Revenge of the SEO Firm

If, after watching US retailers like Overstock.com and JCPenney land in Google trouble over black hat SEO tactics, you still need another reason to choose your SEO firm very, very carefully, here it is: the owner of a website fired the SEO firm that had been working on his site. And then, his site disappeared from Google’s SERPs altogether. Coincidence? No. Terrible SEO firm? Yes. Could this happen to your site?

In a Google webmaster forum, a distraught website owner posted that he had given his SEO company two months notice that he was going to be using another firm. “They were obviously not very happy and I was sent an email today saying they have stopped all work and have cancelled the contract immediately.” Which would have been all right, if this is where the disreputable firm stopped. But, “Two hours later I can’t find my site in Google, when it was there this morning. This isn’t fair as I was indexed before working with them…My business relies on the internet for clients…”

SEO companies should never do this; it is a gross violation of ethics and of the clients’ trust. But that being said, they can do it by using tools at their disposal, like issuing a removal request with Google or blocking spiders from crawling the site.

Could this happen to you? It is certainly possible. No one likes to think that any firm they’ve chosen to provide services will end up ruining their business, but it happens much more often than it should. To prevent this, make sure that you choose a reputable firm in the first place, but also take other precautions, like blocking access to your site, your webmaster tools, and other potential vulnerable spots. If you are not sure what steps to take, ask the provider you are going to be using in the future for advice.

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