Industry Shade

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.

Automatic SEO - I was recently introduced to a company selling something they called "Automatic SEO." First of all, "Auto" anything SEO should raise flags because site optimization should focus on unique content that is of value to users. Without going into great detail, what this company proposed was simply the creation of site search results for relevant keywords and misspellings of relevant keywords. The company then links site search results from hidden pages via a trick JavaScript hidden in the footer.

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.