Have You Ever Been Ambushed By The SEO Ninja?By Chris Sheehy | RI search marketing specialist
I was working with a Rhode Island small business recently who had hired an “SEO Ninja” to increase their visibility on search engines as well as to make them more discoverable when people search online for what they sell.
The strategy concentrated on website optimization (on-page SEO) and in building more links pointing back to their website (linkbuilding) – a very smart tactic indeed.
However, this small business didn’t call me to do this work – they were calling me for damage control!
After losing more than 85% of their regular website traffic volume (and 85% of their revenue) they realized they got duped by an out-of-state search engine scammer, and unfortunately, this story plays out all the time…
Fast forward nine months from when they started working with this SEO firm, and the only thing this business website is optimized for is being ignored by search engines, and the 134,000 links pointing back at their business website are mostly spam, from other countries, or are in foreign languages (that’s automation for you). Not very helpful for a business who only markets in the US.
Making matters worse, these backlinks are nearly void of the high quality authoritative links useful for building a strong online business presence.
This poor business got screwed.
To be fair though – I see the same thing happen with DIY attempts at search engine optimization & marketing all the time too – but certainly a pro should know better.
Like any small business decision, price was a major deciding factor in the selection process “…the [SEO] firm was affordable – they dropped their price considerably to get my work…” says the business owner. There is no doubt in his mind now why the price was so cheap.
Not surprisingly – this SEO firm is no longer in business. Nevertheless, its owner (the SEO “expert”) is now gainfully employed as a Managing Director with a different SEO firm, whose blog even has an article posted last month on the importance of quality back-linking! Although they are not confident enough to have this post published – you can say anything you want on your own business blog, it’s unlikely to be contested.
Perhaps it’s the same firm that’s been calling your business every week?!
Scammers are in every industry, and with the constant barrage of these “SEO ninja’s” proclaiming they can get your business ranked #1 on the search engines – seemingly overnight or for just a few hundred dollars – it’s difficult to know who wears the white-hat, and who wears the black. I recently outlined some ways of identifying SEO scammers from specialists in an article to help small businesses know what to look for. Maybe if this business owner had bumped into my story when doing their online due-diligence things could have been different for them.
Being published (not self-blogging) is one of the greatest litmus tests for any profession. By being “published” – I mean, there is a person at the receiving end who can deny an article if it is without substance or is inaccurate. The internet marketing industry is ruthless in its critique of inaccurate representation or wrongful advice in published articles. It is a good bet that if your marketing pro is frequently published within their vocation – or even better – within the marketing community (without overt challenges for which they cannot support) – they most likely know their stuff.
If the price of hiring an internet marketing pro seems too expensive for your business – consider the alternatives.
#linkbuilding #backlinking #rhodeisland #seo #searchmarketing
About: Sidewalk Branding Company is a Rhode Island internet marketing & SEO/SEM firm. Award winning and internationally published, they focus on getting solopreneurs and small businesses (less than 25 employees or so) discovered online – locally.