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 With the growing importance of high ranking in the search engines, bogus or scam SEO companies have suddenly appeared out of cyberspace to take your money but give you virtually nothing in return. Here are a few tips of what to watch for when selecting a company to help you gain higher ranking in the search engines:

No search engine optimization company that does great work for their clients will ever cold call you to attempt to gain your business; Any true SEO company who has been successful for their clients does not have to resort to cold-calling to get clients. Word of mouth travels fast in this business and most SEO companies who can actually prove real results have potential clients contacting them!

Mass e-mailing their abilities; Again, the same rule applies as with cold-calling. If the SEO company is genuine, they do not need to advertise their abilities. Potential clients will find them based on the experiences of other people who will share their views in public forums and blogs. Word of mouth travels faster than ever before.

SEO companies who guarantee you number 1 position: If you get pinned down by some supposed SEO expert on the phone, ask them for proof of this expertise other than a company name being number 1. Most company names are unique, so being ranked number one under a unique name is easy as you are the only one there, getting ranked for the marketplace or product the client is selling is the only number 1 ranking that really matters. If your company sells "envelopes" you want to be ranked highly for "envelopes" not "pink and brown envelopes".

Proving the work and who did it: The lastest scam involves bogus SEO companies who take a number one ranked website and attempt to use that as proof of their abilities. If in doubt, look at the source code of the website in question and look for a digital signature or contact the owner of the site for verification. Many website owners will inform you who is truly responsible for their success and will share that information.

Scam SEO companies who send you to their website or ask you to download a file: Never do either one! Some scam artists try to direct you to a website where they can show you faked result pages which look very real, but actually exist on their servers, not on the actual search engine itself. Others will ask you to download a file which will modify your web browser and show you false rankings. You will not realize this until you check your rankings from a different computer.

Always check the SEO company's background. How long have they been in business? How many markets do they serve? Where are they physically located? Ask for a face-to-face meeting if in doubt. A reputable company will be glad to meet with you if possible within reasonable traveling distance. Check their domain name and see how long it has existed. Many scam SEO companies change their domain name and website after a year in business, then start the scam with a new look and name.

Another scam to watch out for lately is the domain name slamming scam. If you receive an official looking invoice from a company called Domain Registry of America, throw it immediately in the trash! Their scam involves you sending in $50.00 to have them RENEW your domain name. What you are actually doing is giving them permission to take control of your website's domain name! In the past few years, we have had several clients fall for this scam and a refund is not available of course. Worst yet, the domain name was directed to a website operated by Domain Registry of America which had nothing to do with the client's web site at all. We recommend that all domain name owners have a lock on their domain name to stop this type of scam company from gaining control of your domain name.


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