SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the art and science of making search engines rank your site high in the natural search results when someone types in a query. That’s the intent of SEO, however. Since SEO is still an emerging field, there is no “governing body”, and the rules sometimes change. A good SEO professional understands these changing rules, and knows how to properly apply them. A bad SEO specialist generally makes mistakes, or purposely tries to deceive the system to win “fake” high rankings.
It is not true that you have no control over what appears in the search engines. The content that you put on your site determines where you appear in the search engine results page (SERP). If your site is about “widgets”, you’re probably not going to appear in search results about “bus fares”. The most important thing you can do on the web is to represent yourself honestly. If your site is about “widgets”, and the content on your site talks about “widgets” then you’ll probably appear somewhere in the SERP for “widgets”. A good SEO professional can help you rank higher for “widgets”, among other well-researched, and relevant keywords.
What is the Difference Between a “Good” SEO Service, and a “Bad” One?
A bad (“blackhat”) SEO marketer is like a vendor walking down the street selling snake oil. You may think you’re getting a deal, but you can’t be sure of the consequences. A good SEO marketer is like a pharmacist. They have studied all the tried and true techniques to solve your problem and probably have a good idea of how to safely and effectively address your issue.
The Benefits of Hiring bad SEO:
Your site could shoot straight to the top, ranking #1 for your keywords
You could earn a few new customers quickly and make a quick buck
The cost is far less than what your friends and competitors are paying for SEO
The Costs of Hiring bad SEO:
When the search engines catch on, your site could be penalized (drastically downgraded) in the rankings, ending up worse than before
Your site could be temporarily banned from the search engine (completely unfindable – expect 6-12 months)
Your site could be permanently banned from the search engine (completely unfindable – for good)
When any of the above occurs, there will be lost productivity from having to remove all the search engine spam from your site
It could be hard to track down all the tricks the SEO Market used to artificially boost the rankings, and therefore it could take a long time to get back into the results pages
Once penalized or banned, you will lose all the potential customers you would have gained had it been done correctly
A professional SEO consultant will probably have to be hired at additional cost to fix it and do the job right