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Guide to Choosing the Perfect Ethical SEO

Mar 29, 2008
Search engine optimization is an important component when one is building a website for a certain audience. It is widely used mostly by online merchants, as they have to be able to come up with a site that can easily be found by users. Internet marketing relies on customers after all, and customers find sites through search engines.

Because of this demand, there are several companies and websites in the Internet that advertise themselves as SEO specialists that can help you gain the needed rank in search engine result pages. Given this fact, how can one choose the SEO that would be best in getting you the ranking that would help your business grow?

Can the SEO Gain a Name for Itself?

The first thing you should check is the SEO's ability to gain a rank for its own website. This is the ultimate testimonial to the firm capability to garner a rank for your site. If it couldn't bring enough of their own skill to gain a spot for itself, then the SEO's ability to help your site covet a rank is in question.

Exceptions for this, of course, are newly established SEO agencies. In this case, you should try to research carefully about the people involved in the incorporation of such firms. If they have individuals previously connected to good optimizers, then chances are these people can bring their expertise to the company for your benefit.

Do They Offer Realistic Promises?

Marketing and catch lines are lifelines for any business, SEOs included. With a lot of competition, these people are sure to give you exaggerated promises just to convince you to avail yourself of their services and help them gain money. Knowing how to recognize when such promises are realistic or purely marketing ploys will help you avoid such traps and losses due to expenses.

As a webmaster, it is important for you to have some basic knowledge on how search engines work. This is one way to distinguish the ham from the spam in checking out the promises that the different SEO engines boast of in their advertisements.

For example, Google and Yahoo! implement an age delay factor in calculating page ranks so anyone who tells you that they could get a new site to rank high in 2 months or less is likely lying about their capabilities. This is because in these two engines, new websites are not likely to hold a candle against the older ones because of the age delay factor.

What Does the SEO Have for Its Record?

When you are buying something from an Internet marketing site, we naturally check user comments along with the product's specifications before we commit ourselves to the purchase and spend money. This is because we are seeking confirmation that the product could deliver what it is boasting about, and that it is not merely spewing air.

The same scrutiny applies as well to choosing SEOs. After you've read and verified that they are indeed promising realistic results, you should then try to check if they could back their promises up, preferably with a portfolio. This portfolio would include examples of successful work, specifically a website or many websites that the firm has helped get a high rank in search engine result pages.

You could also check user feedbacks about the firm from forums and other sources so you could get a grasp as to what this company's reputation is. Some companies also have a testimonials page in their websites showing what people say about their services.

Beware of Black Hat Techniques

In the race to gain rank, it is however natural and expected that someone out there would decide to use illegal optimization techniques that are unfortunately effective in making a site's rank go up faster than normal. These techniques are called black hat terms in web design and optimization lingo.

Black hat techniques are dangerous to use. Even though indeed they could get your ranks up in no time, if a search engine finds out that your site is employing any of these techniques you could find yourself banned and removed from search engine result pages. So, in a sense, you'd find yourself losing the money that you invested in an optimizer that actually uses black hat techniques while the firm gets away with it.

Common black hat techniques include cloaking, which hides the site's true content from the search engine spider, as well as link farming. If the SEO hints at using such ways, then you better steer clear from their services because it's only you who loses something in the end.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a Marketing expert with the leading Dallas based Search Engine optimization company specializing in SEO Marketing Consulting.
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