The Truth About Cheap SEO

One of the biggest inconsistencies within the SEO industry is most definitely pricing.

Some firms charge a minimum of $1,000 per month, whilst other agencies charge a lot less and offer SEO services at “bargain basement prices” starting from $199 per month. Differences like this leave many business owners completely confused and often wondering what on earth they’re actually paying for, and more importantly, why there are such large differences in the first place.

In this article, I want to address every aspect of cheap SEO and bring to light, exactly what cheap SEO means, the risks involved and why business owners should avoid it completely. Let’s get straight into it….


risk seo

Without a doubt, one of the most worrying aspects of cheap SEO is risk. Risk becomes a contributing factor for agencies that offer cheap SEO because they have to find “shortcuts” in order to provide the work. So in simple terms, this means “churn and burn” – To achieve this they often …

  • Hire staff overseas
  • Use automated tools and software
  • Invest in black hat strategies

Let’s take a closer look at these 3 areas.

Hiring staff overseas.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some very talented offshore virtual assistants that do great work. However if they’re being paid $2 an hour to work on your site and optimise it for the search engines, chances are they’re not going to be working with your best interests in mind. There’s also a good chance that they’re not going to be qualified to do the work in the first place.

This is especially true when it comes to written content. Some of the rubbish that I’ve seen written for clients would make them cringe (cheap firms just pray that those clients never find it). Non English speaking virtual workers writing cheap crappy content is one of the quickest ways to absolutely destroy your online business. Is it really worth it? Of course not.

Using automated tools and software.

Here’s another great example of how many SEO firms pull off the whole “cheap seo” at just $50 a month – they use automated tools, and crummy software that they basically just shove a few keywords in, press a button and let it run for a few days – on autopilot.

Software like this, usually churns out absolute crap across the web, spamming blogs all over the place with garbage comment spam, blog replies and other useless crap – all the while dropping keyword rich anchor text backlinks everywhere, in the hope of picking up some link juice. Guess what? Before you know it, you’ll be on the first page of Google, then a day later, your entire website will be blacklisted and you’re site will either be back on page 50 for every single keyphrase imaginable, or worse – deindexed completely.

Automated tools such as article spinning software, link building software, blog comment spamming and so on, never usually works anyway, but even when (or if) it does – it carries enormous risk. That being of course search engine penalties.

Black hat strategies.

Whenever I say “black hat”, I always feel I need to be wearing a pair of dark sunglasses, a trench coat, and be handing out fake Rolex watches in a back alleyway.

Black hat strategies have been around forever, and it’s still common, even today. SEO firms that offer cheap services often invest in dirty black hat strategies as a means to get “quick results”. This usually means that what might work in the short term, will eventually get the crap slapped out of it in the long term. Black hat strategies never work long term, they carry enormous amounts of risk and again, as said above, they usually always end up in search engine penalties.



When it comes to risk, you really only get one chance. Once you screw something up with your site within the search engines, it can be almost impossible to recover.

Cheap SEO firms will be long gone by the time everything goes pear shaped – and by the time you’ve realised this, they’ll either be shrugging their shoulders at you, or not answering their calls and emails.

Take my advice – avoid cheap SEO. It’s just not worth the risk. You might save a few dollars today, but in the long run, you’ll be wishing you had taken my advice.

Cheap SEO firms count on you not knowing otherwise

Every so often I speak to business owners who have invested in cheap SEO and typically the conversation goes like this…

  • “I found these guys in India that do my SEO for $80 a month. I’m saving a boat load.”
  • “Those expensive agencies are a rip off, $2,000 a month for SEO – what a joke!”
  • “Why should I pay an agency $1,000 a month for SEO, when I can get these other guys to do the same thing for $120 a month?”

…and so on and so on.

Whilst many business owners might think they’re doing themselves a favour by saving a few dollars on SEO, in reality, they’re putting their businesses at huge risk by being naive.

See, the problem lies with the majority of business owners not really understanding SEO at all – and cheap SEO firms love this. Infact they thrive on it. The less a business owners knows about SEO, the easier it will be to win them over, especially when cheap stuff is on offer.

See SEO can be simple, but it can also be an extremely complicated process. Unlike baking a cake where it’s a simple step by step process, SEO can have a multitude of ever changing variables that make it a very specialised area of work. This means that when you’re paying someone $2 an hour, as opposed to $200 an hour, you’re not going to get the same “work” done.

Cheap SEO isn’t just a case of some firms wanting to be expensive because they choose to. They’re expensive for a reason – because they understand the complexities of the work involved – and they want to do good quality work in order to get RESULTS.

Cheap SEO means exactly that – cheap crap, thrown at the wall in the hope that something might stick. Their only focus is to get the monthly fee and forget about you – but they won’t tell you that. They’ll keep you hanging on, month after month, in the hope that you won’t question it.


Many cheap agencies know that most business owners don’t have a clue about SEO, except that it’s important to be found in Google. They’ll win clients over with the whole “we’re cheaper than everyone else” pitch, but in actuality, it means nothing and you won’t see any results.

Quality of Work

This is no doubt the biggest difference between cheap SEO and stuff that’s actually worth something – the quality of the work being performed. There are a number of areas that I could cover here but two in particular come to mind.

  1. Written content
  2. Link building

Let’s have a quick look at both.

Written content.

Chances are, if you’ve hired a cheap agency, then they’re going to be spewing out all sorts of crap content about your business. Whether this be on your own site (god forbid) or in terrible articles posted on blog networks all over the net. Before I continue, have a quick read of this….

“Indite the articles that publishers want in their publications if you require your article marketing to play the most efficacious way for you. This also agency you hit to obey the accepted guidelines, language checks, researching on a sound matter and even hiring a author to produce a righteous content on your behalf. In the end, it is all rattling a concern of prize on your share. You can start effort a lowercase danger from hyperbolic links backwards but on a very radical tier. Or enjoy large danger from a young thespian reading making lineament contents.”

This is the exact type of trash that will either a) end up on your website, or b) end up on a useless blog somewhere with a link embedded within it, pointing BACK to YOUR website. How do you think this will look if a customer or prospect reads this rubbish and it’s associated with you and your business? It wont look good at all.


Cheap SEO agencies are notorious for pumping out garbage like this on the internet and it doesn’t help anybody. It won’t help you get better rankings, it won’t help visitors to your website, and it certainly won’t help you get better rankings. It’s absolute rubbish and it should be avoided at all costs.

Link building.

This in a sense ties in with the poorly written content above. Typically cheap SEO agencies that get involved in this type of rubbish, often use link building strategies that are highly questionable.

This might mean using blog networks, fiverr gigs or micro worker type websites where they pay Filipino webmasters to “put links” on their completely unrelated websites for 50 cents a pop, pointing back to yours. Often these links are placed in the sidebar or footer (which is extremely dangerous) and you end up with 5,000 crappy links all pointing back from some website about fluffy pink slippers to your investment property website.

It’s common and it happens. Again, you’re just asking for trouble using these types of cheap services – avoid at all costs.


Cheap SEO firms will produce terribly low quality work and potentially harm your business. You really do get what you pay for.

Nothing will actually get done

Seriously, if you’re paying an agency $100 a month for SEO, just how much work do you think is going to get done for $100 over a monthly period? Professional SEO consultants charge up to $500 an hour, let alone $100 a month! Heck, even furniture removalists charge $200 an hour!

If you divide up $100 for the month, that works out to be 13 cents an hour!!! You would have to be absolutely insane to think that anyone in their right mind could provide a service at those figures.

Better yet, many firms that charge $100 a month or thereabouts – do not actually do anything. They just take your money and that’s it. That’s right – nothing get’s done, and for most unsuspecting business owners that wouldn’t know otherwise, this means they’re paying a monthly fee for absolutely nothing.

This often leaves them wondering ..”What’s getting done?”, “Why aren’t my rankings improving?”. And what’s worse is that when business owners start asking questions, they’ll often get responses like, “Yes, we’re working on it”, “There’s a few small issues we’re sorting out”, or “Here’s a confusing report to bamboozle you so that you stop bothering us”.



Many SEO agencies that charge peanuts per month don’t actually do anything.

The real costs of cheap SEO

The ironic thing with cheap SEO is that it always works out to be more expensive in the long run. No matter which way you cut it.

I know this because I’ve sat with numerous dejected business owners that have either …

  • Lost rankings due to low quality work
  • Been penalised as a result of engaging with cheap agencies
  • Lost months or even years mucking around with cheap agencies that take their money and waste their time
  • Or worse, all of the above

Remember, before you engage in the services of an SEO firm claiming to guarantee you first page rankings for just $50 a month, ask yourself ..”Is this really worth it?”. I can tell you right now, it’s not. It’s always going to be a case of “save now, pay later”.


2 thoughts on “The Truth About Cheap SEO”

  1. Pingback: How Much Does SEO Cost? How Much Should You Be Paying? - Works Media SEO

  2. Pingback: SEO Fatigue - Dodgy Agencies, Clueless Clients, Had Enough Yet? - SEO Point

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