Is SEO A Scam? I Mean, Sometimes 🤷‍♀️

By Published On: October 18th, 202315.3 min read
Is SEO a scam?
By Published On: October 18th, 202315.3 min read
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“When heard someone’s boasting,

I could smell shit of bull from afar.”

― Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

You know that whiff you catch when someone oversells something way too hard? It offers quick fixes and instant results, lacks transparency but at the same time sounds too good to be true?

Like a pungent aroma that overwhelms the area where hundreds of cattle once stood? It’s distinguished. It stings the nostrils.

Unfortunately, the above scenario and interacting with bad-actors in the SEO arena can run parallel.

Don’t let the question “is SEO a scam?” churning in your mind put you off from SEO efforts completely.

It’s about finding a professional, trustworthy SEO outfit that lets their results do their bidding. They’re rare, but they’re out there. Let me help you find them, no bullshit.

The No-BS Intro to “Is SEO a scam?”

So, you’ve heard of SEO, right? That magic potion that’s supposed to catapult your website to the top of Google, drown you in traffic, and make you the online king or queen. But let’s get one thing straight: while SEO can be the golden ticket, it’s not always served straight up. Sometimes, it’s mixed with a bunch of bull.

  • The SEO Hype: Everywhere you look, there’s some “expert” raving about how SEO is the lifeblood of any online business. And guess what? They’re not entirely wrong. Good SEO can skyrocket your visibility, drive insane amounts of traffic, and boost your revenue. It’s the digital age’s answer to prime real estate.
  • But Here’s the Twist: Just like any lucrative industry, SEO has its share of snake oil salesmen. Those who peddle quick fixes and shiny shortcuts, only for you to discover they’ve led you down a dark alley of digital despair all the while lining their pockets with your hard-earned cash. These fraudster claims are what make people ask “is SEO a scam?” in the first place.
  • Objective Alert: This isn’t just a rant. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be able to spot the difference between the SEO saints and the swindlers. We’re diving deep to separate the legends from the liars.

Why Everyone’s Talking Trash (and Treasure) About SEO

It’s a noisy world out there, and when it comes to SEO, everyone seems to have a loud opinion. If “is SEO a scam?” is an ever-looming question in your mind, let’s cut through the racket, shall we?

“SEO Is a One-Time Deal!”

What They Say: “Just give your website a little SEO spritz, and you’re golden! Set it and forget it!”
Reality Check: SEO is like fitness. You don’t just hit the gym once and become The Rock. It’s a continual grind. Beware of anyone peddling the “one-and-done” myth. They’re probably more interested in your wallet than your web rankings.
“Buy Links, Rule the World!”

What They Say: “Why earn when you can buy? Get thousands of backlinks for just a few bucks!”
Reality Check: Google’s no fool. Buying cheap links is like putting lipstick on a pig – it’s still a pig. Genuine backlinking is about quality, not quantity. “Content? Just Stuff Keywords Everywhere!”

What They Say: “Don’t worry about making sense; just shove your keyword in every sentence!”
Reality Check: Ever read a piece that felt like it was written by a keyword-stuffed parrot? Yeah, nobody else wants to either. Authentic content is king. Always.

Not All SEO Is Created Equal

But, and here’s the twist, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. While there’s a heap of nonsense out there, SEO itself is no joke. Here’s why:

  • Visibility: In an ocean of online businesses, you don’t want to be a tiny fish. You want to be the freaking Moby Dick. Good SEO helps you stand out and not just swim around aimlessly.
  • Credibility: Rank higher and you’re not just another URL. You’re a trusted source, a go-to. It’s like being the popular kid in school, only this time, there’s actual money involved.
  • ROI: While SEO demands patience, when done right, the returns are epic. Think of it as planting a tree. It won’t give shade immediately, but once it grows, you’ll be sipping lemonade under it for years.

So yeah, there’s a lot of trash talk around SEO. But the treasure? It’s real, and it’s spectacular. Dive deep, sift the gold from the garbage, and you’re in for a rewarding journey.

the back alleys of shady SEO shops

The Dirty Little Secrets of Shady SEO Shops

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”―W.C. Fields

In the dimly lit back alleys of the digital world, there’s an underbelly of SEO shops that don’t play by the rules. They whisper sweet nothings, over-promise, under-deliver, and leave you holding the bag. Let’s drag these dirty little secrets that make you wonder “is SEO a scam?” into the light, one by one.

  1. The ‘Ghosting’ Game: Lack of Transparency
    Imagine hiring a chef and never knowing what’s cooking. Or worse, not knowing if anything’s cooking at all! The shady shops will take your money, mumble some jargon, and ghost you. No reports, no feedback, nothing. You’re left clueless, wondering if they’re really working or just binge-watching Netflix on your dime.
  2. The “Overnight Success” Myth: Over-Promising Results
    “Want to be number one on Google by tomorrow morning? Pay us, and it’s a done deal!” Sound too good to be true? That’s because it bloody well is. Achieving high SEO rankings is a marathon, not a sprint. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you magic beans.
  3. Masters of Mystery: Being Vague
    They talk in riddles, sidestep specifics, and answer your straightforward questions with more questions. It’s like trying to nail jelly to a wall. Why the evasiveness? Probably because they’re winging it and hoping you don’t notice.
  4. The ‘One Trick Pony’ Approach: Cookie-Cutter Solutions
    Your business is unique. Your challenges, unique. Your audience, you guessed it, unique. So why do these shady shops keep selling the same stale, generic strategies to everyone? Because custom solutions require effort, and they’re just not into that kind of commitment.

SEO Is Your Friend

Here’s the cold, hard truth: The world of SEO is rife with charlatans who’ve given the entire industry a bad rep. They’ve turned it into a shadowy realm of over-hyped promises and underwhelming results. But here’s the kicker: Not all SEO is a scam. In fact, the real magic happens when you sidestep these shady practices and find a partner who’s genuine, transparent, and worth their salt.

So, before we drag SEO through the mud completely, let’s prepare to see its other face. The clean, shining, results-driven face that can transform businesses. Buckle up.

SEO: When It’s Real, It’s Damn Good

Look, not everything in the world of SEO is a pit of despair and deceit. If it was, Bullfinch wouldn’t offer it because despair and deceit are two things we simply don’t want to interact with daily. When done right, SEO is like that underrated movie that not only blows your mind but also leaves a lasting impact. Let’s break down why genuine SEO is a game-changer.

The Organic Goldmine:Why pay for every click when you can earn them for free?

Organic traffic isn’t just about getting visits; it’s about attracting the right audience. The kind that’s genuinely interested in what you offer. Imagine opening a shop in a bustling part of town versus a ghost town. Good SEO ensures you’re not setting up shop in the digital equivalent of a deserted alley.

Real World Example: Ever heard of HubSpot? They’ve mastered the art of attracting organic traffic. By consistently producing high-quality content and optimizing for search, they’ve turned their blog into an organic traffic machine, drawing in millions of visits. No dark magic, just good SEO.

Building a Brand Fortress:Trust isn’t bought; it’s earned.

And nothing says “trust me” like topping Google’s search results. It’s like having a VIP badge. You’re not just another name; you’re the name. When people see you ranking high, it sends a signal: Google trusts this brand, so maybe I should too.

Real World Example: Ever searched for DIY projects or craft ideas? Chances are, you’ve landed on a Pinterest board or two. Pinterest isn’t just a social media platform; it’s a powerhouse in the search realm. Through a clever mix of user-generated content, smart SEO practices, and visual search technology, they’ve become synonymous with the concept of finding inspiration online. You don’t just “search” for DIY ideas; you “Pinterest” them. Their dominance in search results for countless creative queries has solidified their place as a go-to hub for all things crafty and DIY.

The ROI Revolution

While most marketing strategies are like burning money on fireworks (looks pretty, but it’s gone in seconds), SEO is like investing in solar panels. It’s a longer play, but the returns? Out of this world. Every buck you put into genuine SEO keeps paying dividends, often outpacing other flashy marketing tactics.

Real World Example: Remember when Airbnb decided to invest heavily in SEO? It wasn’t just about direct bookings. Their SEO efforts bolstered their brand presence, drawing more hosts to their platform, and amplifying their growth. A strategic move that paid off big time.

Is SEO a Scam?:The Bottom Line

SEO isn’t just about keywords and backlinks. It’s about building a foundation, laying down roots in the digital realm. It’s strategic, it’s powerful, and when it’s real, it’s a damn treasure.

The Gold Standard of SEO Badasses

the king of the SEO jungle

In the crowded jungle of SEO, it’s easy to get lost or ambushed by a poser in camouflage. But when you find the real deal, it’s like stumbling upon a majestic lion: powerful, strategic, and, well, badass. Here’s how you spot them:

  1. The Open Book Approach:Does the agency patiently explain their strategies to you? Do they break it down in a way even your grandma would understand? Do you receive clear reports that make you go “Ah, I see!” rather than “Uh, what?”? That’s the mark of an agency that prioritizes clear communication. They’re not hiding behind a smoke screen of jargon. They want you in the loop, every step of the way.
  2. No Cookie-Cutter Crap Here:If their solution to every problem sounds the same, run for the hills. But if they’re diving deep into your specific challenges, understanding your unique audience, and crafting a battle plan just for you? Congratulations, you’ve got yourself an agency that values customized strategies. They know one size doesn’t fit all.
  3. Dreamers with Their Feet on the Ground:You want an agency that shoots for the stars but is brutally honest about how high they can jump. If they’re serving you big dreams with a side of realism, that’s gold. They’re clear about realistic expectations, giving it to you straight, no chaser.
  4. The Forever Students:The SEO world is a beast that’s always evolving. If your agency is stuck in 2010, that’s a problem. The best agencies are continual learners, always hungry, and chasing the latest trends and Google updates. They don’t just adapt; they lead the change.
  5. No-Nonsense Pricing:Ever looked at a bill and thought, “What the hell am I paying for?” With the top-tier agencies, you won’t have that issue. They’re upfront about their costs, provide a clear breakdown, and there’s honesty in their pricing. They won’t nickel and dime you. And if something isn’t right for your business, they’ll be the first to say it. Honesty is their policy.

A Final Thought:

Finding the right SEO agency is a lot like dating. You gotta ask the right questions, see if you vibe, and ensure there’s trust. But when you find ‘The One’, it’s a game-changer. So, before you swipe right on your next SEO agency, make sure they’re hitting these gold standards.

The Unfiltered Guide to Picking Your SEO Sidekick

You wouldn’t pick a wingman for a night out without making sure they’re solid, right? So, when choosing an SEO partner to navigate the tumultuous waves of Google’s algorithm, it’s not a game. You gotta get it right. Here’s how:

Your No-BS Checklist for Picking an SEO Partner

  • Stalk Them (Digitally, Of Course):
    • Check their reviews. Are they the SEO star everyone claims they are?
    • See how they present their SEO services on their website. Did they help John from “John’s Juicy Jerky” boost his online sales? Is it filled with a lot of the red-flag jargon we’ve warned you about? Or does it seem honest and experienced?
  • Probe Them With Questions (The Tougher, The Better):
    • What’s your game plan? If they hum and haw, maybe they don’t have one.
    • What strategies are in their arsenal? For example, if they’re going to direct all their effort (and your money) at buying links, it’s a red flag.
    • Got experience? If they’ve helped businesses and can prove it on the spot, it’s a good sign.
  • Seek a Collaborator, Not Just a Vendor:
    • Do they want to get to know you? Like, really know you?
    • Are they eager to work with your in-house teams? Integration is key.
    • Do they see the bigger picture, not just the SEO slice of it?
  • Decipherable Reporting – No Hieroglyphics, Please:
    • Detailed, yet not doctoral thesis level. You should understand it without a PhD.
    • Regularity is key. If they’re updating you as often as a lunar eclipse, it’s a problem.

FAQs Because We Know You’re Curious

  • Q: How long before I see results?
    A: Any agency promising overnight results is selling magic beans. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Q: Should I just go with the cheapest option?
    A: You get what you pay for. But don’t be fooled by astronomical prices either. Find the sweet spot between cost and quality.
  • Q: What if they guarantee a #1 ranking on Google?
    A: Run. No one can guarantee that. Not even Google.
  • Q: Is SEO a scam?
    A: If you’re still asking yourself this question, scroll up to the top of this article and try again (just kidding, we trust you’ve been paying attention.)

Your Call to Action? (Because We Know You Need One)

Don’t just swipe right on the first SEO agency that winks at you. Do your homework. Vet them. And when you’ve found ‘The One’, collaborate, integrate, and dominate the digital space together.

SEO is a collaborative effort

Is SEO a Scam: The Hard-to-Swallow Truth and Final Verdict

Life’s filled with hard truths, like realizing those jeans just don’t fit anymore or that your favorite band from the 90s really wasn’t that good. But here’s a particularly tough pill: the world of SEO is no fairyland; it’s a minefield of promises and pitfalls. Let’s smash some of those sugar-coated myths.

Fact vs. Myth: Crushing the Candy Coating

  • Fact: Quality SEO is like fine wine – it gets better over time.
    Myth: “Immediate results guaranteed!” Sorry, instant gratification is for fast food, not SEO.
  • Fact: Real SEO pros are in it for the long haul, wanting to be your partner, not just a vendor.
    Myth: “One-off quick fixes are all you need!” It’s like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. Good luck with that.
  • Fact: Genuine SEO adds value and positions your business as a credible player.
    Myth: “The cheapest package will do!” Remember, cheap can come out expensive in the long run.

Bold Statement Alert: If your SEO strategy feels like a Tinder fling – quick and shallow – it’s time to seek the real deal. Seek a commitment. Seek depth. Seek growth.

The Final Verdict

SEO isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme; it’s a dedicated effort to build your online empire. Be smart. Prioritize value and longevity over the seduction of quick fixes and dollar menu deals. Dive into the SEO world with caution, but also, and here’s the kicker, dive in with hope.


Remember, in the vast marketplace of SEO, you’re not just buying a service; you’re investing in a future. Choose wisely.

Time to Step Up: What’s Next?

Alright, rockstar. You’ve had the straight talk, been taken through the ringer of SEO realities, and hopefully by now, you’ve stop asking yourself “is SEO a scam” and realize that SEO isn’t just about algorithms and backlinks. It’s about stepping into the big leagues. So, what’s next for the would-be titan of the online realm?

Put on Your Game Face

You’re not in the kiddie pool anymore. This is the ocean, and there are sharks. So, be assertive. Ask the tough questions. If an agency gets all squirrelly and avoids specifics, that’s a neon sign saying “RUN.” Further, if you have to ask yourself “is SEO a scam?” ever again, you haven’t found your agency yet.

Value Isn’t Just a Buzzword

Remember when you bought those cheap shoes, and they fell apart after two wears? Don’t make the same mistake with SEO. Cheap now can mean costly later.

Reframe Your Perspective

SEO isn’t an expense; it’s an investment. And like any investment, the best results don’t come overnight. So, commit. Be patient. Trust the process.

Be The Captain

Your SEO journey isn’t a spectator sport. Get involved. Collaborate. Offer insights. After all, who knows your business better than you?

Your Action Items, Should You Choose to Accept Them:

  1. Research: Don’t just Google SEO agencies and pick the first one. Dive deep. Investigate. Stalk (professionally speaking).
  2. Interview: Once you’ve got a list, interview them. And by interview, we mean grill ’em.
  3. Collaborate: Found the one? Great! Now, don’t just sit back. Be an active player in your SEO strategy.

And finally…

Choose Your SEO Partner Like You’d Choose a Life Partner: With patience, thoroughness, and a clear vision of the future you want.


The online world is vast and fickle, but with the right strategy and partner, it becomes your playground. Navigate it wisely. Stand tall, not just among the giants, but as one.

SEO bullseye

Katie Rutten

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