Different forms of fraud are being used in this modern day and age, and you’d be surprised how many people fall victim to them every year. One particularly effective form of it that’s gaining traction right now is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) scams – and they’re costing small businesses billions of dollars every year. As a marketer and serial founder Faisal Abidi revealed, some people get taken in by these scams, while others don’t even realize they’re being scammed until their businesses fall apart from neglect!
To help you keep your business safe as you take steps to enhance your digital presence with an SEO partner, here are a few tips:
Step 1) Check Their Domain Authority
One of my favorite tricks for spotting bad actors is to check their domain authority. If it’s low, then something is up. Don’t just trust me on that—Google has a whole team dedicated to stopping spam and they use Domain Authority as one of their main metrics. Domain Authority measures how much trust and respects a website has in Google’s eyes, which makes it an important factor in deciding whether or not your site will rank well in search results. The higher your Domain Authority score, the more likely you are to rank well in Google search results, points out Faisal Abidi.
Step 2) Read The Contract Carefully
Legitimate companies will never ask you to sign a contract without knowing what it says. If someone asks you to sign a contract without explaining it in detail, they’re asking you to trust them—but you should always do your due diligence and ensure that everything is as it should be before signing to avoid being scammed, recommends Faisal Abidi .
If there are terms or clauses that make no sense, don’t agree to anything until they make sense. If possible, have a legal professional look over any contracts or documents for you before signing them. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. The best thing you can do when dealing with fraudsters is to protect yourself from the start by not getting involved with them at all.
Step 3) Check For Negative Reviews
Always check a potential service provider’s negative reviews and complaints. If they have negative reviews, you should ask yourself if it’s something you can live with. What do all their negative reviews have in common? According to Faisal Abidi, a good way to identify scammers is to look for commonalities between their positive and negative feedback; if their positive feedback isn’t balanced by some negativity, that may be a sign that they are doing something shady and spammy.
Step 4) Ask For A Written Report
If you get nothing else out of these suggestions, remember that if anyone is promising to make your website appear high in search engine rankings for little or no effort on your part, you’re probably dealing with an SEO scammer. Always ask for a written report. If they don’t give you one (or can’t deliver what they promise), then tell them thanks but no thanks and move on because they might be running a fraudulent scheme.
Step 5) Find Out Their Link Building Technique
There are a lot of link-building techniques and some of the ones used by fishy SEO partners are spammy. So how do you know if someone is using spammy techniques? Usually, they don’t admit to it—so look for telltale signs like excessive requests for reciprocal links, comment spam on high-profile blogs, etc., advises Faisal Abidi.
Step 5) Are They Linking To Clients’ Websites?
There are many businesses and individuals who have been created by search engine optimization (SEO) companies promising top rankings for competitive keywords and phrases, but not delivering. Many of these firms fail to deliver because they lack expertise, experience, and knowledge in natural search engine optimization. The culprits are spam websites that are linking to their clients’ websites. If you see a website with no content or minimal content that links to your site, then it is probably a spam website, according to Faisal Abidi.
Google has already penalized thousands of websites for participating in link schemes designed to manipulate PageRank and other ranking factors. Search engines such as Google can easily detect if a website is part of an illegal link scheme. If you see your site linked on one of these types of sites, contact your webmaster immediately!
If you’re looking to start a business online, or even just grow an existing one, it can be tough to know where to get started. There are lots of sources of information available, but how do you know which ones are right for you? One of your best options is to find a trusted partner who has your best interests in mind and who will help guide you through every step along your journey. It’s important to choose someone who is transparent about their methods and fees, someone who cares about their clients as much as they care about their bottom line.