How affiliates can avoid being scammed into spending vast amounts of money on ‘cowboy’ optimisers

Sales pitch

Let’s start first with the common sense approach of why people get ripped off and why really good SEOs don’t get recommended as much. Some of the most successful SEOs are best at sales and not so much at SEO. It is too bad that their SEO skills or services are not as good as their salesmanship. So if these people are getting ripped off, why are they not being called out in public or in the forums? Fear is probably one factor but most people like to quietly move on and are usually embarrassed to admit they paid a huge amount of money and didn't make any efforts to ensure they were getting their money’s worth. So, they feel like an idiot and will probably keep quiet but another reason for wanting to keep quiet is maybe the fear that the SEO in question would seek revenge and get their site banned because they possess black (hat) magic. They will, however, tell a small number of people, so if you ask around for references they do exist, both positive and negative.

So why aren’t the really good SEOs being recommended all the time? People are greedy. Imagine you hire a SEO and that person does great work for your site and you start to outrank other casino portals that you are competing with. Are you going to be telling people how great this person is? You’ll tell the SEO they did a great job but you secretly wouldn’t want other affiliates getting a hold of this person. The only time you would refer this SEO to anyone else is to close friends or family that work in other industries that you don’t have to compete with.

The best part of SEO is that most of the information and knowledge base is available online and for free. There are some great guides and books on the subject but the truth is that everything can be free if you want it to be. Of course, learning SEO and implementing it takes time so there will always be a need to hire an SEO or to learn the trade.

Tips to avoid getting ripped off by an SEO

1. Trust your gut instinct
If your stomach starts to feel funny it is probably your natural instinct kicking in telling you that you are being deceived and that this person just wants to take your wallet for a joyride.

2. Over promising and under delivering
Most of the time, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. If anything seems like the guaranteed get-rich-quick theme then this is the over promising part; don’t buy and experience the under delivering. If an optimiser can guarantee top listing or instant results then this is, in my strong opinion, a warning sign, and more so if you haven’t even told them your website yet.

3. Ask around for references
If the SEO doesn’t want to share any references at all (which I think is a bad sign) then ask around until you get someone you know or trust who can clarify their credibility. Often, when someone does get ripped off, they then ask around only to find other people who confirm that the SEO is bad news. Just ask!
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