A lot of SEO companies outsource their work to groups overseas that (a) aren’t native speakers and (b) don’t really know what they’re doing or use very outdated SEO techniques. When someone promises you great SEO progress for $50 or $100 a month, not only are they sure to rip you off, but they’re probably outsourcing whatever work they do to non-native speakers who may do more harm than good to your rankings and your reputation.
Cheap SEO: you get what you pay for!
In many cases, “cheap” SEO is essentially an up front service where the company or individual promises a lot, but only does a little work up front and does nothing in the ensuing months. They’ll skip the research and analysis and copy competitors’ title tags and tactics. They’ll point out that it takes time for SEO to build steam (which is true), but in the meantime, they take your money.
Auto-generated content is a waste of time.
Outsourced SEO work almost invariably fails in the important area of quality content. Try to get a group in Bangladesh or Mexico to write articles for a psychologist in the USA without plagiarism or auto-generated content. Even simple blog posts that are interesting and informative will give other sites a reason to link to you. Auto-generated content is NOT the answer! With the new Panda algorithm, quality content is imperative. Auto-generated content that reads on a 3rd grade level now hurts your credibility with both the reader and Google.
Gurantees are fraudulent.
We repeat it frequently on this site because it’s true: NO ONE can guarantee you top placement for any term without using paid search (sponsored ads or pay-per-click). Your ranking depends on 100+ factors, and some of those are out of your control (e.g., what your competition does, changes Google may make). Fraudulent SEO companies will promise you the sky, then take your money and run with it.
Link building isn’t the only task.
With Google’s 100+ factors come many different types of potential SEO tasks. You may have hundreds of links to your site, but if your pages don’t contain the appropriate keywords, the links will have little effect. All of the tasks from title tags to keywords in your text to proper keyword tags on your images and a littany of other factors add up to a well-optimized page. Well-optimized pages achieve much higher rankings for your linked pages.
Look at what type of link building they’re doing.
Posts in blogs and forums, especially “bulk comments” that have traditionally been the shortcut for SEO firms, no longer carry weight with Google like they used to. Look for quality links on valuable sites and directories.
We get one or two inquiries each day from overseas SEO companies wanting us to outsource our work to them at insanely low rates. Unfortunately, this is one industry where the saying “you get what you pay for” holds very true.