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Search Engine Marketing Scams

Avoid Getting Scammed and Ripped Off by Search Engine Marketing Scams

Search engine marketers are trolling the web for easy prey. Here’s how to recognize the 5 red flags for these online predators promising you the moon for web site traffic. The old American axioms;  ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’  and  ‘if it’s too good to be true, it usually is’ are still true today. Search engine marketing scams are here to stay so doing your homework is key. Let’s face it, we’d all like to take the soft easy road to online success, but the road less traveled is the road which leads to success. And it’s very easy to get side tracked unless you have the facts.

The scammers email usually starts out like this

You already know your web site needs some help. I’m talking about your web site from a marketing standpoint. There are things you should do to get more conversions and sales. I’m an independent internet consultant working with lots of small businesses in helping them to be found locally in the search engines. I have a “gray hat” trick that I can do for your site that will blast you to the top page of Google in 7 days for just about any keyword …..guaranteed! Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you with Google, it’s only “gray hat” because I use software and it’s completely legit!

The First Red Flag

There is usually a phone number and a free email domain name such as bigdealmarketer@gmail.com, hotmail, yahoo.com or other free email domain. Ask yourself, ‘Why isn’t there a company domain name in their email?’ Truth is they are hiding behind a facade so it’s easy for them to disappear into the wood work when they fail to deliver on promises made.

Second Red Flag

The email is usually filled with miss-spellings. I corrected the spelling in the email pitch above, but there were originally 5 mistakes. A legit professional company does not make these kind of high-school mistakes.

Third Red Flag

If there is a phone number or person’s name associated with the email take a moment to vet them over Google. Having recently received a rash of clients emails containing a search marketing pitch, I kept seeing the same number with a 512 area code. When I did a search on Google using the entire phone number, the 1st page of results were filled with web sites that referenced the same phone. Numerous postings were lies, scams and complaints. Even if you don’t find complaints, you should still do your home work. Asking what state they are incorporated in, do they have a city or county business license is a good idea as well. It’s a good idea to request a list of 10 references. If they’re really able to deliver the goods, then they should have hundreds of references, but 10 will do!

Forth Red Flag

If they’re promising 1st page results on Google, Yahoo or Bing, then run the other way. No one, absolutely no one can guarantee 1st page position on these search engines.

Fifth and Final Red Flag

They will dazzle you with fancy terms and jargon like

High Quality Keywords
Back links
Quality Links
Anchor Text
In-bound Links
Out-Bound Links
Viral Marketing
Blog Marketing
XML Site map generation

Google posts on it’s own website pages, exactly what you should do and what is required to have a successful website that gets good placement on their search engine?

Google quality guidelines and basic principles include the following:

a. Make web site pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
b. Page cloaking. Don’t trick your visitors users or present different information to search engines than you display to users. This is known as page cloaking.
c. Do not use tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
d. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your web site’s ranking.

Avoid spam linking or bad web sites on the web. Your own web site ranking may be negatively affected by those links. This is a common method use by back link builders who dump your web site link on hundreds of useless blogs, forums, directories and article web sites.

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