Some Valued Clients
  • What are the client expectations?  This entails a lot of questions on my part.  I have developed a small questionnaire that covers the basics and I usually go through it during my first meeting or phone interview.  Things like:  “what key words are you trying to rank for?”,  “How long do you think SEO takes?”, “do you make changes to your own site or does someone else?”, Do you have access to site domain and FTP accounts?”.  There are a lot more, but I think you get the idea. 
  • What is the clients understanding of the SEO process?  Do they understand the difference between “on-site” and “off-site” SEO?  Do they understand it may take up to a year (or more) to rank for very competitive keywords?
  • Do they understand that they will have to be intimately involved in the process even though they hired me?  The customer should always sign-off on final keyword selection, article/content creation done on their behalf, press release content and meta-tag changes.  They will also have to provide certain information in the beginning and on-going to make sure that it is a smooth process for all involved
    What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?
    SEO are specialized techniques used to optimize your web site to be search engine friendly and increase your chances of placing well in search results. Without proper optimization, the chances of a high placement in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the keywords important to your business are low. Organic SEO placement in SERPs means that the site naturally displays well in search results. With no need for paid inclusions, PPC advertising, or sneaky tricks often employed by Black Hat SEO practitioners, a site that has good organic placement is likely to be more stable in the long term search engine positions. There will be less likelihood of position changes due to new algorithms frequently applied by Google, MSN and Yahoo. We always strive for strong organic placement.
    Will your SEO programs guarantee me #1 rankings?
    We will absolutely not guarantee that...EVER! Any firm that does, is lying to you. There are no "special relationships" with Google, they just don't do that. We do guarantee that we will work very HARD for you and, if we say we can help you, you will see a significant increase in your SERP rankings.
    How long does it take to start seeing results in your SEO program?
    Results vary. If the keywords you are trying to rank for are very popular, the results will take longer. A typical SEO program can run 6-9 months for competitive keywords and a front page result. Some clients have seen first page rankings within the first 30 days. The answer just depends! We will be happy to give you an estimate based on our experience, but it is never an exact science.
    What is Black Hat SEO?
    Black hat SEO is the practice of employing "Tricks" such as hiding white text on white backgrounds, spamming keyword tags with hundreds of keywords, or cloaking. These Black Hat methods may appear to be a good thing, and in the past, have fooled the Search Engines. Today, the search engine's look for these cheats and penalize your site, sometimes heavily, for their use. We DO NOT employ cheats or tricks to fool the search engines, we use approved techniques that meet Google's web master guidelines. WARNING: The use of "Black Hat" SEO may actually get your site and domain BANNED from Google.
    Should I create a blog for SEO purposes?
    The answer is YES, but not for the reasons you might think. Blogs have no special powers of securing high rankings. What they do have (if done correctly) is fresh, unique content. Search engines do tend to like that, regardless of the format. If they know any given site is adding new articles on a frequent basis, they will come around often to index it. Blogs are certainly one way of easily adding new information to your site. Newsletters archived on your site can provide a similar benefit, as can archived press releases, or a popular forum.
    Should I buy numerous keyword rich domains?

    Unfortunately, there's no good use for those when it comes to the search engines. If you try to gain an unfair advantage in the engines by blanketing them with a lot of different sites, you will then be into that "Black Hat" territory mentioned above. We have a simple solution for this problem.

    Why is my site not showing up in the search engines?

    There are various reasons your web site may not show up, or display well, in search engine results. You may not be using a SEO friendly web design, your site may not be "readable" by the search engines and you may be missing key information for your page to be properly indexed by the search engines. Also, use of some scripts may prevent search engines from indexing your site and/or you may not have properly submitted your site to the srach engines.

    There are more reasons why a site may or may not be showing up in the search engine results....but that's why we're here. To help you solve the mystery of SEO. Give us a call today and we can start making a difference on your search engine result page ranking!

    If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

    Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

    • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
    • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
    • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
    • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
    • What's your experience in my industry?
    • What's your experience in my country/city?
    • What's your experience developing international sites?
    • What are your most important SEO techniques?
    • How long have you been in business?
    • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

    While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site's presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

    • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

      Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

      I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."

      Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

    • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

      Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

    • Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.

      Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.

    • You should never have to link to an SEO.

      Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of "free-for-all" links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines -- at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.

    • Choose wisely.

      While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: While Google doesn't comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.

    • Be sure to understand where the money goes.

      While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they "control" other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn't work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you're considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

    • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
    • One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

      Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

    • What are some other things to look out for?
    • There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It's far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

      • owns shadow domains
      • puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
      • offers to sell keywords in the address bar
      • doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
      • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
      • operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
      • gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware, or scumware
      • has had domains removed from Google's index or is not itself listed in Google

      If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

      In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: and click on "File a Complaint Online," call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

      Federal Trade Commission
      Washington, D.C. 20580

      If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it at









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