Spot the Top 5 SEO Scams

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming a necessary part of many businesses website traffic acquisition strategy, and over the past few years many “SEO Companies” and “SEO Experts” have appeared, making promises of offering guaranteed rankings. Let’s unpack some of the most common SEO scams that fill up your junk folder.

  1. Guaranteed Rankings
    One of the most popular scams are guaranteed rankings. You’ll see claims like “Guaranteed #1 ranking on Google”, “We’ll get you on Googles first page”, “All search engines, Guaranteed #1 ranking” that cannot be substantiated. Google themselves warn you about the scams and you can read it here on their support pages. Google themselves even get regular emails to be SEO’d on Google; and yes, you read that correctly.
  2. They can’t spell
    I won’t go into too much detail here but when you read the SEO email addressed to your domain or Sir/Madame and it looks like its written by a person who is forgot to go to school – SCAM ALERT.
  3. The email address is from a ‘free’ mail account
    Check the senders email address if it is – SCAM ALERT. If you really want to check more detail on their company without going to their website look at the last part of their email address the part can be checked to see who owns it. You can go here and see who owns the domain. If its someone who has been exposed on Carte Blanche or their details are hidden; search further or avoid them.
  4. Be ranked TOP Google in 24 hours
    Did you notice that grammar; excellent – you spotted the scam. We mentioned in our first point that guaranteed rankings are common but when a deadline is added to the claim, the scam is even more prolific. One of the only ways to get to be ranked on specific keywords quickly is with paid Google Ads.
  5. Get a free SEO trial
    This is one of my favorites; all you need to do is give them your sites FTP details and they will login to you site and make the changes for free. This option comes with the added benefit of your site being turned into something else. So, when you start seeing pop-ups for offers and ads on your site for you competitors you now know why.

Stay frosty, be wary and don’t get taken for a ride.

Francois Vorster
I am a person who can ask the right questions, make decisions, and take action - complex or simple, quantitative or qualitative, corporate or SMME, strategic or tactical, high-tech or low-tech.

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