Honestly, the digital space should declare a fifth season and label it SCAM-time. While anytime is SPAM/SCAM time, in early spring and late summer it’s seemingly more bountiful.
Business SCAM emails are slightly more difficult to recognize, because they are a little more sophisticated than the standard ‘419’ request for an ill relative. They look professional and sport some pretty heavy credentials. And, they have a hook. It begins with an alert to a failing in your website – and how it can be easily and readily fixed.
How do you identify ‘scam’ SEO (search engine optimization) emails from credible ones?
First, have a careful look at the email they have used. If it looks fishy, it is fishy.
Second, do your own sleuthing. Visit their website (if they have one) and current customer base. Are they sharing their customer listing and are the customers reputable?
Another helpful trick is to wait for the Auto-complete or Google Suggest when performing a search. Google’s Auto-complete makes a suggested search result for your query based on the most common recent searches. Some of these companies appear in the search bar with the word SCAM alongside of the company name.
Good SEO companies promise hard, systematic, diligent work. SCAM SEO operators promise quick fantastic results such as:
> Guaranteed First Page Ranking: Not even Google guarantees first page ranking. In fact, they are very clear about that in their Google Safety Centre. And define first page ranking. Using the full company name in the search bar will guarantee first page. It’s ranking on page one for specific keywords that a business is working towards. But if you’re nervous about where you stand on the search engine results page, do your own search.
> Submit Your Site to 100s of Search Engines: There really isn’t a final count on the number of search engines world-wide. There are however, about ten every business needs to pay attention to: Google, Yahoo and Bing being the top three. In reality, most web users only use two or three search engines anyway.
> 500 directory back links in 10 days: Back links are an important part of SEO work. The number of authoritative websites with links back to your site provides credibility and increases your Google ranking. Systematically obtaining back links is painstaking and time consuming. Links have to be credible and not forced. A site that suddenly received 500 back links only raises the ire of Google not the ranking.
> Cracked the Google Algorithm: Not only is the Google SEO Algorithm complex, it’s dynamic, responding to user queries. Most Google algorithm updates are in response to companies that are trying to beat the system. They also happen to be companies that crow the loudest when there is an update because they’ve been caught.
So, how to protect your company from their SCAMMERS and dismiss their emails in confidence?
Become SEO wise. Understanding why other sites rank better; determining the type of content that is most beneficial for your user and your business, and knowing what search engines want when ranking sites will go a long way to making sure that your site stays on page one.
Smart SEO starts with good content. The technical side of SEO (keyword density, back links, effective meta tags etc.) are add-ons to make your content is search-engine friendly. Getting in deep with a company that takes little or no interest in your content, and only focuses on the ‘technical’ side, will only get your headaches.
If you are getting numerous business SCAM emails, take a moment to review your company’s security protocols. It might be just a matter of updating the anti-virus/malware programs or updating the email security settings to reduce the number of emails you’re getting.
All serious SEO companies do agree on one thing. When Google feels that a company is using ‘dirty tricks’ to beat the system, whether or not intentionally, they don’t send three warning shots over the bow! The site just simply disappears.