“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Anyone with a web site or blog is bombarded with emails from people offering search engine optimisation. This basically means making changes to a website so as to get more visitors from the search engines.
Much of search engine optimisation is quite straightforward – make sure each page has a suitable heading that Google (and other search engines) can find easily, suitable keywords and phrases that people may use when searching, any pictures to have a description of what they are about, page names to be meaningful rather than numbers or acronyms etc.
The provision of search engine optimisation services is a huge industry and millions of people work from home either as independents or working for small companies offering these services. That’s all fine.
Some are good at the job but many are untrained and provide a poor service and many many scammers know this is an easy sell so offer such services, take the money and provide nothing.
One of the latest ways to sell SEO is to offer “pay by performance” meaning that the provider only gets paid when they achieve whatever targets were agreed e.g. to get your business to number one spot on Google searches for specified keywords.
This sounds ideal as in theory you’re not paying until they meet that goal.
But that’s not the case.
- There is usually a one-off setup fee (they may take the money and disappear)
- They need your bank details for their records (they can sell that information to other scammers)
- They need access to your website to make SEO improvements (they can then ransom the site and its contents to you or steal any financial information on the site or add their own adverts or malware to the site).
If you need web site design, SEO, help with social media advertising or any similar online services then research local businesses or independents offering what you want. Do not go with overseas people where you have no idea whether the business is real or scam or you could end up very dearly for that bad decision.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.