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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Google's Advice for Hiring SEO Professionals

In the past we have provided newsletters about the benefits of hiring a professional SEO and how to tell a quality SEO firm from those who use spamming techniques. I have recently discovered that Google provides its own set of guidelines on how to choose a search engine optimization firm, which very much worth reading.

Before you read Google’s advice you should head on over to Search Engine Watch to read Danny Sullivan’s excellent article which provides a line-by-line look at each of Google’s tips and whether it is sound advice or not. Ultimately Google is on the right track but there are some flaws in their analysis. You can read Danny Sullivan’s article here: http://www.searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2165161, and Google’s original tips here: www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html.

How Pole Position Marketing Compares

Along these lines, I thought it would be helpful to compare how Pole Position Web stacks up against Google’s recommendations for choosing an SEO company. Let’s take a look at each of Google’s points one at a time.

Be wary of SEO firms that send you email out of the blue.
I agree! My inbox gets loaded with offers from site submissions and “SEO” firms claiming they have visited my site and see that I could use help getting listed in the search engines. We send e-mail only to those who have taken the time to contact us first, or have visited our site requesting more information. If you receive this newsletter it is only because you have been in contact with us first!

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
In fact, no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on any search engine outside of the pay-per-click services. We don’t claim to have any special relationships with any search engines and don’t claim we can guarantee any specific top ranking on any specific search engine. We do, however, guarantee that with our optimization services you will receive multiple top rankings across multiple search engines for your search terms. We continue to work on your site to push the rankings as high as possible for each of your terms, and if we can’t deliver, you don’t pay us.

Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.
How your site is going to be optimized should never be kept secret. It is, after all, your site and you should be fully aware of the optimization and promotion process. We try hard to keep the client in the loop and make sure they understand what we will be doing and how it will be achieved. We keep no secrets.

You should never have to link to an SEO.
This title is a bit misleading. If you read the accompanying information Google states “Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines.” This is good advice, and as Danny Sullivan points out in his article, a good SEO firm will help you build the kind of links that will benefit your site. Pole Position Web offers a quality link-building service designed to improve your relevance, not spam the search engines with free-for-all links.

Some SEOs may try to sell you the ability to type keywords directly into the browser address bar.
Recently there was a service called “Real Names” that everybody thought was the next big gig in SEO. They way it worked is if you purchased the term “SEO” from Real Names, your site would come up if someone typed in “SEO” in the browser address bar. Real Names has since closed its doors and most browsers redirect to search engines when a keyword, rather than a URL is typed into the browser bar.

Choose wisely.
Excellent advice. You can, of course, view information on all of our promotion services at www.PolePositionMarketing.com.

Be sure to understand where the money goes.
This is important just so you understand how much you are being charged and for what. Without a price-breakdown, there is really no way to compare one companies’ services with another.

Talk to many SEOs, and ask other SEOs if they would recommend the firm you’re considering.
Talk to many SEOs? Yes. Ask other SEOs for a recommendation? No. We encourage you to compare our services with the next guy and we also encourage you to call and ask questions on how our services stack up against a competitors, however I can’t imagine a competitor telling you why you should choose us over them, or vice versa. Get your information, do your research, ask questions, but I don’t think going to other SEOs for referrals is the best way to go. If you want to know how we perform, we’ll be happy to send you a client reference list.

Make sure you’re protected legally.
I’ve never heard of an SEO offering an unconditional money-back guarantee, however it is important to know what you are guaranteed and what happens if that is not fulfilled. Pole Position Web offers a comprehensive guarantee if we can’t deliver results.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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