Is SEO a Scam: Here’s My Personal Opinion. (2023)

Is SEO a scam? While keyword researching, I stumbled across an SEO-related question that gets asked over 200+ times a month. I’m here to share with you my personal opinion/experience from running websites, providing services to clients, and purchasing services from ‘SEO agencies.’

What instigates the perception that SEO might be deceptive or untrustworthy? The idea that SEO could be regarded with skepticism is not unfounded, and its reputation varies depending on individual perspectives. SEO, being a multifaceted concept, can yield different impressions. Allow me to offer my insights and experiences to shed light on this topic.

From what I’ve seen, these scammy SEO examples include:

  • You purchased a service from an SEO agency and received terrible results.
  • You subscribed or paid for an SEO tool and felt deceived into purchasing something basic.
  • You purchased a course only to end up with basic information you can find on the internet.
  • You followed every step internet ‘gurus‘ told you to do, and you feel that it resulted in wasted time.

From my personal experience and what I see, doing anything online that requires you to spend money or earn money will likely attract scammers. Applying proper SEO to your website can lead to better results for your business, so I wouldn’t say that SEO is a scam.

Is it True That SEO is a Scam?

Is it True That SEO is a Scam

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad term that could be perceived as ‘scammy,’ depending on where you are in the field. SEO isn’t a scam because it works and could make an enormous difference to your company, increase exposure, and have many more benefits. SEO is only scammy, depending on who you decide to work with.

List of Reasons Why I Believe that SEO Isn’t a Scam

  • Increase Visitors/Exposure: Proper SEO on your website will increase your targeted audiences. When you rank at the top of the search engines, people will become more aware of your website (company business, raising funds, increasing followers, etc.)
  • Increase Sales: If you have a product that you want to promote, nothing beats passive and targeted traffic going to your website. I’ll use a “rainbow notebook” as an example. You created a notebook brand and decided to share it all over social media. However, you’re receiving zero or low orders. When you do SEO, like targeting certain keywords with volume, people interested in rainbow notebooks are likelier to buy.
  • Increase Followers/Subscribers: Have you ever searched for something and often encountered the same website over and over? Maybe you encountered an individual blogger and became a fan of their work. Doing good SEO work can lead to an increase in subscribers or followers. Similar to collecting an email list, you’ll have an audience to promote your business and what you do.

Here are some reasons I believe why you feel that SEO is a scam.

1. Bad SEO Companies

It’s crucial to acknowledge the coexistence of reputable and less scrupulous companies. While some SEO firms genuinely deliver on their promises, there are others that make grandiose claims only to yield disappointing outcomes. To safeguard your interests and mitigate the risk of entanglement with subpar SEO providers, exercising due diligence and consulting trustworthy reviews is imperative.

For individuals who possess little to no experience in the intricacies of SEO, relying on reputable review sources becomes especially vital. This precautionary measure is grounded in the unfortunate reality that certain SEO companies employ questionable tactics to present superficially positive results, only for the house of cards to crumble once Google imposes penalties.

Hence, even if you engage the services of an SEO agency and witness an initial upswing in performance, it’s prudent to exercise patience and refrain from premature accolades. In my earlier days, I delved into the depths of black hat SEO, learning through experimentation and observation.

This experience highlighted a disconcerting trend, where numerous marketing agencies leaned on these unethical techniques to generate rapid but unsustainable results, often culminating in punitive actions by search engines.

2. Bad SEO Course

Within the digital landscape, a plethora of self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ market courses offer information already readily accessible on the internet. When I use the term ‘fake,’ I’m alluding to individuals who present themselves as experts in areas where their practical experience is notably lacking. Many of these individuals excel as persuasive salespeople, but caution is warranted.

While social media platforms offer a valuable space for connection and information sharing, there exists a darker facet to this realm. Take, for instance, the influence of social proof, where certain SEO product reviews can be particularly convincing. However, it is imperative to hone your ability to discern between authentic and counterfeit reviews, as the latter is often exploited as a potent marketing tool to bolster sales.

Do I Need SEO For My Website?

Do I Need SEO For My Website

If you aspire to bolster your website’s viewership, drive sales, or boost any metrics tied to the augmentation of your online presence, the resounding answer is an emphatic “yes” – embracing SEO is unequivocally essential. The strategic implementation of sound SEO principles on your website, coupled with a profound respect for the guidelines set forth by search engines, represents a formidable pathway to achieving sustainable and enduring results.

The realm of SEO is marked by its remarkable potential to enhance the visibility of your website, not only in terms of attracting greater traffic but also in fostering meaningful engagement with your target audience. The significance of SEO extends far beyond mere search engine rankings; it’s a multifaceted approach that, when harnessed effectively, can empower your online platform with the means to thrive over the long term.

By adhering to the established guidelines and best practices laid out by search engines, you’re not merely navigating within the bounds of ethical and legitimate tactics, but you’re also building a robust foundation for enduring success. The synergy between SEO and search engines is one that, when nurtured with integrity and foresight, yields far-reaching benefits.

Search Engine Guidelines

An abundance of informative guides is readily available, some of which offer the opportunity to undertake SEO optimization free of charge. However, if your intention is to engage the services of an SEO agency, it’s prudent to embark on a journey of comparison, both in terms of costs and, perhaps even more importantly, by delving into the track record of results achieved for previous clients.

If you don’t have a website blog for your portfolio yet, you can check out one of my SEO guides:

Is SEO Marketing a Scam?

Is SEO Marketing a Scam

SEO marketing is unequivocally not a scam; its core principle is rooted in enhancing your online visibility and, as a result, boosting the number of visitors to your website. The genuine value of SEO is undeniable. However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that the critical factor that can introduce a scammy element into the equation is the people or entities with whom you choose to engage during your SEO journey. In the vast spectrum of SEO service providers, you’ll find a range of practices, from those that adhere to ethical standards to those that employ questionable tactics.

The term “scammy” is an important distinction in this context, as it underscores the presence of unscrupulous individuals or companies in the SEO landscape. These entities often promise quick, guaranteed results with minimal effort, a red flag that should signal caution. They may employ tactics that violate search engine guidelines and employ shortcuts that can lead to short-term gains but long-term setbacks.

Conversely, there are reputable and professional SEO companies that offer legitimate services. These firms approach SEO with transparency, adhering to best practices and ethical guidelines. They understand that SEO is a continuous process that demands strategy, effort, and patience to achieve sustainable results.

The key to navigating the SEO landscape is to be discerning and make informed choices about whom you partner with on your digital journey. Engaging with established SEO professionals or companies that have a track record of ethical practices is the best safeguard against falling victim to scammy services.

Conclusion For “Is SEO a Scam”

Conclusion For Is SEO a Scam

In my personal journey and extensive experience with SEO, I firmly assert that Search Engine Optimization is far from being a scam. It’s a genuine and powerful tool when executed correctly. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that, like many industries, there are instances where unethical practices can tarnish its reputation. I’ve encountered and observed instances of scammy businesses and individuals who exploit the lack of knowledge in the field, but this should not deter one from exploring the legitimate world of SEO.

Instead of falling prey to dubious schemes, a much more constructive and ethical approach is to empower oneself with the knowledge of SEO from the ground up. This involves delving into the basics, which can be readily achieved by engaging in online forums and communities, posing thoughtful questions, and actively participating in discussions. These resources serve as invaluable platforms for both newcomers and seasoned professionals to exchange insights, seek guidance, and remain updated on the ever-evolving landscape of SEO.

By immersing yourself in the world of basic SEO work, you not only enhance your understanding but also acquire a practical grasp of the services that you might choose to employ for your website. The beauty of SEO lies in its transparency when done right; it’s a structured process that, when comprehended, demystifies the services you’ll receive from professionals. This understanding helps you make informed decisions, ensuring you’re investing in strategies that are aligned with your goals and website’s needs.

The proof of SEO’s effectiveness lies in the tangible results it can bring. As you become proficient in the fundamentals, you’ll gradually witness the transformative impact it has on your online presence. Increased website traffic, improved visibility in search engine results, and the cultivation of an engaged online audience are among the many benefits. This progression underscores that SEO is a legitimate and fruitful endeavor, provided it’s approached with integrity and a foundational knowledge of the field.

SEO is a legitimate and powerful tool for enhancing your online presence and reaching a broader audience. While instances of scammy practices do exist, they should not overshadow the genuine potential of SEO. The path to understanding and leveraging SEO begins with a commitment to learning its basics, which ultimately leads to a more fruitful and rewarding online journey. It’s a journey of knowledge and practice, one that ultimately yields increased website visitors and a deeper appreciation for the value of ethical and effective SEO practices.

If you’d like to follow up on some of my journeys and content that I cover, you can check out:

You can learn more about search engine optimization (SEO) by watching a helpful YouTube video I found, “SEO in 5 Minutes: What is SEO and How Does it Work” from Simplilearn’s channel down below:

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