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As you can see, getting ranked in search engines is an important part of your marketing success online. Unfortunately, for every website on the Internet these days there seems to be a corresponding scam associated with search engine optimization and rankings.

Don’t be taken in by these scams. There is no one-size-fits-all method for getting into the search engines and there is no magic formula for improving your rankings. Like traditional marketing, it takes perseverance and a bit of luck to get cataloged properly.

Following are some of the biggest scams out on the Internet today.

Guaranteed Rankings
This is a legendary scam. Once you get a site up and running you’ll begin to receive emails guaranteeing you amazing results such as the Top 10 ranking in Google in just two weeks. Worse, many will offer you vague guarantees that mean little in the way of getting business into your door.

Here’s the basic flaw in these promises. Say there are 11 SEO businesses out there promising 11 companies to put them into the Top 10 for a certain keyword. Someone isn’t going to be in the Top 10 no matter what they do. Now multiply this figure by the hundreds of thousands of websites out there vying for those same spots. It is mathematically impossible to guarantee a page 1 or even a page 2 ranking on the major search engines, let alone a Top 10 spot. Even Google tells webmasters up front that there is no way to guarantee a top ranking, even if they buy a sponsored link. A lot of fly-by-night companies will say they have a special partnership with Google or other search engine giant that will guarantee your ranking. This is nonsense.

A good way to spot these scammers is to visit the Better Business Bureau or your state Attorney General’s office to see if the company has a backlog of complaints. Network Solutions ( is another good resource. Enter the company’s web address into the WhoIS section of the site. If the registered owner or administrative or technical contact information is hidden or incomplete, chances are very good that the company is trying to hide something.

The Endless Email SEO Spam
Every email box overflows with these typical spam emails from small companies that want to take your hard earned dollar to get you rankings you can get all by yourself. These typically start out with, “We’ve noticed that you’re not listed in some search engines” or something similar. If you do want to find a reputable search engine company to assist you, don’t go through one of these emails. Go to a search engine and search for “SEO company” or something similar. Chances are that the ones who pop up in the Top 10 are good at what they do because they got themselves ranked highly.