The business of Search Engine Optimization has suffered from many ill-fated companies, and been blessed by those SEO professionals who look forward to the next generation of the web. 

Unfortunately, there are still many SEO firms that don’t have the strength or strategy to successfully deliver on a complex SEO campaign.  We call this Search Engine Optimization Malpractice. “Malpractice” may be overdoing it literary terms, but we are specifically referring to not following generally accepted professional standards.

To put it into perspective, I broke SEO companies into 3 categories:

Category 1 – Low-lifes both foreign and domestic.  They may spam, form dubious link networks, and can end up getting a client banned from the search results.

Category 2 – Web-designers and/or programmers as individuals that are very competent at one or the other, sometimes a superstar at both, and they like to do SEO.   Many not so progressive web-marketing firms may fit into this category.

Category 3 – Passionate, nimble, and diverse, they love what they do.  They understand how to connect the client into a waterhose of viewers.  Then they never stop trying to understand the viewers.  Angelina Jolie and Google share the same sexy adjectives.

The malpractice can apply to any of the above categories, however it is commonly being found in Category 2 designers and SEO companies.  Their “breach of duty”? Making promises they can’t control and may not be capable meeting.  Their compensation structures may have little to do with client ROI, and some may still be using outdated strategies that won’t be as successful.

Here are a few tips to be sure you choose a reputable company:

  • List of references – Chances are that every name on the list will give positive feedback.  Search around for clients by seeing who is linked to them.
  • Check with and search for the company name.
  • Google search the company name in quotes , e.g. “Obu Interactive” and then check up through the 10th page.  If there is online dirt, it will show up there.

Here are additional recommendations for doing business with SEO firms:

  • Get payments, or a scaling compensation plan.  A reputable company accepts payments
  • Be wary of the company that lowers and lowers their prices – good SEO is hard work
  • Use a partner to play the “bad cop” in order to buy time or deflect pressure from a salesperson
  • Call up the owner and get a rapport going.  One day your company’s name may be added to that reference sheet.

If you feel that your SEO has not been done properly and would like a review of your site, call us at 800-619-5944. We will be happy to take a look for you.

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