There are many factors to consider when selecting a search engine optimization company. Unfortunately, many businesses that haven't previously used search engine optimization to promote themselves are unsure how to evaluate potential vendors, and many are intimidated by the entire concept.

Here's some advice for the selection process.

Topic 1: Approach

There are many different approaches and levels of service available to anyone looking for a search engine optimization company.

Some techniques, such as “cloaking” or “doorway pages” can put your site at risk of penalization, although they may give you short-term gains. For some, the risks of penalization associated with such techniques may be acceptable, but most prefer to play by the rules. Also be certain that your vendor doesn't work with your competition.

Here are three important questions to ask your potential search engine optimization company:

1. Do you create pages, optimized for my key phrases, which aren't built in to the navigation of my site?

If the answer is yes, you are probably dealing with a search engine optimization company that creates “doorway” or “bridge” pages (although most companies will call them by different names). Such pages may even reside on a different server and funnel traffic to your site. This technique violates the terms of service of most major engines.

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image of Scott Buresh

Scott Buresh is founder and CEO of Medium Blue, an award-winning search engine optimization company.

LinkedIn: Scott Buresh