WARNING: Avoid SEOs That Pay to be at the Top of Google

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Bad SEO’s are everywhere…

I know that we have posted a few recent images that cover the difference between “Paid results” and “Organic results” so I apologize right now for another.  However, this topic is just too important not cover, even if it means I have to post another “Paid vs Organic” search result image yet again.  Besides, this is an entirely different take on the subject that covers SEO Advertisers.  But wait, aren’t they the guys that are supposed to know the difference between the two (paid vs organic)?  Yep….you bethcha!  We as Search Engine Optimization Professionals absolutely should know the difference.  So why then, is there the need to cover this topic yet again?  The reason for this blog post is to educate the general public about the difference.  I received a call this week from a potential client who found us on the first page of Google (just like they are supposed to).  After the initial introductions and pleasantries, we started getting down to the brass tacks of the conversation and I was asked, “if you are such a good SEO agency, why is XYZ firm at the top of the page and not you?”.  The potential client was referring to a firm that was listed in the paid search results (the very top three on the page).  Here’s another example of Paid vs Organic search results for those that do not know the difference:


Organic vs Paid - SEO Services Warning by click-finders.com

Organic vs Paid Search

I used this particular example because it happens to be the exact search that the potential client used when searching for an SEO Agency to help him with his SEO program.  Affordable SEO Services Company is a term that click-finders.com happens to rank #1 for out of 150,000,000 possible results.  Pretty impressive huh?  Anyway, after a few minutes of conversation, I explained to the caller that those top three results in the slightly shaded box are actually “paid ads” and that he should consider that strongly before making a final decision.

“As much as I hate to admit it, there are hundreds if not thousands of so called ‘SEO Agencies’ out there that take advantage of unsuspecting and uneducated business owners.”

So why then use Google Adwords to promote an “SEO Company”?  Because there are just too many people out there that don’t know the difference between SEO and Paid Search.  They type in a search term and click the top result and don’t think another thing about it unless they did not find what they are looking for, in which case they simply perform another search.  An unscrupulous company might be one who then sets up a Google Adwords account and posts an ad for SEO Services and then just takes the money and does nothing for their customers.  Or they charge a large amount of money and open an Adwords account for their new client and actually show them the results they got them. 

Either way I think you really have to ask yourself if you want to hire a company to help you get to the top of the “organic search results” that has to have an Adword account and pay Google in order for you to find them.  I would tread cautiously for sure and treat suspect any company that uses Paid Search to advertise for Organic SEO Services.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article please share it with any of the multiple social media share widgets on this blog (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Bookmarking).  Also, please feel free to comment below.  I openly welcome any and all feedback, especially from other internet professionals!

Click-finders.com is a full service internet marketing company that offers a full range of services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Adword Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Web Development and more!  Contact us today for a FREE no obligation SEO Analysis of your website and find out today, what it’s going to take to rank high in the search engines!

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  1. Thanks for providing such a great article; it was excellent and very informative. You got numerous positive points there. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. Waiting for more articles from you. As a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed. Thank you.

  2. James M.

    Great post! I learned a lot. But I still have a question.

    Are you saying not to run PPC and SEO at the same time? I have just seen so many others doing exactly that and this post seems to indicate that is a bad idea.

    • Hi James! Thanks for reading and the comment.

      The short answer is no, that is not what I am saying at all. In the case above, the SEO Agency is advertising for Organic SEO services in Google Adwords while not ranking on the first page of Google Organically for the same search term. Now if that agency had a top organic position AND was running a Paid Ad for SEO services I could probably justify that as someone just trying to gain more valuable Google Realestate. Instead, I have to question this SEO Agency and their competancy in SEO. I am not saying 100% do not use them, but as a prosepctive buyer of SEO Services, I would be extremeky wary of someone who cannot do for themsleves what they say they will do for you.

      I hope that answers your question! Again, thanks for reading….


  3. Enjoyed the article, thoroughly. Dispelling rumors, common misconceptions and plain untruths about paid versus organic SEO is something that I find takes as much time and careful explanation as an SEO campaign, itself.

    Commonly, I get asked, “What will it take to get my company to the top of the search engine results?” or, “Can you get me to the top of the listing on the first page for my keyword?” I always offer a cautionary note to the clients who ask those kinds of questions – simply because there are so many people out there with guarantees for top ranking on page one – and because I know that is usually where there question is borne from.

    My position is simple: most anything is possible, given the right mix of knowledge, skills and abilities [of the SEO firm] coupled with commitment and budget.

    What do you tell people, Mike, when they pose those kinds of questions? For me, it’s all about explaining the difference between paid versus organic; I can tell them that top ranking is possible with a paid campaign (with variables about keyword competition). I can also tell them that organic is a very smart, mid-long term strategy.

    • Honestly Scott…I think you probably handle it better than most Web Designers/Developers. The truth of the matter is anything is possible as far as rankings are concerned if the website owner has the budget and commitment to the end goal.

      I do try and take more of a consultative style and ask more questions than talk. That way I can eventually get to the bottom line of what are their goals, are they realistic and what is the budget we have to work with. Some clients have $25K (plus) annual budgets for internet marketing and some have $2,500 annual budgets but want $25K results. The problem I find most often is explaining those expectations, esp. when there are some SEO firms out their promising top positions for $100 a month. Potential clients who go that route usually call 6 months later asking if I can help.

  4. Another great post. I hate it when people are sold the idea of PPC – ‘yes it will bring immediate traffic and results’ but not told ‘but if you stop paying so does your traffic’. PPC has its place but needs to be backed up with a good organic SEO strategy. Something I don’t understand (not in all cases of course) is why companies pay on their own name, classic example is my bank- it appears in the 1st 4 organic spots. Why pay for the sponsored link as well?? Use PPC but don’t waste money
    Michael recently posted..mprice14: @dftranter not that one. The one that goes duur duur duur, dun dun, dun dun dun nun nun, duur duur duur. Think I’ve missed a nun out?My Profile

  5. Yeah I agree Michael! We actually wrote another post that covers that very topic and actually uses the example of "Zappos" of how NOT to do PPC Advertising!

    Thanks for reading and the comment! As always, your comments add value and insight!
    Mike Glover recently posted..The Battle of Good vs Evil in the World of SEO WarsMy Profile