Have you been hit by one of the recent Google updates? Almost invariably the answer is yes, irrespective of who you are or what you do. Pretty much every site has seen one or more aspect of their business affected by these changes and in some cases Google has single-handedly done its best to wipe out small business owners in the UK.
In most of the cases we’ve looked at the reasons appear shrouded in a fog of misinformation but most probably hark back to link building done years ago which has only now become toxic. Having just sorted through over 9000 links for one client and found just 300 bad links (admittedly pretty poor) we know how much time and effort this takes and what needs to be done to put right the damage wreaked by Google.
Business owners across the land are all looking for answers and if you go online you will find no shortage of people willing to provide a solution; at a cost. Over the weekend one of our clients, with our support, thought they would try and see what they could get from some of these providers and see if they could provide an angle we’d not considered or something extra which could help free the penalty quicker. What we’ve found is nothing short of shocking. The cowboys are back. The men in the black hats, having caused the problem are now preying on business owners the world over and offering clean up services when frankly, what they are suggesting is no more than some cheap automated service.
What made us so mad was that in one instance, for $40 our customer got a cut and paste report from a free online SEO site checker tool, the main recommendation of which was that his site had been penalised because he hadn’t got any meta keywords in it. $40 to be told you need to insert something that search engines haven’t used in any form for over three years.
So a quick word from a firm that is dealing with this day in and day out; beware of snake oil salesmen. They are all over the web at the moment and some of them are out for nothing but your hard earned cash. Firms that prey on the vulnerable are worthy of the choicest invective although we’re too polite to use any of it here.
If you’ve been hit then don’t part with any cash until you are happy that the people you are talking to know what they are doing. Be especially wary of anyone who guarantees to lift the penalty – there are no guarantees with Google and be especially wary of anyone who can produce a report for you in ten minutes. If you are still unsure, ring us. We’ll give a free assessment and tell you if the others are making sense.
There are a lot of very good firms out there who do know what they are doing; make sure you choose wisely.