The world of SEO has the unique phenomena of ‘white’ and ‘black’ (good and evil) techniques. You won’t find this in advertising, content marketing or social media marketing. That is because the end product of ads, content and social media is very overt, and plainly seen. It is an article or a video or infographic. However, nobody really ‘sees’ SEO work. It’s behind the scenes, obfuscated. This is because Search Engine algorithms are based on hundreds of factors which may be unseen to the individual.
It is this ‘unseen’ aspect that swindlers and unscrupulous SEO companies can exploit in their clients. The only thing the client can see is the search engine result page’s results. And if its good then the client is happy. However, he will be totally oblivious to how the black-hat SEO got him those results.
How to detect black-hat SEO companies
1) They guarantee search engine results; something which nobody could ethically promise: “we will get you to rank #1”. A real SEO company could guarantee an increase in position but could not guarantee they could reach #1.
2) Using link-schemes, networks, farms as part of their “SEO Strategy”. Google can detect these and while it may give some boost in the search result pages, it won’t last forever and your site can get penalized.
3) ‘Secret SEO formula’ which they cannot tell you. It is most certainly black-hat if they won’t tell you what they do. Real, white-hat SEO is common knowledge and can be found anywhere on the web, including Google’s Webmaster Central.
4) They may encourage purchasing high domain authority links
5) They may encourage purchasing FB likes, TW followers and Youtube views
6) Uses automated content creation tools. The articles are basically spam and are composed of content from other websites. Looks un-natural and has too many keywords.
7) They guarantee search engine results in a particular period of time. Like: “We can get you to number one in 3 weeks!” This is a glaring red flag, and one should never bother to speak with them again. Real SEO takes a considerable amount of time.
8) Use invisible or hidden text.
9) Use duplicate content as ‘filler’ for pages.
10) Stuffs keywords in: title tags, image alt attributes.
There are more but the above are just some of the things you should look out for.
Review our Advanced Search Engine Optimization Plans and talk to one of our experts to get the right information. More about White Hat SEO >>