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Potential Perils | SEO for Recruitment Agencies

Posted On Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

I’m going to make a strong statement that might offend a lot of people in the SEO industry or at least make them pull a smirk indicative of being busted, while a few good people will wholeheartedly agree with a touch of disdain for those it refers to…


Most SEO professionals are dodgy at best, if not complete scammers!

I know, a bold statement, but I stand by it. There are a combination of attributes SEO combines that make it the perfect environment for half-assers and outright scammers to thrive. Let’s take a look why…



SEO is an initialism bursting with buzz. Even people who don’t really know what it is think they absolutely need it. From being such a prominent topic of talk from web developers to even companies like GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace trying to sell you SEO add-ons at checkout. Such a fuss is made about it these days that it’s becoming seemingly essential. And because of this, people are lapping it up, despite possibly falling trap to...

Customer Ignorance


And with good reason. As a business owner, it is essential to be able to delegate tasks. There’s not enough time in the day to do everything yourself. And even if there was, acquiring all the necessary skill sets to do so is unrealistic. “Jack of all trades, master or none” comes to mind. Running a complete business requires the breaking down of tasks and utilisation of specialists.
The problem with SEO is that it’s such a technical skill that, another bold statement, most SEO professionals don’t even really know what they are talking about, relying on the assumption that you won’t either. They’ll dazzle you with big promises, discombobulate you with jargon and say whatever it takes to get you to sign up because…
Most SEO “Experts” are just Salesmen.

A common business model that has grown with the internet is the splitting of tasks beyond not just that of staff and departments within a business, but as far as between completely separate business entities. This can be seen in eCommerce a lot. For example, dropshipping, the most extreme case, where someone will build a shopping website and list products that they don’t even have. Instead, listing items that others sell (adding considerable mark-up), receiving orders and then buying the item from the supplier (usually in China) and having it delivered straight to the customer’s address while pocketing what’s left. All hiding behind, and pretending to be, one brand and business. This is so commonly such an awful experience for the customer that Facebook now rejects ads and even bans ad accounts of users they think are partaking in such behaviour.

Drop Servicing

Now take this model, replace products with SEO services and Chinese manufacturers with Indian keyboard warriors and that is generally what is going on. There is a good chance that the friendly person on the phone with lofty assertions of success is mostly just concerned with collecting the fee so he can pass a fraction of it, with all the work, on to someone else. Someone who can get away with having little or no positive effect on your site’s traffic without you being able to prove it, because …
Quantifying Results is Nearly Impossible

If you have Google Search Console set up properly then you can see exactly how well you are doing in search results for Google. From what search terms you are appearing for, your average position for that term, how many times you appeared, how many times they clicked, click through rate and more. You’ll also be able to see all your Backlinks and even disavow dodgy ones, which is handy.
The thing is, Google’s search algorithm is such a black box that it is nearly impossible to take that information and work out why you are doing better or worse one month to the next. So naturally, if you are climbing up the results then you might attribute it to the work of the several hundred dollars you pay each month to someone as opposed to a myriad of other possible reasons such as search algorithm changes, your new job listings attracting more attention or just the fact that…

SEO Takes Time


It is entirely possible that you build your new site and, despite making no SEO effort at all, watch it slowly, but surely, work its way up the ranks as the months go on. It takes time to prove yourself to Google, they won’t just consider you an industry authoritative site overnight.
Now your more brazen SEO service provider might promise you the top result spot within a week of payment, then either disappear or try to impress you by showing you to be the top of search results when someone specifically punches in your company name and location, an effortless feat.
Others will tell you in advance that results come gradually. Then they can repeat this point 6 months of service fees later when you are on the phone, potentially unhappy about the lack of progress. The tricky thing is, this statement is true, and could just as easily leave the mouth of an honest SEO professional.
Now obviously, Google is very much against any sort of trickery, and makes no secret of it. They are in a constant battle against people trying to cheat their system. And while, as it always will do, the back and forth continues, keep in mind that no matter how nice an SEO expert’s laptop might be and how smart they tell you they are, they are going up against a company staffed by geniuses who have access to an array of A.I. capable supercomputers and even quantum computers.
So, when they catch the bad actors out, what then? Check out our post about the consequences of blackhat SEO techniques.


Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

10 Years+ experience building software, job boards, and websites for the recruitment industry.

Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation, a technical review of your website, or information regarding the services we offer.

You can reach me at or find me on LinkedIn.