Cheap SEO or Link Building Can Hurt Your Website

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Sure, we all love to save money on products and services. However, there are certain products and services you should not sacrifice price or quality. Every day I receive one to two robot dial calls and spam emails offering me cheap search engine optimization and link building services. Every single one claims they will get me to rank in the first three spots of Google’s organic results, for the low price of $200 or $300. I know better and ignore these unqualified and cheap services that may end up having a negative impact and might get my blog penalized.

For those not familiar with Google’s algorithm penalties. Here is a bit of advice the next time you receive a call or email offering cheap SEO or link building services; hang up the phone or mark the email as spam. The sales person will tell you what you want to hear without even bothering to analyze your website or industry. So steer clear and in this case; you will get what you paid for.

Back in 2009 and prior, it was possible to rank using cheap SEO and link building services, because Google had not tightened up the noose on penalties. Post Penguin and Panda, it is just a matter of time of when your website will be hit.

Example of Cheap SEO

Last year I was working on an organic search engine optimization campaign that was doing exceptionally well. They were receiving more organic leads than they had ever received and were dominating their competitors with local search queries. It took many long hours of getting their website completely optimized as well as earning enough quality links to increase their ranking and revenue. However, when the contract renewal conversation was completed. They believed they were paying too much for SEO.

So we mutually decided to part ways and they hired a local SEO company that convinced them to redo their website. However, when they launched the new website it was and is a complete mess and they built several hundred BAD links. So as a result of the new website and bad links, their traffic is down by approximately 50%. See below:

Why is Expensive SEO Cheaper than Cheap SEO?

When you hire an inexpensive search company, chances are they are not going to create a plan or research the existing campaign to identify areas of improvement. They operate on a one-size-fits-all approach. These companies believe since it worked for one client it will work for all of their clients, despite the fact that it is a different industry.

On Page Optimization The new search engine optimization company will not bother auditing your website to identify weaknesses. In fact most of the time they will re-write all of the page titles and meta descriptions by keyword stuffing them for using the keywords you want to rank for. Or they will stuff your existing keyword themed content to the point that it does not make any sense to the readers.

However, if you hire a professional search company they will perform an audit of your website to find opportunities to improve organic ranking. Some of the items they will look for are listed below.

  • Look through GWT to identify areas to improve
  • Duplicate content
  • Harmful Links
  • Improve page titles and meta descriptions to increase clicks
  • Adequate loading speeds
  • Ensure all website conversions are tracked using analytics
  • Improvements to increase conversions
  • Mobile-friendly test

Link Building Earning good links takes time and effort as well as great content that people want to link back to. Therefore, it is nearly impossible for a reputable search optimization company to get websites to rank working with a $300 monthly budget. Although an unscrupulous company can create hundreds of low quality back links per month using scripts to submit hundreds of links using article spinning, forum profiles, low quality directories, etc.

As I mentioned earlier in the past it was possible to increase organic ranking using these tactics but in 2015, I would not dare relying on these methods to create back links.

Since link building is not as easy as it used to be, earning a few links per month can be time consuming. Plus there has to be something on your website or blog that people want to link back to or reference on their website. So if you are not creating something that provides value, solves a problem or answers a question. Who is going to link to your sales page?

Take the time to create an awesome piece of content that will aid the link building company when they are performing outreach to earn links to your website. Do your best to be the best in your industry.

Just recently we signed a client that is in the hard lending industry. On pure merit alone who is going to want to reference them? Answer, not too many people. However, during the intake session we learned that they have a huge database of the entire United States that we can use to create a yearly industry trends report for real estate investors. We are in the creation and outreach process and we have six major real estate investment websites and industry publications interested in receiving it before it goes live to everyone else.

Of course the budget for this project is much higher than $300 per month. Would your cheap SEO company be able to put something like this together? Answer, no!

There is nothing wrong with saving money but when it comes your company’s website do not take any chances. Make the investment in hiring a search engine optimization company that is going to produce results and not only increase your organic ranking but also your online revenue. You will know if they are producing results by simply setting up conversion tracking and checking your website’s traffic with analytics software. If you are still not convinced refer to the analytics image above, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

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Originally published at on August 31, 2015.

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