I'm constantly amazed by the number of "industry professionals" who either don't know their craft, or do and are just willing to risk their reputation for a quick buck. Don't get me wrong, if "Black Hat" is your business model and your clients know it, no harm no foul as far as I'm concerned. This post is directed at companies offering services known to be sub-optimal and potentially even harmful. In this post, I'll provide a two examples of what to look out for when buying SEM tools and services. The examples herein are real but, the names have been changed to protect the SHADY.
Testing - Before purchasing anything, be sure it works as represented. Be sure that what you are buying was tested scientifically, where it lives, according to industry best practices and under rigorous conditions, just like any other reputable product. Believe it or not, it's not uncommon for folks to make claims about things they've never even properly tested. As a buyer, it's important to think critically, be sure testing is scientific and ask questions, to avoid being scammed.