With the online community shaken by Google’s recent slew of updates, we can expect, in the near future, a number of SEO companies to drop off the grid. Why? Well, Google has been hinting for quite some time that, moving forward, it will enforce a lower and lower tolerance for unethical SEO practices. What with the number of websites that have dropped dramatically in their rankings, it is safe to say that many SEO companies have disregarded these warnings, using their cheap and easy techniques to boost their clients’ rankings and continue to rake in the profits.
Now, businesses with their online presences significantly weakened by the effects of Panda and Penguin are beginning to notice that all the progress they have paid for has been pulled out from under their feet. They aren’t going to keep paying for these services, and may even ask for their money back…wouldn’t you? For companies in which these unethical practices – keyword stuffing, useless backlinking, and the like — were the standard, profits are going to be in the negatives pretty quickly.
Webmasters should take this as a learning experience. The problem lies in their unfamiliarity with the SEO world; they don’t know what they should be looking for, and thus, unbeknownst to them, they don’t always end up with quality service. If you’re looking to invest in an SEO company, here are a few tips to ensure your money does not go out the window:
Look for consultation services.
Make sure that the company you hire is willing to consult with you before and during implementing any SEO strategies. This way, you can see, in detail, the plan of action before the money has been shelled out and it is too late.
Ask for reports.
See to it that the company you have hired utilizes Google Analytics or other reporting tools. This way, you can get a visual idea of your site’s progress rather than taking someone’s word for it.
Know the basics.
Stay up-to-date on this blog and other SEO-savvy sites so you at least have some idea of what is going on in the world of search engines. It is always changing, but as long as you know what specific services you are paying for and what generally satisfies Google, you can prevent anything catastrophic from happening.