Sometimes some business owners choose their new seo agency just on price alone. However, choosing a new agency just on price can be a decision that comes back to bite some Cardiff businesses.

That’s because there are two main forms of seo, that’s white hat, where the agency has the sole intention to ensure that they are using the best possible methods, and there’s also black hat, which means the agency is willing to cut corners.

Cutting corners is never a good idea, what can happen is that the website can sometimes see a temporary increase in it’s rankings, however sure enough it will get hit by a Google penalty, that’s if low quality forms of seo have been used.

What often happens is a digital marketing agency will pop up in one city like Cardiff, they will use a business name, then after so many months that agency will simply collapse and change names, this allows the business to keep taking on new businesses, while implementing low quality seo.

Simply put, be aware that there are a lot of low quality digital marketing agencies operating these days.

What can deceive some business owners within Cardiff or Bristol, is the fact that the agency may appear to rank highly themselves, for terms like SEO Cardiff. This can be because the agency may have used low quality methods of seo on their own websites, this allows them a temporary boost to rankings, that’s before their own site gets hit by a penalty. This is normally achieved by building a ton of low quality links to site, which is not advised! Then the agency may set up above another business website, and the cycle continues.

The long and short of the matter is this, poor quality seo is simply a false economy.

What methods of Seo could mean a website incurs a Google penalty?

It’s important to remember that Google employs well over 200+ ranking signals, each of these ranking signals relates to how well optimised your website actually is. They range from meta descriptions, through to how strong your website backlinks are.

Simply put there are now hundreds of ways in which an agency could incorrectly optimise your website, but we will now look at some of the more common ways that some agencies get it wrong:

Low quality content marketing

Low quality content marketing could mean that the agency has employed a strategy that is just focused on search engine optimisation gain. This means it’s not focused on helping it’s customers, instead the whole website is just aimed at ranking well.

Instead the agency must make sure that the website fulfils its main purpose of offering the best information or service, so seo is a bolt on to this objective.

To provide you with an example, if you were to run a digital marketing agency, then the website should display that it is aware of the best practice methods (White hat methods) and that it knows how to use these for your business.

Here’s some other ways a website could trigger a Google penalty:

Shallow content

Shallow content is content marketing that states the obvious, it’s only intention is to provide 500 odd words, that has keywords laced within the content marketing. This type of content marketing is likely to increase the websites bounce rate as well.


Duplicated content can mean that a website incurs what’s called a Google Panda penalty.

Only exists for seo gain

A website should not just be seo focused, it should offer a good service first and foremost to its customers. This means offering good quality content marketing and also answering customers most common questions.

Low engagement / high bounce rate

A website that is just search engine optimisation focused is likely to receive a very high bounce rate, which means users that visit the sites landing page may then swiftly jump back into the search results and possibly go to a competitors site rather than using your business.

A agency should monitor bounce rates carefully.

Poor quality backlinks

One of the main causes a website can drop in Google’s rankings is because they have employed a seo agency that has built low quality links.

Google’s Penguin updates can pick up on low quality links, the website can then be hit by a penalty.

Paid links

Sometimes online marketing businesses state that the fastest way to get to the top of Google is to purchase backlinks. Purchasing backlinks is not a good idea, Google can work out which websites are selling links, and if your website is linked to by such a business, then this could mean that your website gets hit by a penalty.

Over optimised anchor text

Sometimes another way that some agencies get a website to rank quickly is by recommending that the seo strategy has link building that involves optimising the anchor text.

If carried out correctly, then this can sometimes help the business, but we must stress that it must be used correctly.

Too much branded, or keyword stuffed anchor text and mean that your website is likely to be hit by a penalty.

Irrelevant sources

Your business should look to build links from high-quality and relevant sources. For instance, say for example you were running a marketing business within Wales, you would want to earn links from marketing related websites.

If you were to build links mainly from a group of websites that you have a personal interest in like say for example a group of football websites, then these links will not help your marketing business at all. That’s because the football links will be irrelevant to the marketing business.

The backlinks must therefore be relevant.

Algorithmic penalties

Google employs sophisticated, and complex algorithms, these algorithms have inbuilt formulas that trigger a penalty once spam is detected.

So, if your website suffers from any of the problems that are noted above, then it is possible that a Google Panda, or Google Penguin penalty can be triggered.

Manual penalties

Google also employee’s teams that can manually look at websites that they may deem some websites as having lot of spam.

These experts will then make a decision as to whether the website is white hat or not.