Watch out for SEO scams

If you run a small business like we do, you probably receive countless emails pushing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services.

Many will make rash promises like “Rank Number 1 on Google!” or “Achieve 1st Place Ranking!”

If you’re not familiar with these claims, you may be tempted to contact these companies and hire them to assist you.

While many SEO professionals are legit, here’s some advice to help you watch out for SEO scams:

1. Bait and switch

Sometimes sketchy SEO companies will guarantee you a number 1 SERP (Search Engine Reports Page) ranking. You might get excited when you read the phrase “Rank Number One on Google This Month!,” but don’t jump too soon.

The truth is, ranking #1 on Google takes time and planning, and results are never guaranteed. In fact, for many keywords and phrases it is almost impossible to achieve first-place ranking. No good SEO consultant worth his or her salt will make rash promises like this.

Heaven forbid you take one of these scammers at their word and sign up to get ranked number one. The sad truth is, they may actually follow up on their promises in the worst possible way.

Here’s an example. Your company might sell pet supplies. Hand things over to the wrong SEO hack and you might find yourself ranking #1 for the phrase “pet supplies for tarantulas,” when you only sell supplies for dogs and cats.

They might be able to get you to 1st place, but they can’t necessarily guarantee that for the keywords you’d like to rank for.

2. Unnecessary work

Other SEO scammers promise to submit your site to thousands of search engines…for a steep monthly fee.

Well, you could throw your money out the window any day for thrills, but don’t do it for this bad reason. There are only a few search engines that are worth submitting to.

For the most part, you just need to worry about Google. You could also submit to Yahoo and Bing just for good measure. But you don’t need to pay a bunch of money for someone to do this for you, and especially not on a monthly basis.

3. Stealing login credentials

There are lots more scams out there, including nefarious agents who will trick you into giving them your login credentials. Be forewarned. Do NOT give out your personal login credentials to anyone.

If you are working with a verified professional under contract, using your own admin status you can create unique login credentials for that person only, with restricted permissions based on the job you have hired them to execute.

Then, be sure to change the password regularly to ensure your website’s security over the longterm.

In closing, if you’re thinking of hiring an SEO consultant, make sure before anything that you do your research and ask lots and lots of questions.

These kinds of services are not cheap and you have the right to know everything possible about what you’ll be paying for.

If they push back and refuse to answer your questions, walk away. They are probably hiding something and you don’t want their dirty fingers on your project.

Hopefully you know enough now to watch out for SEO scams. Be careful whom you hire.


LimeTech is a creative tech company with a focus on app development. We help brands grow their impact by building digital products that please customers and solve business challenges. Our work includes strategy, design, content, and tech planning. Check out our portfolio or reach out to start a conversation about your project.

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