Back in 2007, I wrote a post on TopSEOS.com in which I described my past experience in advertising with them and how I felt about the lack of transparency in their rankings of the “top seo firms”.
I have waited, and waited, and waited for some firms that I respect – who participate in this – to push the folks at TopSEOs.com to be more up-front about how the lists are developed and paid for. And, if they can’t get the people at TopSEOs.com to be more upfront about the fact that this is a “pay to play” marketing list and not a true “list of the top SEO firms”, I suggest that these companies do our Industry a favor and walk away. Yes, I’m suggesting that they turn away from this (very good) lead source until TopSEOs.com is more transparent. Only when many of the paid advertisers drop out will the folks at TopSEOs.com change their ways.
Perhaps things have changed (though I doubt sincerely that they have) and TopSEOs.com is at least making an effort to reach out to customers of these SEO providers to verify that they in fact to deliver SEO services, and provide testimony to the fact that the companies listed actually do good work. I can tell you that when I worked (advertised) with TopSEOs.com, they did not so much as call one of our clients to verify that we even did SEO.
For so many unsuspecting companies who are seeking a solid SEO vendor, this list may be the only source they check to find a search engine optimization provider. That’s a shame.
Why am I bringing this up, now?
Well, yet again, today I saw a press release from a company touting the fact that they received a prestigious honor in being ranked as a “top SEO company”. Ugh.
Here’s the press release. I usually try not to mention any companies by name (it’s in poor taste) but I think it’s time that we put it all out there and let you decide.
Again, there are probably some good firms that are listed on TopSEOs.com. But, it’s my hope that all companies paying for this “honor” ask the folks at TopSEOs to be a lot more transparent about the process (and honest about the process).
For those of you who are trying to find a good firm, I would suggest that you begin by educating yourself on SEO. Know what you’re buying before you cut any checks. From there, I would suggest that you call a lot of references for the companies that you are considering. Success in SEO should be defined by the increase in quality traffic (for a wide variety of keywords) and not “top rankings”, especially if that’s followed by “guaranteed”.
There are many good resources to learn more about SEO (aside from the Vizion Blog). Some recommendations include http://searchenginewatch.com, http://www.clickz.com, http://www.seomoz.org, http://www.seobook.com and http://searchengineland.com.