Google itself has no problem with companies aiding website owners in search engine optimization. In its innocent form, this is just a company trying to help the less informed to get their content read by those who would benefit from it.
With that being said, it is important to know that Google doesn't take kindly to unfair search engine optimization techniques. So if you buy a service that employs such techniques, your ranking can be hurt as a result. So what should a consumer look for in a search engine optimization company?
Stay Skeptical- And Here is how
Customers should become skeptical when several actions or words are said or done on the company's part. A guarantee of the #1 spot for a certain keyword or phrase, for example, is a dead giveaway that the company may be employing black hat methods, or looking to scam customers. Since only Google can rank sites, they are the only ones that can have the final say so in #1 ranking - not SEO companies.
If a company is hesitant to explain what they do for you, this should be another red flag. If they don't feel comfortable in telling, odds are they have a reason. While some companies may say it's a trade secret, this often equates to it being a black hat trade secret.
Another good way to verify an SEO company's worth is to search Google itself for them. If they appear in the top results for their service, then they probably know what they are doing (although still lookout for black hat methods). This is also a good way to find customer reviews of the service, if it's popular enough.
Staying Safe When Things Go Sour
If things do go a little less satisfactory than hoped, there are ways to reclaim what you've lost. But this requires planning beforehand in most cases.
When you apply for an SEO service, be sure to obtain what the company is doing for you in writing. Also include any pricing information, guarantees, discounts, and any other guidelines to stay legally safe. This will ensure a good outcome even if the SEO Company turns on their promise and refuses to refund a customer.
Surprisingly, this isn't done by many webmasters. And when major search engine optimization companies such as Internet Advancement have to refund thousands of dollars via a court decision, that contract will come in very handy. In the Internet Advancement case, customers were guaranteed search engine rankings that many never got. Instead of a refund, the company denied and liability (until of course this changed as the courts came into the matter).
Conclusions For Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization has become a very common place service on the Internet. This fact makes it hard for new webmasters to make it in such as tight industry of already optimized websites. In this sense, new webmasters are almost required to obtain a good SEO service to compete in highly competitive markets.
But as the quest for SEO benefit continues, be sure to keep the above tips and warnings in mind. After all, you work hard for your money and it should be working hard for you (as compared to being a waste on false promises and effort). Doing so will ensure a healthy life for both your website and your wallet - not to mention your pride.