6 Ways To Tell That Your SEO Agent Is Shady

Many believe that hiring an SEO agent will help their business by making their website traffic grow. While this would be true in most cases, webmasters and business owners need to be aware of the existence of shady SEO agencies.

In the online world, it is easy for anyone to set up a website and proclaim themselves to be the “top SEO gurus of the world”. This is mainly because becoming an SEO agent doesn’t require any certifications, or the overhead associated with many businesses that offer services, such as buying tools and equipment.

How do you find out whether the SEO agent you’ve hired is shady and might actually end up hurting you? Here are 6 ways to tell:

1. They Can’t Offer You Any Evidence of their Work

This doesn’t necessarily refer to work done for others, but rather, work done for you as their client. The nature of SEO means that the results you will get probably won’t be instant. You are unlikely to receive a sharp increase in traffic overnight if your agent uses proper SEO tactics. However, they should be able to prove that they are doing something with the money you pay them.

This includes showing how they’ve optimised your site’s content, a detailed analysis of the link profile of your website, as well as articles or blog posts that contain links to your site and have been published on other, reputable websites.

2. They Never Asked To View Or Access Vital Information About Your Business

In order to do their work properly, SEO agents have a legitimate need to access certain parts of your site, or some off-site accounts.

For example, they might need to be able to log in to your CMS in order to edit your content to make it more SEO-friendly or upload new articles. They might need to access your social media accounts to make posts that link to your site. They should be able to view Google Analytics to see exactly how your site is doing. If the SEO agency doesn’t seem to care about this, consider it a HUGE red flag.

3. They Talk About “Tricking” the Search Engines

Tricking search engines usually refers to using “black hat” tactics that try to outsmart Google or Bing in order to rank your site higher than it should.

This often includes using unethical tactics, such as spamming links to your site on other websites, which can end up getting your site penalised by search engines. Also, the reputation of your business could be negatively affected.

4. They Can’t Explain In Detail What They’re Doing Or Why

A true SEO professional will be happy to explain the exact steps they’ve taken to improve your site’s search engine rankings, and tell you why they’ve done certain actions, such as adding content or making social media posts.

A shady agency might be vague or evasive, claiming that their work is a “trade secret” or that they do “a lot of things, but it’s too technical so you wouldn’t understand”.

5. They Don’t Offer Any Ideas On How To Improve Your Website

Most websites need at least some tweaking to become more SEO-friendly. This might include changing your internal link structure, adding more unique content or making existing pages easier to navigate.

If your SEO agent simply claims your site is “perfect” this could be a sign that they don’t really know what they’re doing.

6. Your Link Profile Has Become Full Of Suspicious Linkbacks

Getting a good amount of backlinks from sites that are respectable and related to your niche is something an SEO professional would strive to do.

Keep an eye on your site’s link profile. If you start seeing links coming from sites that are completely outside of your niche, are little more than repositories for spam, or come from gambling, adult or shady online pharmacy sites, chances are that your SEO agent is doing something shady.

These low-grade backlinks will eventually hurt you and may even cause your rank to drop significantly so it’s important that you monitor your link profile.

Get In Touch

Contact Us Now

Brisbane Office

Level 4/360 Queen Street
Brisbane  Qld  4000

Call Us Now