How to Spot Reputable SEO Firms and Avoid the Scams

Choosing a reputable Austin SEO Firm can be daunting, with so little knowledge available on what to look for. So the goal of this article is to give you the four key scams to watch out for, when searching for a reputable SEO Firm:


Search engine optimization is one of those unknown fields that has no established standards. Anyone can say they are an SEO or can do SEO work, but that does not mean they have the talent, time or tools to produce any results. There are also programs that claim to help search engine ranking. They do not work either. Period.

An easy way to spot an unknowledgeable SEO or a web designer who poses as an SEO is to ask them if they optimized your site when they designed it. They will answer, “Oh yeah, I optimized it.”

That is equivalent to saying, “Oh yeah, I’ve been working out.” Working out and SEO are never one time events. They are always on-going projects.


A lot of companies will also call people and tell them that they will submit their sites to 2000 directories, which will build their search engine ranking. It is a form of link campaigning–albeit lopsided and one-dimensional. The problem with these “auto-submissions” is that the directories to which they are submitting have safe-guards in place to reject these kinds of mass submissions. Now, here is the scam: the company has technically done what they promised they would do, SUBMIT your site, even though 99% of those submissions will be rejected and thus be of no use to building a client’s search engine ranking.


Another prevalent scam in the industry is for SEOs to try to gull you into letting them pick the phrases to dominate. For instance, say you are a car dealer and your website is: www.

A scam SEO will come to you and say, “We can get you a #1 ranking for ‘Honda Dealer selling used Hondas in small town Texas” They can probably do that for you. Unfortunately, none of your potential clients are going to Google and typing in that phrase.

More sophisticated SEOs will come to you and tell you, “I will try to get you the ranking ‘Honda Dealer New Jersey.’” That sounds like a wonderful phrase to dominate, but their data has told them that no legitimate SEOs are going after that phrase; because, again, while it might sound good, very few people are actually typing that in. People may actually ne using either ‘Big City Honda dealer” or ‘Big City, TX Honda’

What a legitimate SEO will do (like we do here) is to show you the actual data. We will show you the exact numbers of how many people per month are searching for the product or services you offer and what exact keyphrases they are typing in. We won’t go after any of the silly phrases above. We will show you the data AND LET YOU CHOOSE!


There are short cuts that can be used to quickly build a ranking. These shortcuts involve “spammy” techniques that are referred to as Black Hat SEO. One of these techniques includes overloading a website with keywords. This works temporarily, but once the Google algorithm figures out what the site is doing, they will banish the site to what is referred to as “the Google sandbox.” This simply means that the site is marked to never be allowed to have a good ranking in the system and you will need to get your shovel out and dig your way out.

SEOs will sometimes do this because it is the easier than doing the work the honest way. In the long run, the hard, honest way is more effective and far more safe, but it does take longer. A few years ago BMW of Germany hired an SEO firm. This SEO firm applied some black hat techniques and Google found out. BMW of Germany was banished by Google and the auto giant spent the next few years and millions of dollars wooing Google to allow them back in to the system. Google finally agreed, but unless you have millions of dollars and the power of a automotive giant, you have to be careful to choose a Reputable SEO Firm.

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