In the online marketing world, everyone is eager to make money from their websites so it’s no surprise that mastering SEO is a much desired skill. However, a small group of people would rather outsource it to someone else and while that’s not a wrong thing to do, you should never buy cheap SEO services. Let me tell you why.
Most of Them Aren’t Professionals
SEO is a valid industry and those who use it to build a career do so by getting themselves educated and learning from experiences. It’s a time consuming process which makes their services more dignified and hence, their sometimes highly-priced fees.
However, every industry has a bad apple and the same goes to SEO. When there’s profit to be made, some people will always take advantage and do it at the expense of others. And how they do that? They offer a desired service for a very low price that’s hard to resist.
They creep into the consumer’s mentality and try to manipulate from every possible angle. They operate behind the vague names and bogus companies because they know that their identities must not be seen in the light. Yet, they continue to thrive and they do so by targeting newcomers who don’t know any better.
Yes, people like you who just started a business website and eager to get traffic and maybe a small percentage who are just impatient and want an overnight success. Their services come in different packages and are literally everywhere, if you cared to look.
Where Can You Find Them
#1 Marketplaces (you go to them)
Despite the shady activities, it’s not uncommon to see them promoting on marketplaces. Why would they be allowed to do so in the first place? I don’t really know, but I am guessing that the lack of legislation could be one of them.
When I started my blog in 2014, one of the earliest places I went to search for graphic resources is Fiverr and that’s the first time I saw ‘them’. Under the SEO category, I would find a ton of services that claim to boost web traffic in the shortest amount of time. Even until today, I still see them. They would provide a lot of testimonial for their work along with many boosted customer reviews.
Back then, I was interested, but also guarded at the same time. Can you buy online traffic? Is it even legal? I asked the question and many advised against it.
The logic about using automated systems to manipulate traffic pattern which subsequently leads to a website’s downfall makes a lot of sense to me from the very beginning.
The more feedback I read online, the more I learned about the harsh reality of fake traffic and how it caused many websites to reach a point of no return. Many who use it, regretted and I certainly don’t want to share the same fate. But those who still crave for this type of fake SEO, they will continue to search for these activities.
Enter SEOClerks, an online marketplace that specifically caters for all things SEO. The number of sellers here outweighs Fiverr many folds and the services are more diverse. You can purchase comments, traffic, reviews and even social media likes for as low as $1!
Over here, the identities – name, face and origin – are more exposed so you will have a rough idea who the seller is. Most of these people claim to be freelancers, some have customer reviews and some don’t. However, when you read the sales pitch on their offer page, it’s very obvious that you will be very disappointed with the quality, even though the service may look legitimate.
For example, under the ‘Articles for Sale’ section, when I read some samples, a few things came across my mind. Is the article written by someone who’s an English native? Did it come from a spin writing machine or a bunch of PLR articles? Read the examples below and judge for yourself.
If you asked me, I would pass the offer. Even though English is my second language, I am pretty sure I could write better than that. As much as I support the freelance market, I just can’t see how this type of work can offer anything beneficial to SEO.
#2 Email Promotions (they come to you)
Since I don’t use those marketplaces, I thought I would have nothing to do with these services until recently, I started getting a stream of emails invading my inbox. They came through the contact page on my website, which means they are probably doing this manually.
Over the past one month, I’ve received the following offers;
- Free traffic generation from real visitors.
- Link Building.
- Boost Alexa rankings
- Instagram followers (I don’t even have an Instagram account)
- Targeted traffic from the US and European countries (no thank you, most of my traffic derives organically from the US and the UK)
Honestly, I couldn’t care less and most the time, I just delete them, but it’s quite annoying when they spam you this way. Out of curiosity, I clicked through a few links from the emails and discovered a whole new range of (underground) SEO services altogether.
These people are now creating their own sites to promote their stuff and the ‘cheap’ offers that you would see in the emails are just the dangling carrot. It seems like they are moving away from the marketplace setting to form team collaboration for more competitiveness. However, ‘raising the bar’ doesn’t change the fact that they are still doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Just to show you what’s going on, one service offered me these backlink packages and they are certainly far from cheap. The importance of backlinks has been diluted over the years because so many people abuse it so this type of service will not help at all.
Another one was trying to sell me hand-written articles (whatever that means) for these amount of prices without offering any samples.
And here’s another one – skyrocket my Facebook traffic from US with a software. Wow, there’s so many red flags in the advert!
The tactics they use to get your attention is shocking and invasive. I don’t know how many more emails I’ll be getting (or what I can do to stop them) and what sort of offers I’ll be seeing tomorrow.
But something tells me they aren’t going to stop and the only way I can protest is to write articles like this to educate more people. Using such services isn’t only a waste of time and money, but it will also compromise the presence and quality of any type online business that you are trying to build and sustain.
Don’t Fall for Short Cuts
After reading all the emails, it makes me wonder. If they could find my website on the search engines and initiate contacts, chances are, I am already ranking for certain keywords in my niche. That means, my current understanding AND practice of SEO is working.
Hence, I don’t need to buy cheap (or expensive) SEO services to gain visibility. Yes, I do spend hours researching keywords to come up with original content and certainly don’t get any burst of traffic overnight. But that’s okay.
At least I know that I am serving humans instead of robots. At least I am not using any type of unlawful automated system to gain rankings and risk getting slapped by Google. In doing so, my site will only continue to thrive and gain all the positive effect from natural online engagement.
The bottom line is this – SEO isn’t some kind of rocket science. You can learn and master it on your own through good online training platforms like Wealthy Affiliate. If not, engage with professional services that can do the right job. Don’t be gluttonous and certainly don’t hope for success through shortcut methods.
I hope this article has been an educational piece for you. If you’ve anything to add to the subject matter, feel free to discuss in the comment area below.