Ranking well in Google is very doable. Although no SEO specialist or firm or company should promise you #1 ranking on Google in no time.
SEO (short for Search Engine Optimisation) is a continuous process, and a well-governed one, that takes time. They haven’t developed a one-time-fixes-all solution yet. With Google Algorithm updates cropping up every now and then, your rankings can remain unaffected, rise and soar, or drop into oblivion at any time.
And there is nothing you or your SEO company can do about it. This is especially true if you or your SEO company play a few black-hat SEO tricks to game search engines.
However, if you stick to the following SEO guidelines, your SEO rankings will remain unshaken by the strong winds of the next algorithm update.
Note: These SEO guidelines are recommended by Google.
#1. Ignore SEO Firms/Specialists/Agencies That Send You Mail out of Nowhere
Be very wary of anyone who sends you email out of the blue promising you #1 ranking on Google (or any other search engine) at unbelievably low rates.
I get these emails (or rather spam) too:
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”
Even Google gets these messages, so spammers must be doing their work. But don’t fall for their small-time tricks.
See how quickly you dismiss those “burn fat as you sleep” magic pills or “I have $300,000,000 I need to transfer” Nigerian scams? Be very quick to dismiss unsolicited email about SEO and search engines!
#2. Nobody Can Guarantee #1 SEO Ranking on Google
Nobody should promise you a #1 ranking on Google (or any other search engine really). Be very careful with SEOs who “guarantee” rankings, or advertise a “priority submission”, or allege they have “special relationships” with Google.
For starters, Google does not have a priority submission. To completely dismantle this myth, there are only two ways to add your site to Google, and they are both easy and free.
To add your site to Google, you can:
Use the direct Add URL page, or
Submit a Sitemap
I will say it again, both methods are easy and free – you can do them yourself. Your web content guarantees your rankings. You provide smart and valuable web content, and Google will reward you with good rankings. It is the way of the new world.
#3. Work Only with Transparent SEOs
If you don’t understand a concept (or whatever your SEO is doing or undoing), you have every right to politely ask for explanations. You are the one who cuts the check, right?
In their black hat efforts to get you “better” rankings, some unscrupulous SEOs might create misleading or deceptive content, including “throwaway” domains and doorway pages, on your behalf.
Such and other black hat techniques will see your site de-indexed and removed from Google entirely. Forever. Or until you get your house in order.
After all, you are liable for every company you hire, so it’s in your best interest to ensure your SEO uses the recommended SEO techniques. The only way to do this is asking them, but if your gut tells you they aren’t telling you the whole truth, there is better SEO out here.
If an SEO has administrative access to your server, they should be willing to explain every change they make to your website. If they can’t or won’t, kick them to the curb.
#4. You Don’t Need to Link to an SEO
Run for the hills if your SEO starts talking about the beauty and power of link popularity schemes, “free-for-all” links, or submitting your website to numerous search engines. Two, three search engines is okay. Thousands? No.
Are these “SEO” techniques effective? No.
They are all useless – ineffective – and they won’t improve your rankings in major search engines. If they will affect your rankings and bank balance, it will be in a negative way. Be very careful with your linking. It’s always about quality and not about quantity.
#5. Be Tactful with Your SEO
You have to choose your SEO, and choose really well, from the launch of your website. Or whenever you need SEO services.
Do your research well. Google is a good place to start but you might need to checkout a few cautionary tales such as this Internet Advancement told to refund clients story that appeared on The Seattle Times.
Choose wisely lest you find yourself sleeping with SEO dogs who will give you nothing more than fleas.
#6. Follow Your SEO Money
Make sure you understand how your money is spent. Some rogue SEOs will pay for better rankings on other search engines (expect Google) and then lie to you that you are doing really well in organic (actual) search results. Here is the clincher; they can increase advertising spend in real-time to show you how easily they can give you better rankings. Don’t fall for it.
It’s impossible to do this on Google because they (Google) clearly distinguish paid advertising from organic search results.
A good SEO will tell you the amount of money they’ve dedicated to temporary promotion and the amount that will go towards permanent rankings.
How Do You Know You Are Dealing with a Rogue SEO?
There are a few tell-tale signs that you boarded the wrong ship as far as SEO goes. While the following list is a good starting point, you should always trust your gut if you have any doubts.
Hire a new SEO if your current SEO:
- Uses doorway pages with links to their other clients
- Has shadow domains
- Can’t (or won’t) tell the difference between organic search results and sponsored ads
- Guarantees rankings
- Operates with falsified WHOIS information
- Obtains traffic from scumware, spyware, or fake search engines
- Is himself/herself not listed in Google
- Ignore unsolicited (spam) emails about SEO no matter how intriguing
- Nobody can guarantee #1 ranking on Google
- Work only with transparent SEOs
- You don’t need to link to the SEO
- Be tactful
- Follow your money, and
- Trust your instincts.