Don't be a Victim of Online Fraud

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Due to all the mortgage fraud around here, and throughout the country, there have been public service announcements popping up, to better “educate” us about the dangers of fraud. Fraud seems to be a part of life, with new ploys being developed all the time to take advantage of trusting individuals. The last comment of one of the public service announcements heard frequently around here states: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” We all have heard this comment before, and frankly it is a good piece of advice. Due to blatant greed, we all need to be suspect of almost everything, if not everything. I can promise you there is no money locked in a secret US bank account, which only you can get out to help a banished Prince of Nigerian royal decent, and for your efforts the good Prince won’t be giving you a few million as a commission either. 🙂

In online business the same goes, I am sad to hear of stories of people who put out their hard-earned money on some hyped-up trick to increase traffic to their site. These programs might in fact increase traffic a bit, but it isn’t quality traffic, it isn’t qualified traffic, so it isn’t worth what was paid.

avoiding online fraud

Then there are the “online marketing experts” who are willing to open their secret treasure trove of online selling secrets for a nominal fee. These are the secrets that have “made them millions” and they are going to hand them out to you for only $29.95. Oh, but that’s not all, you can also get a special bonus of the super-duper extra secret online marketing magic techniques for just another $19.99, but you have to do it before that 60 second timer ticks off to zero… hurry!!! Please…

I am also tired of hearing of the many SEO scams, and then dealing with the fallout these scams put on the SEO industry. These SEO scammers are the people who ask you to pay a relatively small fee up front, then monthly fees thereafter for their masterful “SEO services.” All of which can’t be audited or proven, while you are being assured by the scammer they are working hard on your site, and you sense they are sitting in their underwear, and you swear you can hear Halo 3 being played in the background. I am sure there have been many occasions when all these SEO guys have done is sign our sites up for that traffic-pusher scam system mentioned earlier, and then they just sit back and claim the new increase in traffic is from their relentless SEO efforts. Total scam.

In the world of Internet marketing, let’s just agree on this… If it sounds to good to be true, it MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT TRUE. Please do not fall for any of these and a myriad of other online scams, there is not easy money out there, not legally anyway.

Making a site a success is like anything else in life, it takes work. SEO is work, it takes time to build links, create content, research keywords, all of which are important in SEO efforts. There are tools you can use to make the process of SEO more manageable, but the work has to be done by someone, somehow, somewhere, in order for a site to really improve its performance. You can use a system like SoloSEO to help you keep track of all your progress and provide you with tools and training to do it yourself, but it does take time and effort. Or you can hire a reputable SEO firm, one that will be a bit pricey, but they will tell you what they are doing, and show you reports of the progress they have made, and you will see an increase in qualified traffic, and ultimately sales. Good SEO efforts drive real potential clients to your site because they already know what you are offering and it is what they are searching for, that is the type of pre-qualified clients we all want browsing our product pages.

At SoloSEO we are working to make the tools and processing of SEO easier to use, as well as more educational. We not only want our clients to see their sites improving the right way, we want them to know how SEO works and to understand what the tools and processes are doing, and why the positive results are happening. Understanding the concepts behind SEO allow us to better understand our online marketplace, and helps us quickly determine the different online tactics be employed by our competitors, so we can better compete. Learning and doing are both important in SEO, as it is with many other worthwhile endeavors.

In short, please be careful when purchasing SEO services, make sure the providers will be accountable, make sure they give you some benchmarks on what they will accomplish over the term of the contract. Not so much in terms of traffic, traffic will come if the SEO is done right, instead make sure they give you a timeline on when the keyword research will be done, how much time they will spend building links, and how they build links, (hopefully they avoid purchasing links), and how much time will be spent on content, etc. Pin them down, and make them commit to a defined time-line. This is the way business is typically done in the offline world, we should demand and expect the same level of responsibility from the online world. Don’t be intimidated by their perceived expertise, you know more about other stuff than they do, I assure you. Speak with confidence, and expect them to stand by their performance.

If you have any questions on whether a SEO service provider is a good one or not, ask them to provide you a few URLs they have worked on and talk to the owners of those sites, see how past clients have felt they were treated. You could also use our SEO tools to analyze these sites and see if they have addressed basic SEO principles required to improve a site for the long haul.

Ultimately, just be wary, money can make good people do some pretty dumb/dishonest things. We unfortunately had $20K stolen from us last year by a family friend. This someone we allowed in our home as one of the family and we mistakenly trusted, so it can happen easily, anywhere, anytime, even to the most untrusting among us.

One final note on fraud, pay attention to all the political campaigning going on right now. Some of the very best scammers in all the world are now running for President of the United States, it is fascinating to watch. Let us all remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, even ( or especially) in politics. 🙂

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