How to Avoid Common SEO Abuses (0)

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Common SEO Abuses

The Google Webmaster help page cautions against the following practices: One common scam is the creation of shadow domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These Shadow Domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on your behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitors domain. If that happens, you have just paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place doorway pages loaded with "Keywords" on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these Doorway Pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such Doorway Pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and it's other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content. This is something that you definitely do not want associated with your site!

There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. This is far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means feel free to walk away if the SEO:

  • Owns shadow domains
  • Offers to sell keywords in the address bar
  • Guarantees rankings, but only on obscure keywords or phrases
  • Operates with falsified Whois info
  • Links to other domains on doorway pages
  • Gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware or scumware

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They handle complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint visit: and click on File a Complaint Online, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580

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