According to the Borrell Associates, total US spending for SEO will be pushing 80 Billion in the year 2020. SEO has been more and more expensive and complicated field of knowledge and the type of service to assess and run for your business.
On the one hand, you stand zero chances of showing up in Google SERPs in 2018 if your website is not optimized but on the other hand – finding an affordable yet effective agency to do business through is a challenge hard to pursue.
If you’ve hired an SEO company and you’re site has dropped or been penalized (and only manual penalties come with a notification by the way) – did you understand what happened? When you got a fixed price quote – did they inform you who the person performing your SEO was?
What country they were in? That maybe they’re doing SEO for 2000 different businesses maybe? That they’re really just paying some company in India (or Malaysia, or Pakistan, or the Ukraine) and they don’t know what they’re doing?
Even though there are companies that allow an independent and impartial assessment of your SEO campaign real cost, like Promotionstep agency, but 10 pages monthly reports look too professional to doubt and question those.
Is black hat that terrible (and why certain risks are justifiable)?
Blackhat isn’t something that the “SEO industry” occasionally dips it’s feet into. Spam is something we’ve been fighting for as long as I can remember. Every industry we enter, we end up competing against spam and blackhat-SEO. It’s very easy to level a crossbow at SEO and take a swipe with a tar brush but let’s look at things from a practical point of view:
There are many, many digital agencies that offer SEO in some format. Call it “SEO lite” or “SEO Built-in” or “SEO Starter Packs.” We have a little bit of experience in this area and this has always made us cringe. If you’re getting €100 per month in SEO for your retail site or your gift store or your golf course or your dental practice – where does this monthly fee incorporate the different levels of competition.
For us, SEO and the input needed is based purely on search competition and geographical markets. Others have prices based on links, keywords and other fudge. Fudge, that’s going to get them into trouble.
Most companies who use spammy SEO techniques or employ agencies on their behalf – don’t understand it and probably don’t care. Over the years, I’ve had people just wanting a price – no idea about what their website looks like, what they do, where their customer is. How do businesses develop this kind of attitude? It’s not from us and it’s not from any of the SEO’s I know.