Scams & Rip-Offs Dentists Should AvoidAs with other fraudulent business schemes, the dentist should be aware that the SEO (search engine optimization) industry has its share of scams. This page outlines some of the more prevalent rip-off tactics so dentists can be better prepared to avoid them.
Often the dental practice receives phone calls from opportunists who depend upon the dentist being naive about SEO and lacking Internet savvy. Some scammers will attempt to mislead victims by offering "free extras" to their completely false claims of riches.
Other scam artists cloak themselves in a guise of accomplished professionalism, yet after discerning scrutiny they are revealed to be little more than common thieves behind a flashy website.
Top 10 Swindlers ListBelow you'll find the more popular swindles that dentists face daily. Complaints can range from deception and omission of facts to poor quality, shoddy work or being burned for their money outright. Always, buyer beware.
Search Engine Submissions
A very old yet still convincing scam; Web thugs propose submitting your website to 1,000's of search engines. As soon as you hear this - RUN - don't walk - away as fast as you can! Search engines employ crawler-based, dynamic indexing algorithms; you could submit your website till the end of time and never attain top positions.
Fake-out Linking Scheme
Playing The Google Card
Victim dentists pay SEO culprits thousands of dollars and receive little to nothing in return; perpetrators often have no intention to help the client; since dentists lack the requisite experience to check the SEO's work, the perps simply refer the person being swindled to a page where Google states that no one can guarantee SEO.
The Mysterious Invoice
Monthly Keyword Positions
Perps monitor & count any number of multiple phrase (long tail) positions and bill whatever they want; common ploy which targets the uninformed website owner wanting traffic; their "SEO" consists of 100's of instantly made, non-related blogs and auto-submitted article links; charges by total keyword positions found monthly.
Black Hat Tricksters
The Almost Real Guarantee
A "1st page position guarantee" with a twisted weasel clause; a sleight of hand rip-off promoted by some very visible SEO firms; appeals primarily to dentists, doctors & attorneys; customers are compelled to pay monthly charges forever; equates to paying the same fee every year for what should have been only a one-time cost.
SEO & Hosting Combo Extortion
Parasite PPC Sold As SEO
Here the word usage "first page positions" is the pretense for a blatantly misleading sham; pay-per-click (PPC) sponsored advertisements are promoted as organic search engine positioning; the fraud's continued success depends upon their victims' ignorance and gullibility; leeches as much money as possible before its discovery.
Other Notorious Deceptions
The Anonymous Optimizer
A company or individual posing as an SEO "expert" with no work examples, zero client references, no phone number, no address, no guarantee and poor writing skills or stolen ideas; offers big promises and small prices for ranking on all major search engines; may play the "confidentiality card" as an excuse for having no clients.
Fluff, Bluff & Grift
Our Mirror Site, Your Money
New twist on SEO fraud -- perpetrators create doppelganger mirror sites (with their links on the counterfeits) of dental websites then position them in the search engines. Next sales staff cold-call the dentist and solicit monthly payments. May be mixed with erroneous claims to confuse PPC sponsored ads with organic ranking.
Over-Priced Dental Directories
Cheap SEO Copy Writing
Deceptive ploy designed to defraud dentists and website owners; usually perpetrated by small team of crooks misrepresenting themselves as writers; often assumes the identity of a published writer; will offer to compose website content "affordably." After a 50% deposit is paid, the "author" delivers machine-generated gibberish.
Unsolicited Spam Emails
Be wary of the intentional or tragically misinformed claim that SEO is a secret skill that only the learned master is capable of performing; this is complete bunk - anyone with the inclination and enough time on their hands can learn and apply SEO. In fact we've consulted with clients by phone and email to convey full instructions.
Hiring Dependable SEO ServicesEnsure that the SEO you hire has the following qualities; anything less is unacceptable. There are countless examples of dentists without knowledge of search engine optimization who become the prey of unscrupulous operators. Defend yourself against SEO abuse and look for a service that holds the customer in high regard.
• responsive to phone calls and emails
• offers references with contact details
• can provide examples of their success
• provides clients a risk-free guarantee
• has command of the English language
• uses only verified safe SEO strategies
• takes time to answer your questions
Recourse For Victims
Of course the best prevention against fraud, misrepresentation and theft associated with SEO is to set some time aside to educate yourself before you buy or agree to anything. Make sure you're dealing with a reputable organization; one with experience, references and a successful track record for positioning dental websites.
The dentist should take to heart, "caveat emptor" and remember that without a warranty and binding legal agreement, he or she takes sole responsibility for their purchase. Even with what appears to be an "iron-clad" guarantee, depending on various state jurisdictions in the USA it may be difficult if not impossible to enforce.
Whether unknowingly or by consent, if you've elected to deal with an SEO company in a foreign country and you experience malpractice, you can forget about legal recourse to recover your money. Otherwise, you can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission, or hire an attorney to petition a small claims court for relief.