Just as with any field, there are plenty of supposed SEO experts who are more than happy to offer your services and guarantees they can’t back up in order to get you to sign a contract. There are a few different ways these scammers operate, but when it boils down to it they all promise online success while stealing your money.

Any time you are hiring a company for online marketing, it is best to do your homework and ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. You can find great success online, but if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Jaydeep Dosi from Search Engine Journal shares the most common claims you should be wary of.

We Offer Free Services

Proper SEO is time consuming to manage, the economy is unforgiving, and search engine optimization is a highly competitive field. How could any business with a long-term hope of survival offer free of cost services? The answer is they can’t. Yes, real SEO professionals are able to offer special rebates or low pricing occasionally. You will even see offers for one odd service offered for free within a larger transaction, but nothing comes entirely for free. SEO “experts” claiming not to charge you are likely more interested in your information and other details you don’t want them getting ahold of.

We Guarantee First Page Ranking

Watch the wording on these types of offer closely. Many SEO professionals emphasize their goal to get your site to the first page on search engine results pages (SERPs), but they can’t honestly guarantee it. They also can’t guarantee any level of traffic, though that is also certainly a goal. The reality is search engines guard their information closely, and they change their algorithms all the time. We work to stay on top of these changes and learn as much as we possibly can to gain exposure and visibility, but nothing is guaranteed.

We Submit Your Site to Hundreds of Search Engines

This isn’t a lie so much as a misrepresentation. Think for a second. How many people do you know using any search engine besides one of the main few. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all still relevant in their own ways, but there aren’t hundreds of useful search engines. There aren’t even tens of relevant search engines. You really don’t need your site submitted to more than two or three of the most popular engines, so don’t get caught paying for wasteful services.

We Have Connections Within Google!

Any company advertising this way is a downright fraud. The majority have absolutely no connection with actual Google employees. But, more importantly, do you really think a Google employee is going to risk their job to help a friend rank their client’s sites higher? Nope.

We Know Everything About Google’s Algorithms

A company may claim to be an expert on Google’s algorithms, but you should press them to share exactly what they mean. While one might be an “expert” in that they keep up constantly with all the latest news and information about how Google’s search engines operate, it might be hard to consider them a real expert compared to an actual Google engineer. However, an SEO professional claiming to know every detail of Google’s algorithms is blatantly lying. These algorithms are dynamic and ever-evolving, not to mention they are so complex it would be impossible to know and understand the entire system. Search engines aren’t telling us their secrets.

We Have a Secret Formula for Success

The worst snake oil peddlers don’t even try to tell you what they will actually do. Successful SEO practices are no secret, and anyone who will help you achieve your goals will tell you so. To be truly successful in SEO, you just need to work hard and with focus from the very beginning and be responsible for keeping up to date with the current best practices and guidelines.

googleadwordsGoogle AdWords announced yesterday a major reporting update to conversion tracking called Estimated Total Conversions will be rolling out over the next few weeks. The new feature provides estimates of conversions which take place over multiple devices and adds this to the conversion reporting we are already accustomed to.

Once enhanced campaigns launched earlier this year, search advertisers have had more control to combine mobile and desktops with the ability to further modify bids by mobile as well as other targeting considerations. There was a missing piece limiting the effectiveness of campaigns. We had limited data on how consumers actually navigate and convert across multiple device options.

What is a Cross-Device Conversion?

The widespread use of mobile and tablet devices to browse and shop online has greatly influenced how we actually interact with businesses. From our couch, we can have three options for achieving our online goals within reach, and it has been shown that we choose different devices for different tasks.

A study from Google last month found that more than 90 percent of multi-device consumers move sequentially through several screen like mobile to desktop, or mobile to tablet in order to complete transactions. There are even those who move from desktop screen to desktop screen, likely going from work to home computers. Anytime a person begins the actions that initiate a conversion on one screen, only to complete the conversion later on another screen, that is a cross-device conversion.

How Estimated Total Conversion is Calculated

Google calculates these types of conversions for advertisers based on how their customers convert when they are logged in. Then, they use this data to extrapolate out data to estimate what the total conversions from cross devices may be. The data is only used in aggregate and is not personally identifiable according to Search Engine Watch.

Google-Webmaster-Tools-LogoLast week SEO and online marketing professionals all had a collective freakout as keyword data stopped showing up in Webmaster Tools. They even made memes! Well there is good news, Google has said the issue was an unintended bug, and should be fixed soon.

Google made a very public switch to secure search last week, in an effort to encrypt all search information and provide “extra protection” to searchers. Webmasters immediately noticed nearly all of their keyword referral data disappeared and was replaced with “(not provided)”. The best way to deal with the issue was to access similar keyword data under Search Queries within the Search Traffic section of Google Webmaster Tools.

But there was a problem, when secure search was implemented that keyword data stopped being reported or provided within Webmaster Tools. Many questioned whether this was a mistake or a change in policy, while the regular anti-Google group proclaimed Google had lied and was intentionally hiding the data; Matt Cutts had previously estimated only one to two percent of keyword data would be affected by secure search.

Now, John Mueller, a member of the Google Webmaster Tools team in Europe, as well as a separate Google spokesperson have both clarified the missing data was the result of the bug, and they are working hard to solve the problem.

Mueller posted to the Google Webmaster Central forum, “The team is aware of the problem and working on speeding that data back up again. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.” The spokesperson told Search Engine Watch, “We’ve recently fixed a small bug related to data reporting in Webmaster Tools. We expect reporting to return to normal in the coming days.”