A survey of more than 2000 small and medium-sized businesses had found that 44% are still purchasing SEO and link building services that could result in a Google penalty.
The survey found that 23% outsourced their SEO marketing to an agency without checking their reputation because they didn’t know how.
44% said they had bought links from an online advert promoting cheap high PR authority back links.
31% said they bought services from outsourcing websites that provided links from blog farms.
The respondents said many of the blogs were badly written, on websites not linked to their niche, but they were still confident it would work because the agency had 5 star ratings and good reviews from other customers.
Of those buying backlinks, 92% said they were trying to rank for specific keywords and their SEO provider would optimise anchor text. They did this without realising that it could cause a Google penalty.
100% of these businesses said they didn’t know that this could cause a Google penalty.
One business commenting said he raised a concern to his SEO who told him not to worry as the strategy always worked.
Of the respondents, 58% said they didn’t know how to build links nor anything about SEO.
They were either too busy working on other aspects of their business, found it too confusing and technical, trusted those they’d hired as they had good feedback from other businesses.
38% said they didn’t worry as they just wanted to get high in Google search results and start making money for their business.
32% said they felt forced to employ their SEO because their services were affordable and they guaranteed to get them on page 1 of Google search.
Of those responding, 67% said they would always hired the SEO who provided the highest number of backlinks.
90% said a key strategy of their SEO was to use directory submissions and social book markings.
75% said their SEO said their techniques complied with the latest Google algorithm updates. The business said they didn’t know how to check if that was true.
68% of those who employed a low quality SEO said they had never mentioned content marketing.
Sam Kennedy, Senior SEO Manager at Good SEO Agency, said: "Despite clear warnings about SEO practices that Google and other search engines are penalising, SEOs still continue to try to play the system with poor quality SEO techniques.
"Businesses might believe that it will be okay as their SEO says they know what they are doing, but sooner rather later their websites will stop performing and sales will disappear."