A couple of years back in May of 2011 JCPENNEY, a prominent business then, dealing with products like luggage, bedding and clothing among an array of many others, was ranking top on Google search results. About a month later, the company was allegedly accused of doctoring the algorithm system to rate them at the top.
As a result, they couldn’t be seen even on the top 50 list. They were punished by Google by being removed from the index. They claimed that they had been unaware that the SEO company working for them had turned to underhand methods but it was too little too late since the damage had already been done.
They were allowed back only after they had performed a complete overhaul of their SEO team. JCPENNEY’S only crime was reveling in ignorance and they certainly paid for it big time. This should be a foresight for other companies to avoid befalling the same misfortune. There are many other SEO agencies out there who would not hesitate to do the same thing to you. The question is how to tell the good from the bad. Some of the red flags to look out for therefore include;
- A guarantee of first page rankings
No one can guarantee the outcome of the future without being at least slightly dishonest. A SEO agency can only promise to do their best for your brand as far as the matter is concerned. If you get anything less or more then you definitely are getting duped.
- Too good to be true deals
Remember the old adage, that when the deal is too good think twice? You should remember this when you receive an email offering to do SEO services for a surprisingly small amount. You should always ask yourself what they stand to gain from the deal financially, and even professionally speaking!
- Use of a secret methodology
The best SEO practices that are effective are usually not kept secret. The SEO Company should be able to openly describe to you what methods they intend to make use of. Transparency and honesty goes a long way in making you understand about the methodology the agency wishes to use.
- Methods that seem deceptive
It is always possible to find a black hat SEO Company that is upfront about their tactics; but then it’s a rare occurrence that you shouldn’t expect or get used to. If you smell something fishy in any detail of operation it is probably because something is actually wrong and you should seek to right the scales immediately.
The only way to be completely sure that the agency is genuine and credible, is only by remaining involved completely in the whole process even if you don’t understand a thing they are saying. Look through the reports you receive critically to ensure that your agency is staying above board.
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