Search engine optimization professionals have had a rocky ride since the first ones started marketing themselves as such in the early 2000s. Much of that is earned and justified, but some of it just prejudice. Here is the good and the bad about SEO and what these professionals might do to earn a better reputation.
- SEO is not a quick-fix solution – This is probably the No. 1 reason SEO has a bad rep. Many non-SEOs simply do not understand that you can’t take a poor website, put an SEO band-aid on it, and expect it to be fixed forever. On the other hand, SEOs themselves have not done themselves any favors by making promises about fixing things they couldn’t fix.
- Sell the white hat, practice the black hat – What would you think of someone who told you they were ethical and performed only sound and acceptable practices just weeks before your website was banned from the search engines? You’d be a little skittish, wouldn’t you? Not all SEOs do this, of course, but enough of them have that it has raised a few red flags.
- They’re stuck in the past – Some SEOs are still stuck in 1999, or 2003. They haven’t updated their practices or their philosophies. No wonder they’re losing business.
- They’re misunderstood – Many non-SEOs simply don’t understand what search engine optimization is and what it is supposed to do for them. As a result, they have misconceived notions that they either refuse to let go of or that SEOs let them go on believing.
Not all SEOs are bad people, or even bad SEOs. But many times, a small business website needs more than an SEO fix. It may need design work, it might need additional promotion off site, or it might need some structural overhaul. A pure SEO may not be qualified to fix your website and you’ll have no way of knowing without a true blue website evaluation.