SEO Services were probably not the first thing on your mind when you decided to set up your new blog. You probably thought you would overcome all of the technical difficulties of getting up and running, start creating gobs of awesome content, and sit back as your hundreds of thousands of fans adored you.
Yeah, right. You quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting visitors to your site than just creating good content. You have to promote your site and get people to notice it.
Certainly you have since learned about SEO and are now on the hunt to find some SEO services that can help you boost your rankings in the search engines for the terms you want. But if you are going to benefit from intentional SEO, you need to be aware of the services that you have to avoid.
This article highlights five SEO services that might actually hurt your ranking in the search engines or even get you taken off completely. Avoid these tips at your own peril.
Link Building Services
There are several services that provide you with the ability to write small blog posts and have them distributed to other sites. These are known as link building services, and there are many popular services available.
While they can be effective if done correctly, the problem is that many providers are very savvy, and leave patterns that the search engines quickly recognize which sites are a part of the network. Any links coming to your site from these sources will not provide you the boost that you are looking for, and may even harm your rankings.
If you are thinking about signing up for one of these services because of the easy backlinks you can generate, you should ask some detailed questions how they will operate before proceeding. Here’re some questions to ask. What anchor text would they use? The answer should be a wide variety relevant to your topic. What type of content? Uniquely written at least 500 words.
Blog Comment Services (and Automated Software)
You have heard before that one of the best ways to promote your blog is to participate on others. You know this is true, but who has time to comment on all of those blogs to get some extra readers? Eventually, you will find out about blog commenting services.
Run. Far. Away.
You want to avoid these services because often they will include spammy body copy with a link back to your site. Most of the time, the comment will get noticed as spam and be refused from the site. And then your domain may even be penalized for being so heavily associated with spam.
Finally many blogging platforms have plugins that automatically insert “nofollow” HTML tags to links in the comment section. This means searches engines would not assign any weight to these links in their ranking consideration. So it defeats the purpose all together.
One caveat is if you use a reputable Social Media service company who will actively build relationships on your behalf with other blogger. That might be worthwhile in the long run because other bloggers might then voluntarily add the link of your website to their blogs.
.EDU and .ORG Backlink Services
There are websites and products that promise to boost your ranking in the search engines by providing you with links from .edu and .org domains. What they do is take advantage of forum software loopholes. These are considered blackhat techniques and are frowned upon by the search engines.
The company providing this services will merely create a profile on a forum with a link to your website. It’s totally worthless, though, because the search engines almost always ignore these links.
Article Spinning Services
Article spinning is one of those things that sounds great in concept, but just doesn’t ever hit the mark. Imagine if you could rewrite every word in this sentence using an equal synonym. You would have a completely original article that wouldn’t need to be rewritten!
Think again! The reality is that these articles come off sounding more like something written by an intoxicated foreigner than anything you or I would ever write. These articles are detected by the search engines and usually flagged.
The site receiving the link is often going to get some kind of penalty. It’s in your best interest to pay decent writers fair wages to create unique and engaging content if you’re going to go this route.
Anything Labeled Black Hat or Gray Hat
In the world of computers, black hats are worn by the bad guys, and white hats are worn by the good guys. Since everyone knows there are shades of gray, there are also gray hats. Knowing what kind of search engine techniques the service you are looking at is important.
You want to make sure to avoid anything that is black hat or gray hat. These are tricks that take advantage of current loopholes in the way the search engines work. And this often means that you are going to eventually suffer a penalty when you are found out.
You can also always ask the company providing the service whether or not what they are doing is considered gray hat SEO. If it is, then that means they are mixing some shades of acceptable behavior with some shades of unacceptable behavior. You need to avoid this at all costs.
If you have spent any amount of time building up your blog and are trying to give it a boost so that you can have more readers, you might be better off taking advantage of a Facebook ad campaign, or a Google Adwords campaign. To use these black hat techniques will not help you get serious, long-term readers to your site. You might boost your search engine rankings just a little bit, but in the long term you are going to pay dearly.
Avoid the services listed in this article at all costs if you want to protect your existing rankings with the search engines. The number one thing to remember is that you should always be creating content that is for people, not for search engines. Do this and you will succeed!