It is my intention to use this article to highlight an unethical practice some SEO companies seem to be adopting of late. I’m going to use the long-tail keyword phrase ‘get my website found on Google’ as an example to illustrate how this bad SEO practice works.

When a person or business wants their website to rank highly in the search engines, Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc, for organic search (non-paid listings) they will often discover that they will need a search engine optimisation (SEO) consultant to oversee the project or to manage the website for them.

But here lies the problem, how does someone know that they are dealing with a reputable company that practices white-hat SEO, ethical search engine optimisation that will not get their clients websites blacklisted by the search engines?

If you are thinking of using a SEO company to manage your website’s SEO then be sure to not be fooled by the claims that a company’s high search engine placement is due to their superior knowledge of search engine optimisation.

You see, you can rank very highly for keyword phrases, such as ‘get my website found on Google’ because you’ll have little to no competition on that phrase and it receives very few to no searches per month.

A company that is unethical will show you that they rank on the top position of page 1 of the search engines for such a redundant phrase in a way to gain your trust, to show they are skilled at SEO and they will probably add that they can get you such quality search engine placement for your website.

Proof of search engine placement and high rankings can be a positive thing for a company to show their potential clients but it should be for quality keywords that attract decent traffic and have, at least, a moderate level of competition; this then becomes quality proof of SEO knowledge and skill.

To test how easy or difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword or keyword phrase then you can use a free tool that Google have developed within it’s AdWords account area. It is free to register and you can use an existing gmail account to login. Inside the AdWords area you will find the Keyword Tool under the tools tab.

Hiring a good SEO company can dramatically improve your website’s search engine placement, but you need to be wise in your hiring decisions to protect your website and your budget. A point I would stress is a good SEO company may not have a hire ranking website themselves but should be able to, at least, show you how well a client’s website ranks in the search engines.