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The SEO Company Test

SEO Company Test

If you are not sure if the SEO company that you are using is credible and offering you the right service then you should be asking the following questions:

Does your SEO company have a website?

Best Answer: Yes they have a professional website

If a SEO company is professional then they will more than likely put quite a bit of effort into their own website. Most professional SEO companies do their best to rank their own websites well and in most cases use the same principles on their own site that they will be using on your site. If a SEO company does not have a website then you may want to ask the question… why not? Many unprofessional companies do not have websites because they do not really want you to find them for complaints and concerns. It is also a good idea to make sure that your SEO company has contact details that are clearly visible. If the company only has a form with no contact telephone number or email address then you may want to ask yourself what they are hiding?

Does the company guarantee you a top position in Google?

Best Answer: No they do not

No company can guarantee top positions in Google. Google makes this clear in their SEO guidelines. If a company does guarantee you top spots in Google then the best thing to do is show them the door.

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings…

Which metadata is considered the most important indicator for ranking?

Best Answer: Title Tag

If a SEO company starts talking about the need for the “Keywords” meta-tag then this is a good sign that the company is stuck in the past and is lacking SEO knowledge. Google has never used the keywords meta-tag as a ranking factor. The title meta-tag is the only tag that is essential for ranking and needs to be optimised according to the content on your page. The description meta-tag can be used but again it is not used as a ranking factor.

Do they submit your website to Google?

Best Answer: No they do not

Most knowledgeable SEO companies know that submitting a website to Google dilutes the strength of the PageRank Google will give the page if Google bots were to find your page through natural links. Think of it this way… if your page is found by the Google bot through another reputable indexed website then Google will think that you are reputable too and you will gain some trust because your link has been referred by a trustworthy source, however, if you submit a page to Google then who will vouch for the trustworthiness of that link.

Do they submit to directories?

Best Answer: They submit to a couple of local directories

Directories give very little SEO value to a website as the link that you get from a directory is a very low-quality link. In most cases submitting your site to thousands for directories will do your site more harm than good (if these links are coming from bad neighborhoods then this will go against Google’s Guidelines). It is a good idea however to submit to a couple of local directories more for a user value than a SEO value.

In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links

How many search engines do they optimise for?

Best Answer: They Optimise for Google, Yahoo & Bing

In South Africa, an SEO company can indeed get away with focusing on only Google but the other major search engines can generate a small amount of traffic so we cannot rule them out altogether. Having said this it is important that an SEO company does not waste their valuable time submitting to search engines that push little to no traffic to your website. Rather have them focus on the 3 major search engines.

Can you achieve higher ranking without changing your content or code?

Best Answer: No you cannot

On-site optimisation is an important ranking factor when it comes to SEO. The content of a website is the single most important aspect of the site, therefore it is mandatory that an SEO company does sufficient keyword research to make sure that the keywords that best describe your website are indeed in your content. You will need to question what methods your company is using to get you ranked if they are not touching your content (Read about Black Hat SEO).

Do they use any "secret tricks" when it comes to optimising your page?

Best Answer: No

There are many methods used to get your site ranked in search engines but it is important that your relationship with your SEO company is transparent. There should be no “secrets” when it comes to the methods used as this may suggest that the methods your company is using are not all white hat. It is your responsibility to know what your SEO company is doing at all times as it is your website that will be affected by good or bad SEO techniques.

Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index.

Do they have a "special relationship" with Google?

Best Answer: No

There is no such thing as a “special relationship” with Google. Your SEO expert or company may indeed know and talk to some people at Google (via Google Partner Program) but no relationship there will ever help your ranking. SEOs simply use Google’s services via pay-per-click (adwords) or are invited by Google to conferences and events but I can assure you that Google will never compromise its algorithm by giving inside information to your SEO company. You must also be aware that Google ranks using a bunch of algorithms, therefore, one employee at Google cannot alter it for your benefit.

Do they know the actual details of Google’s algorithm?

Best Answer: No

We all try our hardest to guess what Google may plan, but it is just that… a guess! Your SEO company cannot claim that they know the details of Google’s algorithm but if they can offer you a well-educated guess then they are on the right track. In order to make a well-educated guess on the inner workings of Google, your SEO company must keep up with the latest trends and follow industry news on a daily basis. Next time you meet with your SEO company ask them… what did you learn about Google this month?

Do they use professional submission and placement software?

Best Answer: No

Simply put… DO NOT use submission or placement software as it violates Google’s guidelines and can get your website penalized or in some cases completely banned.

Google’s Terms of Service do not allow the sending of automated queries of any sort to our system without express permission in advance from Google. Sending automated queries absorbs resources

Are the experts in the company well-known?

Best Answer: Yes, they seem to be industry leaders

I always ask a client who has had bad experiences with SEO companies if he Googled the company before using their services and more often than not they did not. It is important that you do some research on the company you intend to use by seeing if they are actively found in Google by being mentioned in articles or by other websites other than their own. Generally, if someone is satisfied with a company or services they will voice their opinion somewhere; more so if that opinion is a negative one. Search for something like (SEO company name)+Complaints to see if anything negative comes up.

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