Organic SEO and local SEO are both loaded with service offers from very well-known companies. Unfortunately, the success many of these businesses have had in other related fields does not translate into successful SEO services. Here are some of the services from well-known companies that you shouldn't waste your time or money on.
For $2.99 per month, you can sign up for GoDaddy SEO services. They will submit your website to search engines and create a site map, plus give you some keywords. Unless you have the only gas station in the middle of Montana, this service isn't going to do anything for you. Even worse, services like this lead uninformed business owners to believe paying $500 a month for local SEO is outrageous. Don't waste your money on this service and do not think it is anywhere close to being a real SEO service.
Here is what the GoDaddy plan includes:
SEO from a phone book company, seems legit; right? Just like GoDaddy, this service offers very little in terms of real SEO services. Yellow Pages has plans starting at $295 per month instead of $3 though so if you want to try one of the two, GoDaddy is a much cheaper place to waste your money.
Yelp is a directory that lists businesses by location and allows users to leave reviews for them. This is primarily used to attract local searchers to your website and for the SEO purpose of building a citation to your website. The issue with Yelp is that they filter reviews and show only the worst ones. While they claim many reviews are filtered to ensure the trustworthiness of reviews on their site, the truth is, they show the worst reviews and offer a paid service which will allow the good reviews to appear. Sounds like extortion because it is, don't get suckered into paying for Yelp.
(Below is a newspaper ad taken out by Brass and Glass in the San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper, it sums up Yelp pretty well in my opinion.)
Dex Yellow Pages
As with the other big brands, you are going to pay a lot and receive a little in return. Dex is especially harmful to local SEO because they use call tracking numbers so they can track and show you how many calls you have received from their listings. As you may know, a key component of ranking locally is citations with consistent name, address and phone number (NAP) data. Between the call tracking numbers and listings that disappear after you are done with the service, Dex is one to steer clear of.
This service is geared toward local SEO and in case you don't know, Yext is a service that allows you to submit your NAP data to 47 directory sites with one submission. The pricing for Yext is about $500 per year for these 47 listings. If you were to use a very reputable local SEO like Whitespark, you could get 125 manually built citations for the same price as the first year of Yext. Additionally, numerous consumers have reported losing listings, finding there listings locked, and finding the wrong NAP data on listings once they no longer subscribe to the service. Hire a company like Whitespark or BrightLocal instead of getting burned by Yext.
The basic premise of this service is that you submit your keyword and then you pay a certain amount each month based on the keyword and where it ranks, if you are not in the top 30, you do not pay at all. Here is an example:
While this may sound like a great pricing structure, getting paid for rankings is a surefire way to encourage a company to cut corners to rank you faster and get paid sooner. Additionally, if you go on to read about how they will rank your site, the mention having connections with several publishers. This is a nice way of saying we are going to submit your links to a public blog network, which as you know get busted all the time. If you want public blog network links, go to Iwriter and you can get 500 of them for $20.
The six services listed above are only a few of the not-so-useful SEO companies and services that you should watch out for. When you are looking for someone to help with your SEO, ask for examples, credentials and references. You should also ask how they will rank your site and what methods they will be using. If they will not disclose how they plan to rank your site, you should look elsewhere as secrecy is usually for a reason.
Have you tried any services and found them to be particularly worthless? If so, I would love to hear about your experience below.
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