Everything About SEO | The Good & The Bad

“I want to be at the top of Google” “Why am I not in the top 10 Google listings for my business?”

These concerns are valid because of the power that Google (the god of all search engines) has as the world's number one search engine company. If you can't be found on Google, your online business days are probably numbered.

So, yes, at Hi Tech Creative, we "do SEO", and we value its importance, BUT we will not charge you exorbitant fees to achieve what you need.

For many years now, we have aimed to educate our customers about SEO, how it works and why people need it, but unfortunately, this cannot be said for other businesses in the digital marketing arena and as such, we still see many businesses fall victim to SEO Management scams where they assign a disproportionate amount of time and money into gaining, supposedly better SEO results.

SEO IS a legitimate practice; it means that your website is optimised for display on search engines. Skilled, effective, and successful SEO can be achieved when your website content is created or appropriately rejuvenated.

SEO is NOT the manipulation of words or structure to 'game' or 'trick' the system into finding you, as some SEO "specialist" organisations (who usually come attached with exorbitant fees) will try and tell you.

SEO has become one of the most targeted areas of immoral online practices over the last 10-15 years. We are sure that by now, if you are in business and have a website or online presence, you have already been approached by multiple SEO "specialists" offering you the world.

Sadly, we have known of clients who have spent thousands a month on SEO companies that have promised top rankings or that they have some sort of 'special relationship' with Google.

THIS IS A LIE. The fact is, no one can guarantee you a top rank on Google, and there is no 'special relationship' that gives you a superior advantage.

Don't just take our word for it. Here is what Google says: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/do-i-need-seo.

Unfortunately, whilst it is a vital tool, SEO has a bad reputation, and the bad rather than the good is synonymous with the industry. Greedy and dishonest SEO Management organisations pray on businesses that are either unknowing or driven by a desire to do better on their business and increase their profit share at any cost. Therefore, the promise of some magical SEO solution is relatively easy to sell for these companies. Unfortunately, it is the complexity of the process that makes it easy for these SEO Management companies to hide behind the legitimacy of the SEO concept, and they bamboozle businesses into believing that they have the easy answers for them (at a high price).

In almost all cases where underhanded tactics are being used, the companies are using 'Black Hat SEO'. These are deceitful, unsubstantiated, and unable-to-maintain tactics that achieve a temporarily faster and higher Google rating rather than organic improvement, which is a sustainable, earned, and proven way to rank highly on search engine results.

What people don't realise is that 'Black Hat SEO' tactics actually actively undermine your website ranking and are something that Google is constantly fighting to combat. In some cases, websites that have been found to be using these tactics have even been banned from Google altogether, with the unsuspecting clients having paid thousands to the dishonest SEO provider for the privilege.

Unfortunately, because people are confused by what SEO really is and how it can best be achieved, we often see businesses sabotaging their own websites with incorrect SEO methods that they have been "told about" or "read about" in an uncorroborated article or online tutorial.

Despite our best efforts to educate as many people as we can through the provision of real facts and evidence, we cannot convince everyone. As Mark Twain said: "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

At Hi Tech Creative, we often inherit websites affected by Black Hat SEO from distressed business owners who have paid considerable sums of money to gain the ultimate website SEO fix. In some cases, the SEO damage that has been done can be so extensive, it can take years to repair. Just so you know, Google assigns its SEO score to your primary domain (web address) so it's a long fix and it takes diligent SEO auditing and correctly produced content to mend the damage that has been done.

Appallingly, we are even seeing some of these companies use their resources to run promotional drives throughout our rural towns, signing up as many unsuspecting businesses to restrictive and tight contracts before moving on to the next town to gain more unknowing victims. For these unscrupulous companies, it's just a numbers game, and they do not care about the businesses that they are going to damage and, in some cases, send under.

Over the years we have witnessed many greedy and dishonest SEO Management companies outsourcing their web development to countries where labor is cheap, where they also hire unqualified staff who don't know any better and won't blow the whistle on what they are doing. These actions not only undermine trust in the web development industry but also shift money overseas away from legitimate Australian businesses.

At Hi Tech Creative, we have worked very hard over the last decade to help our clients avoid rorts and fraudulent behaviour through the provision of professional advice and directions to official Google resources that will correctly inform you of how Google works and what it needs from you and your online presence in order to see you in their searches.

Over the coming weeks we plan to provide a series of posts to educate the public on these practices. Whilst for legal reasons we won't name the fraudulent company names, we will list all the information we can that and guarantee that it is independently verified via reputable SEO resources including Google's own official website which provides education and resources. (https://developers.google.com/search).

As you read our posts, ask yourself, "Do any of the interactions that I have had with SEO management providers sound like this?" If they do, it's very likely you have fallen victim to unprofessional and false practices that are not optimising your online potential at all and may, in fact, be causing long-term damage to your SEO.


Tactic Number 1: Keyword Stuffing

An SEO copywriter walks into a bar, pub, club, hotel, restaurant, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor, nightlife, bars near me, cheap drinks...." I think you get the idea. This is keyword stuffing. We will quote directly from Google's official documentation: "Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of filling a web page with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate rankings in Google Search results. Often, these keywords appear in a list or group, unnaturally or out of context. Examples of keyword stuffing include Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value. Blocks of text that list cities and regions for which a web page is trying to rank. Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.

Yes, keywords are vital to your genuine SEO, and there are legitimate ways to incorporate important keywords into your website through effective content. Sequential keywords are not necessarily a problem on their own, but they must be done naturally and correctly. If you manage your own website content, then you can familiarise yourself with the best practices by reading Google's developer website. Otherwise, approach your website management company and question if your content is correctly structured for ideal SEO. If you are looking to build a new website, we recommend that you use a respectable, professional copywriter and a website development company you trust, with a track record of good and proper practices. Our top tips for when you are sourcing your website development company and copywriter:

  • Ask to see other websites they have built or written content for
  • Educate yourself about what your target audience is looking for
  • Ask questions and compare their answers to Google's advice
  • Make sure the company is not asking you to put a disproportionate amount of time or money into SEO compared to your other business areas