Dealing with Black Hat SEO

Unfortunately, the world of Search Engine Optimization doesn’t come without some shady dealings. We speak to a lot of businesses every week who have been the victim of Black Hat SEO techniques, whether it’s a crazy one man band, or an Indian firm that believes in bad grammar and link farms. Each usually come with strings attached and you usually get what you pay for.

More often than not, when things go south, such clients call firms such as us to help remedy the problem. Nothing positive ever comes from Black Hat techniques, for example: a client who is now with SEOhaus came to us from working with an Indian firm. She wasn’t getting any results or reports and the communication soon stopped.  The client decided to terminate the her relationship and not pay the final two months of her contract.  They sent quite an aggressive email to her, threatening to build negative links to her site if she did not continue.

Threats like this can be devastating for a business. You’re lulled into a false sense of confidence, opting for the cheaper quote and later down the line thinking hindsight is beautiful! So what can you do?

Google recently deployed the Disavow Tool, which we’ve discussed a couple of times in our blogs. It’s an amazing tool that can tell Google to ignore links from a certain website, that point to yours.

Say for instance you’ve either been burned by another firm, or you suspect a competitor is damaging your site by buying thousands of links from a ‘Link Farm’ that point to your website…. Well first, let us know. Firms like SEOhaus can analyze your link structure and get rid of the bad weeds. If we find that you’ve been the subject of something more malicious, we can use the Disavow tool to ignore those site(s).

There’s only so much time and energy that can be poured into Black Hat techniques, yet there is so much more we can do to combat it. If you’ve been the victim of a targeted black hat campaign, we can win the war for you and get you back on track.

The other problem, is uber cheap options.  SEO isn’t rocket science and so shouldn’t cost the earth, but you definitely get what you pay for.   If you’re paying a small amount of money for help in ranking dozens of keywords, it’s likely you’re being outsourced to someone who is just buying spammy links.   You then get the other end of the scale, for instance I know of some SEO Firms in San Diego that charge up to $3,000 to work with 10 keywords – good for them, but personally, I think its extortion. You should go for the company that has a good reputation, a brand that’s been around for a good amount of years, and those who can demonstrate a clear ability to think beyond page 1.

Online marketing should always be part of your budget too, so your quote should be feasible without looking too cheap!

About Michael Harbron

Michael Harbron heads up the Sales & Marketing for SEOhaus.
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