As the digital world becomes increasingly important for businesses, many are seeking out search engine optimization (SEO) services in order to improve their online presence, and increase traffic to their websites.

an SEO scammer runs off into the night, holding a computer

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people out there have taken advantage of this desire, and they’re out there trying to pull off SEO scams.

These fraudulent practices are designed to deceive entrepreneurs and leave them with little to show for their investment. To help protect your business from these tactics, we’ll look at some common SEO scams going on right now.


1: The “Guaranteed #1 on Google” Grift

We all want to be number one – it’s just human nature. But when it comes to getting Page 1 rankings on Google, there’s no cheap, quick answer.

This is probably one of the most common scams in the SEO business.

It’s like those late-night infomercials that promise six-pack abs in 10 days – if it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a rip-off. And if someone’s offering you a $250-per-month special that includes “guaranteed page 1” rankings, you probably want to run in the opposite direction.

Competition is fierce when it comes to rank high on a Google search. Makes sense. The higher up on the page you are, the more customers will be able to find you.

For that reason, ranking high on Google search results is like trying to climb Mount Everest. It takes a lot of money, planning, time, and hard work to even get close to the top.

But even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll be the one waving the victory flag at the summit. Why? Because everyone else is also trying to reach the peak too! And they’re not just going to let you have 1st place without a fight.

So if someone tells you they can guarantee you Page 1 ranking for a low-low price, they’re probably also trying to sell you oceanfront property in Nebraska.

After all, if ruling Google’s rankings were that easy, we’d all be doing it.


2: The “Free Writer” Racket

This one sounds like a great opportunity for both parties involved: A writer offers to write for your website, free of charge. You get free content. The writer gets to add some clippings to their portfolio. Win-win!

However, this seemingly friendly offering can quickly turn into a scam.

Free writing scammers embed links to unrelated websites in their blog posts, or turn certain words into links, making your website part of their private blog network (PBN).

A PBN is a network of websites that exist solely to channel traffic to a particular website.

They’re used to manipulate search engine rankings and boost their website’s visibility. However, these PBNs are typically little more than surface-content websites that provide no real value to users.

As you can imagine, this violates Google’s terms and conditions. If your site gets tangled up in a PBN, it could hurt your website’s reputation and rankings.

That’s why it’s important to focus on generating quality content and using genuine link building tactics within your company’s website.


3: The “Fake Bill” Bunko

a scam SEO bill, with certain elements redactedThis sketchy scam targets businesses by sending fake invoices under the guise of SEO services.

Several companies out there have been accused of faxing invoices to unsuspecting businesses, claiming they owed $95.87 for SEO services they never received.

Recently, our office received this fake bill, though the charge was $99.58 – I guess inflation’s been hitting the scammers hard too.

According to reports made to the Better Business Bureau, several businesses tried to reach out for more information, but were met with an automated message and no way to talk to a live representative.

This is a prime example of scammers preying on peoples’ lack of due diligence when it comes to paying invoices.

The lesson here is clear: Never rush to pay an invoice without making sure it’s valid, especially if it’s unexpected, or from an unknown company.


We’re Here to Help

SEO scams have unfortunately become increasingly prevalent in recent years, and businesses must remain vigilant and aware of the potential risks.

But even though there are plenty of pitfalls in the world of digital marketing, don’t let these scams dissuade you from investing in proper SEO – just be smart about who you partner with.

Smart Link Solutions is here to help!

Our team of experts is dedicated to keeping up with the ever-changing business world. That means staying on top of the latest trends, as well as the latest scams to avoid – because who needs that kind of headache? So if you want to explore legitimate practices that increase your ranking, reach out to us to find out more. 

We can help you navigate the internet with ease and confidence – contact Smart Link Solutions today!