As someone who works for a fully transparent and honest link building agency, it makes me squirm to know that people are paying shady link building and SEO firms without knowing what they’re going to get in return, or that what they’re paying for could actually hurt them rather than help them. Business owners, and even webmasters, often do not know what goes into link building and are easy to take advantage of by those in the industry who give the rest of SEOs and link builders a bad name. Here are some red flags that may give you a hint that the SEO or link building firm you are thinking about, or already working with may be one to stay away from.
Clear as Mud
You should be 100% confident in what your money is paying for and this means knowing exactly how the firm goes about obtaining their links, as well as what kind of links you’re getting. Make sure you can easily get this information:
- Link Report: Every day, week, month, or whatever time frame you decide on, you should be given a status report that shows you which links the firm has built. Make sure you also have a backlink report done on your site before the firm starts, this way they cannot claim to have built links that were already there. You can also check these links to make sure they’re working and are on sites that you are happy with.
- Activities: You want to be sure that the link the link building firm isn’t charging you for 90 hours of work and only putting in a fraction of that number as they try to build links. You should expect a detailed record of where they are logging hours and towards what activities they are focusing on.
- Testimonials: Ask for a list of client testimonials and check up on their work. This step alone could save you heartache if you find that they’ve burned other clients in the past.
Too Good to Be True
The fact of the matter is that high quality link building costs a pretty penny. It takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to find relevant sites, to produce content for them, and to earn a link which all add up to added costs. If you’ve found a firm that offers cut-rate link building, be wary, because they could very well be utilizing “black hat” tactics that will harm your site’s rankings if Google gets wind of them.
Link building and SEO is an industry that is void of guarantees by nature. While we can build links at Page One Power, we cannot guarantee a certain number or promise a certain increase in keyword rankings because we are at the whim of webmasters and Google’s algorithm. For example, we had many clients experience a lower number of links than usual after Hurricane Sandy struck because so many webmasters were based on the east coast. If a firm is promising you a high number of links a month or guaranteeing that you’ll rank numero uno for your keyword within a certain amount of time, they could be gearing up to pocket your money and run.
Let’s Work Together!
Any good SEO firm will want to work with you, not for you. The difference being that working with a client means that t they’ll be willing to customize strategies to your site, niche, and keywords rather than just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If they just want to take your money, and let you know how it goes sometime down the line, don’t be fooled! Ongoing communication one of the biggest things you are paying for.
Don’t let ignorance of link building or SEO get you paired up with a company that is only looking to make a quick buck. While many people view link building as a shady practice, that doesn’t mean all of the link builders out there are shady individuals. Proper business practices still apply to us and we hate to be associated with the bad apples.