses don't devote enough of their budget to marketing of any kind, so find a good SEO company to do what they do best and get some results. For an established business paying $2500-$5000 or more per month for SEO and other marketing should be feasible. For a new business with a small budget, you have to get creative about your marketing and see what an SEO company may be willing to do within your budget and add-on services as your business grows.
    The scammers are going to be there in every profession, it's your responsibility to vet businesses as best you can. Sometimes this means you'll be wrong and get bad service and lost some money. That's part of the "game", the price we pay for success.
    Stay Focused, keep learning, and keep it moving!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Sid Owsley View Post

      HFor an established business paying $2500-$5000 or more per month for SEO and other marketing should be feasible.
      Any business with a $30k to $60k per year budget for marketing and SEO is going to hire someone that they can use for those tasks - and anything else they need when not busy with those - which is most of their 40 hour week.

      Walk into a business where I'm located, ask for that kind of money and the owner will quickly introduce you to "Betsy." I can assure you that Betsy is NOT his daughter and it ain't his dog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

    It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?
    If they guarantee rankings I think it's unethical, but if they're upfront with their clients about SEO not being any guarantee then I think it's fine. If somebody tries to help a client achieve a better search ranking using SEO best practices then they should absolutely get paid for their time.
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  • I don't think so that SEO businesses are a scam, Unless your company do the black hat trick and have high pays but they give you only small amount pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyogden
    Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

    It seems like the majority of Search Engine Optimization companies are just a bunch of con men that rip you off with super high monthly fees and return zero results on investment. Are there legitimate SEO companies? Are they worth the investment because at the blink of an eye Google can change algorithms and all your work disappears instantly. Is Pay Per Click the better advertising tool?
    Hi mate what search term do you want to be found under please?

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Roland Hull
    SEO should be the long-term one, PPC the short one. Would not say it is a rip-off since there are few services that helped me or my buddies out a lot and it wants short-term.
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    It's like any industry, there are good service providers and bad ones. Do your research, ask for testimonials, ask for results first.


    If you want faster results, do PPC instead.
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