I was browsing the Warrior Forum the today and came across quite a headline: “Penguin 3.0 Safe SEO Services! Do You Need Your Website In Top 3 Positions Of Google?”
Wow. Sure, I’d love to get in the top 3 positions for some keywords like “make money online” and “where can I send money I don’t need”. So I checked it out.
Turns out there are almost 10 pages of folks just like me. Who would have thought that everyone wants to get in those top 3 spots?! Anyway, it got me thinking maybe I should do a review of this service, but then I realize I didn’t have a website that I could test it on. I was *afraid* to use it on sites I’ve put a lot of man-hours into because I know that it would just destroy them.
So what’s so scary about SEO services like this?
1. It Sets A Trend For Your Business
How you run your business is just like any other habit in your life. If you start off down a certain path, you tend to stay on that path unless you have a compelling reason to leave it.
I saw absolutely desperate folks just clamoring to get into this SEO service. It was like people trying to get into a sold out concert or an exclusive club. The only thing that was needed to convince them that this service was legit was a few promises and a couple of screenshots with traffic lines going up.
Please bro! Gimme Gimme Gimme! I wanna rank too!
I can’t blame them, because I was like that when I first got started as well. But is that how you want to run your business?
I have become very “zen” recently about rank because I’ve been through hell with One More Cup of Coffee and personally seen that you don’t need backlinks or even much SEO to get traffic and sales from a site. I can pretty much write what I want and certainly don’t need an SEO service to help me rank.
For about 6 months when I started out I was getting less than ten visits a day to my blog and really doubting whether or not it was possible to rank without shady SEO tactics. SIX MONTHS!
But everything has been trending upwards since.
So which guy do you want to be? The one with a 5 page blog shelling out $200/month for someone to trick Google into thinking you need a page 1 rank, or the guy with 500 blog posts and a couple thousand visits a day with only your hosting fees to worry about?
By the way, the practice of writing all that content goes a long way to teaching you how to write a decent blog post and get sales conversions.
2. It’s A Waste Of Money
Why are you spending money when you haven’t even made any yet? If you have money to burn you could be spending it on PPC ads and get an even HIGHER rank than the #1 position!
How about $30/month for an autoresponder? Or a theme upgrade? Or outsourcing some articles? Maybe an opt-in plugin, or other tools to help you analyze your traffic and convert better?
If your sales page isn’t converting well enough to put it on a PPC ad and make some money that way, what makes you think it’s going to convert in search? And if Google won’t approve your page for PPC, there’s a very good chance that it’s not a page that’s going to naturally rank well in SERPs.
That means even if you get to Page 1 by means of SEO Voodoo, it’s likely you won’t stay there.
This is another mentality that I understand, because I tend to do the same thing with money. Sometimes it’s easier to believe if someone promises you results and you give them a bunch of money that the results will be guaranteed.
This is how retired folks lose their entire nest egg to scam artists that promise a 200% turnaround in 6 months. It’s how people lose their investment capital to penny stock schemes. They don’t want to do the leg work to understand the topic, so they throw a wad of cash at it and hope for the best.
Are there some legitimate SEO services out there? Sure. How can you tell the difference? It’s hard. Can’t tell the difference yet?
DO SOME RESEARCH! Educate yourself. Spend $25 on an SEO book or spend 3-4 weeks reading SEO blogs like Moz or Search Engine journal.
I can guarantee that after reading up on legit SE0 practices for a few weeks and trying to actually rank your own site that you will run far away from any dweeb that promises “guaranteed Penguin proof rank”
The BEST case scenario is that Google will ignore these low-quality links you get from fly-by-night SEO companies, which means the best result you could get giving them your money is no result at all.
In my experience, using services like this on your website is like a drug. The first time, it may product the intended results. But then the law of diminishing returns comes into play. You need more and more to get the same effect because a tolerance starts to build.
3. It’s A Time Bomb Waiting To Happen
If you do get results, watch out on the way up and the way down. I will admit that backlinks DO work to help a site gain rank in search engines. But HOW those links are obtained and where they are obtained from make a huge difference in the results they produce.
One of the interesting things about “proof” that SEO services like to show is that it’s always for a short period of time, usually a few weeks or maybe a few months.
But what happens a year down the road or the next Google update? They don’t show that. (They also don’t show a wide variety of sites by the way, because SEO magic is rarely a case of something that work all the time, and more often a case of one thing that worked one time)
Back in 2011 I joined some blog networks that guaranteed to be Google-proof. Here’s the results they produced
Here’s what happened in May 2012
I lost 40% of my income in just a few weeks.
Which would you rather have?
Six months of time, energy, and money to be destroyed in 3 weeks and never to return, or 18 months of time, energy, and money that result in a decade of residual and continually growing income?
Trusting your business to an unknown and unproven SEO service using strategies that you don’t fully understand is likely setting you up for huge disappointment somewhere down the road. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
*Note: I realize that the screenshots above are from a link network and not an “seo” service. But keep in mind that the #1 tool for most SEO services that guarantee rank is backlinking. Many are using private blog networks, comment spam, profile links, and other outdated/ineffective linking tactics.
Have you ever used an SEO service and what were the results?
Are you struggling to rank right now and have you been tempted to hand over the keys to someone else?