Search engine optimization known as SEO is a set of methods that people use to improve ranking on search engines. In my Opinion it’s totally fine to make sure your website is optimized to rank in Google, and Bing. What is wrong is lying to customers.
Years ago, Google came along as a search engine and made links a major part of how websites would rank in the search results. The way links are counted towards search results has grown, and changed over the years, but links are still a major factor for search rankings.
As explained in a blog post by a Dallas SEO Agency.
Prior to modern search engines, websites were found using directories and blog roles, where sites would link to each other so that people could discover more of the web. This linking, along with basic keyword recognition, was how Google indexed and ranked websites. When this started to get abused by webmasters who would build sites, write spam content, and buy links to rank, Google updated the algorithm. Google also told website owners to change their behavior or risk getting deindexed. Full Article
Links have always been a part of improving search rankings, and Google has penalised a lot of websites for being spam, and buying or building low quality links. Now low quality comment spam has all but disappeared, and people are being ethical about link building, following the Google Webmaster Guidelines; right?
Not really, buying links is still a thing. Now, the link buying is also often more deceptive. As people aren’t just buying a link, they are after credibility. They want people, not just search engines to view them as important. So they buy links for news sites, and they stick those logos on the home page of their websites.
Unethical online agencies were writing about clients in major publications like Forbes Inc. and Entrepreneur. Those clients weren’t just buying links, they were proclaiming the the world that they were in a major publication, and were credible, because Forbes said so. Buying a link in Inc. Magazine and putting the logo on a website is not SEO, it is fraud.
SEO agencies are often the worst offenders of this kind of “look how cool we are” fraud. This is an example of the Awards section of a large, SEO agency.
Those look, impressive, they are a top SEO, and they are part of the Forbes Agency Council But these are awards nearly anyone can buy. Want to get ranked a top SEO, just pay up!
If you pay $3,500 you can have any site listed as a “Top SEO firm” or for a few thousand you can join the Forbes Agency Council. This article, talking about Fake Gurus, shows a screenshot of the receipt of nearly $2,000 for them to write for Forbes. Showing that logo isn’t SEO, it’s fraud.
The above screenshot shows a time I fell for the bait. The sales tactics by the Forbes Councils are very close to those used by fake gurus. I was first invited to contribute, and days later, after telling my proud mother and several friends that I would be a Forbes contributor, I was asked for my credit card number to pay nearly $2,000 for the privilege. I almost immediately asked for and received a refund. But for a moment, I was willing to buy into the idea the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful
Most of the SEO awards in honors, the kind of things that make marketing agency websites rank in Google, and help land clients are fraud. People aren’t just trying to fool google, they are trying to fool you! Do you really want a “Top SEO” who is part of the Forbes council, or do you want someone who is honest. SEO is SEO take the link, but don’t lie to your customers.