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Disadvantages of SEO

Can there be disadvantages to SEO?

Yes, there can, as experts in digital marketing at ExtraDigital we know that all marketing channels have their benefits and disadvantages, this article will cover some of the ones we have most commonly observed.

Before we look at the disadvantages let first examine what SEO is.

What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimisation is a digital marketing method that works to optimise a website to perform well in search engine results.

This includes ranking and appearing well for search terms and variations that are used by your target audience in natural or organic search listings.

The SEO method involves not only making an adjustment to the website itself but also work on the wider internet to build a site's authority and position.

Benefits of SEO

If you have spent any time looking at the SEO services available you will see lots of focus on the benefits.

While SEO has many benefits two areas we like to focus on at ExtraDigital are:

  • building relevant traffic to your website
  • supporting and generating leads and sales

Disadvantages of SEO

Disadvantages of SEO

1)  Getting noticed by more than your target audience

As you get more visible online through SEO so your competitors will start to notice and they may well up their game to compete.

Increased competition is fairly common once competitors see your marketing is working especially if their leads and sales are dropping.

Also, expect to be targeted by a lot more people trying to sell you their services. From other SEO agencies to advertising the greater your exposure online the more others will start to see you as a desirable prospect to work with.

Spam too can increase for the same reasons, but with good filters in place, this can easily be managed.

SEO can bring too much success

2) Over Success

As much as every business wants to be a success there is a real danger of too much and too fast. If you can't handle the volume of leads and sales then opportunities will be lost and customers let down.

Once SEO gets into full swing I have seen cases where the upsurge in leads has been more than the client could handle.

Unlike channels like PPC which can easily be switched on and off SEO isn't so instant. Even if you stop your SEO it’s likely the work already in place will have some lasting effect. Although over time your SEO position will slip if not maintained often due again to the increased efforts of your competitors.

As you can see it’s very important to make sure you have the right structures in place to cope with increases in leads and sales.

Black and White Hat SEO

3) Black Hats and White Hats

The SEO world can feel a little like the Wild West, while most agencies offer a good and fair service there are some that don’t.

Some companies (Black Hats) will happily break the rules to get you to the top in the short term only for you to find you get caught with a Google Penalty that gets you kicked out of search results due to their methods.

Then there are companies (White Hats) who work hard to stay within the rules and give you great SEO results through regular quality work.

There are also companies who sit between both camps almost grey hats so to speak.

Often it’s hard for businesses to know who to trust with their SEO and we sadly do see websites that have been damaged by bad SEO work.

Our advice is to look for the White Hat SEO's, they won't be the cheapest, but they will give you the best value for your investment.

Check the company’s reputation, have any of their clients had a Google penalty?

At ExtraDigital, we are proud to be White Hat’s, working within Google guidelines with innovative as well as tried and tested SEO. While we have helped websites recover from Google Penalties we happily have never had one of our clients receive one.


As you can see SEO has both its benefits and its disadvantages.

However, by partnering with the right SEO agency and ensuring you have the internal structures to cope with sales and lead increases plus robust measures to deal with increased competition, advertising calls and spam SEO can be an asset for your business.

To talk about how SEO can help your business call ExtraDigital Today +44(0)1227 68 68 98 or tell us more about your business below.

Monday 5th September 2016

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