Sham SEO: What to Look Out For

November 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

“We guarantee to get your #1 on Google within days!”. If you’ve rolled your eyes at this SEO nonsense that floods your inbox before, then this article is for you.

Example of SHAM SEO floating around in the UAE:

sham seo guaranteed

Not all SEO shams are quite as obvious as the line above though. Unfortunately, SEO shammers have gone into stealth mode and their false promises aren’t as glaringly obvious—making our current SEO landscape tougher than ever.

To help you sort through the genuine from the shammy, we’ve put together 6 examples of SEO shams in current circulation—to help keep you out of the black hat SEO realms. But just before we do, in hopes of obvious foreshadowing, the below 6 shams all have overarching themes, which include: they lack plausibility, they lack quality keyword research, they lack keyword focus (too many keywords and not enough time), they’re all quick fixes, they’re all low-cost solutions and share a one-size-fits-all approach. 

1.  “Page 1 Google Rankings, Guaranteed”
Why it is a scam: nobody can guarantee page 1 rankings on Google. Only Google can do that—and they aren’t in the SEO game.

How to save your SEO: the most important rule to follow is: don’t work with anyone who will “guarantee” results. If the pull is too great to refuse, then tell them you will pay when they deliver on it. Do your research though. Look at their previous successes and ask for references.

2. “We’ll get you listed with THOUSANDS of search engines!”
Why it is a scam: because it isn’t important. We all use Google, religiously. We’re all married to Google and most of us wouldn’t dare cheat on our beloved and trusted partner.

How to save your SEO: focus primarily on Google. There are a few who use Yahoo! and Bing of course, but to satisfy this minority it will take you all of two minutes (and cost you nothing!) to submit your site to those two search engines.

3. “We’ll submit your site to 300 directories for just $39.95”
Why it is a scam: while they might actually be able to get your site on many random directories, but any directory that doesn’t require payment or any type of verification won’t be worth much in terms of an inbound link. They also won’t be relevant directories, they’ll be “Bob’sRandom List-o-Links”.

How to save your SEO: spend your time—and money—submitting your site to relevant directories in your vertical. For example, if you run a lumber company then list it on “The Lumberjack’s List-o-relevant-Links”. If your business is Oregon-based then submit it to Oregon-based directories.

4. “Guarantee to increase you ranking  in just 23 Days!”

sham seo

Why it is a scam: it is just not possible. Google has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its algorithm, and trust us—they didn’t spend that money so some hack could manipulate the rankings in a single day.

How to save your SEO: if you need a quick boost in sales that being on page one of Google can bring then place some ads on AdWords. Your ad will be at the top of page one immediately. After that, be sure to use some of the sales you get from it to invest in a long-term SEO strategy.

5. “We have a Google employee who helps us”
Why it is a scam: they don’t. Even if they did Google search results are determined by algorithm, not by Bob in the Search Results department.

How to save your SEO: believe in the Google algorithm, and don’t trust anyone who says they have an ‘inside man’.

6. “We have a trade-secret methodology”

seo secret shams
Why it is a scam: the only trade secrets in the Google game—belong to Google. Their 200+-point algorithm is a trade secret—and trust us when we say Bob & Jane’s SEO Services doesn’t know them.


How to save your SEO: stick with what we do know works for SEO: plenty of inbound links, great content, keyword research and use, etc. Stick with all the known white-hat SEO tricks and you will be fine.

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