Could SEO Companies Hurt Your Rankings?

There’s always two sides to every story, and that is definitely true about internet marketing. Many people bank on the fact that they’ve hired SEO companies to work out the kinks with traffic generation and attention online. This is something that many feel is a scenario that will garner them huge successes. It’s true, in some capacity, as there are a lot of positive testimonials to consider when it comes to optimization strategies, and advertising as a whole. The other side of the coin, however, is a long steady list of complaints from people that have trusted professionals to work on SEO and have seen their sites plummet in favor.

seo companyIf you have ever been burned by a company promising you the world in terms of attention online, then you need to understand that not all SEO companies are created equal. You may go out and get a lot of estimates and hire the one with the lowest bid, but when you consider “cheap” optimization and marketing, you will get nothing but “cheap” methods. Shortcuts can be taken in the world of marketing and they are definitely rampant amongst companies working on search engine optimization.

Above all else, the question remains, could SEO companies hurt your rankings?

The short answer is yes. There are some companies today that will harm your pages rank and could even get you penalized by Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This may not seem like a harsh reality at first glance, but when you see your traffic plummet and your earnings go down, you will definitely see a problem developing. You want to make sure that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, as you try to gain market share through digital advertising protocol.

The reason why some companies could harm your rankings is simple, they are taking liberties with your brand. No matter how long you’ve been in business, and no matter how long you’ve had a website up and running, you are going to need help eventually. Even the biggest brands in the world had to consider advertising in the new age. That’s where search engine optimization becomes powerful. The fact that big corporations have people in their tech teams working on this type of optimization is just one of the many reasons why you should not overlook the overwhelming evidence that SEO matters.

Even though it matters, the harm in dealing with SEO companies, stands on whom you use and what they are doing to help you get attention online. If they do any of the shortcuts that are frowned upon by search engines, you can definitely see the drop in your traffic overall. In fact, the drops have been so severe at times that some companies completely folded after recent algorithm changes. Some company saw their websites completely gone from all mentions in search queries, and that’s when things get really bad.

Not all companies are bad. You will find that there are a lot of good designers, marketers, and SEO analysts that will be able to consult you and bring to life your pages for the better. Whether you want to ensure that you have millions of hits, or just a fraction of that number, you will need to have someone dedicated to working on proper protocol for search. Without traffic coming from search engines, you could end up fighting an uphill battle for attention in your industry.

Just remember, your competition is most likely already looking into SEO companies, and could very well use someone that you decided not to. When that occurs, you are going to need more than just a fancy website to compete on a level playing field with others. Keep that in mind as you move forward with hiring anyone for the purpose of optimization strategies and more.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

seodetSearch engine optimization or SEO is an internet marketing strategy focused on making a page visible on unpaid (or in internet terms, organic) search engines. It is the practice of improving as well as promoting a web site, the purpose of which is to increase the number of visitors of that specific site on any given day. Simply put, SEO is simply a matter of making sure that your web site is patterned in a way that all search engines can understand. It is a compilation of techniques a web site owner employs to increase its search engine return pages, abbreviated as SERPS.

One reason why webmasters resort to search engine optimization is to increase his or her search engine result page result. They all wanted to be on the first page of the search result page and if possible emerge as the first on the list of sites. Why is being on top important? If there are several options to a query, the first on the list is the first to be opened. Every site wanted to be the first one people would run to for their queries. More visits mean more traffic and more traffic means more money.

mssghgjhTo truly understand how SEO works, we should first understand how search engines operate. Search engines release their automated robots called crawlers or spiders to crawl around and reach through billions of interconnected documents online. These spiders store the files they crawled into in the search engines database for future use. They create an index of the file, and later on use the details to give the page a “score” and a ranking. When you try to search about something online, the search engine will tap into its database and show results based on two things: relevance and importance. Relevance is not just about finding the exact keywords one is looking for on a document but making sure that the content of the document is what the user needs. Importance, on the other hand is loosely interpreted as popularity. This notion of popularity implies that the more popular a document, file or web site is, the more valuable the information it contained. This is somewhat true and works most of the time.

There are two major categories of SEO techniques: those that are approved by search engines and those that are rejected by them.

A white-hat technique is the technique widely accepted across all search engine platforms. This set of techniques focus directly on searchers and strictly follows search engine rules, policies and procedures.  This technique is also known as Ethical SEO. A white hat technique includes the use of a certain keyword or group of keywords; spread strategically all throughout the article in any webpage. This takes into consideration the keyword density or frequency of appearance of certain keywords in an article. In addition to keywords, contents of web sites using the white hat technique usually employ topics of human interest, therefore making sure that they appear when people search for people related topics.

tuffingA black-hat technique on the other hand, uses aggressive strategies and tactics that solely focus on search engine ratings and not human interest. This technique does not follow the search engine rules. Some forms of black-hat technique are as follows:

  • Keyword stuffing – attempting to manipulate your search ranking by loading a lot of keywords. Some may be out of context or repeated constantly, making it sound unnatural and scripted.
  • Invisible text- as the name implies, is a word or a group of words not seen by the naked eye but are searchable by the search engines. The color of the text is normally the same as the background color of the site making it invisible. Some are even hidden behind graphical images of the site.
  • Doorway pages – these are simple HTML pages that are created to attract search engine spiders. They are meant for the spiders alone since they are the one determining the ranking of a page. Once a searcher lands on that page, he or she is immediately forwarded to the real page.