An Unsettling Trend Among Search Agencies

For the second time in the last two months, I have received reports from clients both previous and current that other search agencies are refusing to disclose the links they have built for their clients. Let me say this clearly and concisely: If your SEO company refuses to disclose the links they build on your behalf, it is because they are either embarrassed by them, or they don’t exist at all.

Call them out. They will say some BS like “we can’t reveal our secrets”. Tell them you “can’t reveal your money”. Seriously, links can be just as damaging as they are helpful. Paying for their services is like trusting a random person on the street to inject your arm with some unknown substance to make you stronger.

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  1. Chris Hornak
    Mar 3, 2011

    You can use tools like and to take a look at your own backlinks…. if they won’t show you you can look for yourself.

  2. admin
    Mar 3, 2011

    Unfortunately, their indexes are incomplete and may differ substantially from that which Google has. While we use both of their APIs in house, neither Majestic nor SEOMoz would claim to have full coverage of Google’s index. Moreover, if these firms are acquiring lower-quality links, only deeper crawls like those performed by Google would be likely to turn them up. Finally, just because a link shows up in Site Explorer doesn’t mean that your SEO firm is responsible for them. They could have been naturally acquired or could be part of a Negative SEO campaign. The case still stands – SEO firms should let their clients know exactly what they are doing. It is called Informed Consent and should be the basis of all ethical human interaction, and especially that of a contractual business relationship.

  3. Ronanob
    Mar 7, 2011

    Yeah I totally agree here, I was talking to an SEO company who it turned out we’re using really dodgy links into sites that could be very harmful. Plus if a company won’t reveal where the links are going to come from BEFORE you ask them to start into building them, if they come from bad sources its a real pain to fix.

    I worked with a company building their SEO only to find their IT guy was leaking the link juice back out as they we’re doing reciprocal linking because he was in a rush to get more links. The sites he was linking to we’re selling the link power on and it all got very messy.

  4. searchengineman
    Mar 8, 2011

    With all the gaming that is going on with linking, how much of a strong signal is linking. If linking is such an important factor. It would be nice if Web Master Tools provided some sort of measurement of your quality & quantity as a signal so you can spot dodgy SEO and respond.


  5. Red
    Sep 2, 2011

    If in doubt, do it yourself – I wouldn’t trust anyone else to linkbuild to my site

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