It was a cloudy, wintry Wednesday afternoon when I received an email from a valued client:
Yesterday someone called from Google to confirm information about our business – i.e. address, phone number, etc., and it essentially escalated into them saying someone from our company reached out regarding SEO and guaranteed placement on the first page of google results for our business. We scheduled a “demo” for tomorrow to show me how it works – and see if spending $399 a month to guarantee this placement would be something the boss was interested in.
Just thought I should let you know, and see what you think about this whole thing/ if it is legitimate and actually Google calling. (They did say they were calling from Google Quality Control).”
My reaction to this email was a mixture of emotions; It ranged from annoyance and anger to incredulity and disbelief.
(Skip intro, jump to “Top 10 SEO Scams in 2020“)
Incredulity and disbelief that scammers would be so bold as to pose as Google representatives (under the guise of “Google Quality Control”, which if you know anything about how Google works with the public, is nothing short of hilarious); annoyance and anger that this scammer was possibly making my business life harder by influencing my client to make ill-informed and bad decisions for their business and online reputation. Decisions that would severely hurt their online rankings and take considerable effort and money to recover from.
After looking past the initial emotions triggered by this email, I gathered my thoughts and began to craft an email response to my client in an effort to educate – while illuminating the high likelihood that this was a scam they were being pitched. There are no shortages of internet scammers trying to make a quick buck.
“Yeah, sounds fishy to me, you may be dealing with a rogue SEO:
- Google wouldn’t call any company regarding their SEO. Ever.
- Google wouldn’t call a company that is already managed by an agency that is handling their Google Ads. They would call the agency (if ever).
- Google won’t guarantee first page results and neither does any respectable, legitimate agency, because of Google SEO guidelines.
- We’ve worked hard on your business SEO for the past 2 years, getting the website to consistently rank in first place for valuable branded and unbranded keywords for many pages, so what exactly is their goal here?“
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful way to get high rankings for your business website organically.
Organic listings on Google search results are trusted far more than paid listings and advertising.
Because of the massive power behind organic listings on Google search and the potential high return on investment on SEO services, business owners and decision makers are naturally gravitating towards investing properly in SEO.
And because savvy business owners and business professionals are becoming ever aware of the power of SEO to bring high quality business leads and sales for the long term benefit of their business, many self-titled “SEO Experts” have emerged to meet this demand by making unrealistic and fraudulent promises such as offering guaranteed rankings.