10 Web Professionals You Should NEVER Hire

by Hadassah Levy

  1. SEO marketers who promise too much. Find someone who actually understands the complexity of the industry and doesn’t promise unrealistic results.
  2. The over-optimizers. These are the SEO pros who stuff keywords, put way too much code on your site and worry about the anchor text of every inbound link. If your website is over-optimized, Google is targeting YOU in its newest Penguin update.
  3. Inbound marketers who think it’s a good idea to buy links. Google spends a lot of resources trying to eliminate the link building industry and you don’t want to be penalized when they catch you.
  4. Marketers who want you to compete against Coke (or whoever the biggest brand is in your market). You need to define your competition correctly before you can start marketing. Compete against similar sized businesses and focus on your exact niche so you can be seen and heard.
  5. Social media “experts” who are only concerned with follower counts. Social media is about branding, conversation and community. A Twitter account being followed by hundreds of bots is pretty useless.
  6. Marketers who give you a list of what you need without researching your organization and niche. There are tons of online marketing channels out there, and your consultant should choose the best ways for you to get your message across. Marketing is about defining your message, finding your audience and communicating with that audience. It has to be individually tailored to each organization.
  7. Social media professionals who talk to themselves. They post updates about their company or organization but never engage, only retweet/re-share  content or spew a feed. Or they use so many hashtags that nobody can actually read their tweets.
  8. Web designers who create logins and passwords on your site and don’t share the info with you. You should always be able to control your own website. You should never have to walk away from a domain name because you want to switch designers.
  9. Web designers who are stuck in a time-warp. They design entirely in Flash or try to cover every inch of white space.
  10. Secretive people. Any web professional who doesn’t explain to you exactly what you are paying for should not be trusted. You should have a written agreement stating what services you are paying for before you shell out a dime.

Working in the internet marketing world since 2004, Hadassah Levy is a principal at i-Point Media Group. She has experience working on platforms such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Joomla and Drupal. At i-Point, she specializes in social media, content writing and SEO.

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  1. Tomer Marshall says

    100% right! I’d also like to add that you should always get an other web-pros advice before starting to work with anybody (someone who’s not in competition for your business). Although it looks easy and simple, it’s actually a very complex and dynamic market, people sale you what they have to offer, which is not always what you need, and a good salesperson can….well sell you anything.

  2. says

    One thing I would add is also to ask for (actually, demand) editable source for any work that you’re paying for. At Open Siddur, we’ve already encountered a few people/non-profits who paid for digitization work and wanted to contribute it to us, but the contributors were only able to provide us with display output formats (like PDFs) that make it nearly impossible to extract the digitization for any other purpose.

  3. Hadassah says

    Tomer – I agree that getting an expert’s opinion before you decide is an excellent way to avoid pitfalls, especially if you are not knowledgeable about web marketing.

    Efraim – I must say I took it for granted that people would provide content that was editable. Sorry to hear you encountered people who don’t get it.

  4. says

    @Hadassah: The repeated case we have encountered is where someone hires an outside contractor to do digitization work, and the contractor returns to them a nice, well-designed PDF that answers the payee’s exact immediate needs. When the payee wants to do something else with the data, the editable source is unrecoverable. Unfortunately, this seems to be standard practice in the industry.

  5. says

    Great list! I would add another note about SEOs & inbound marketers. Stay away from anyone who doesn’t give you a solid start on a content strategy for your web presence. Adjusting title tags, internal linking, building a site-map, etc… are all very important, but if you aren’t creating remarkable content that people are sharing and linking to, you’re not going to get very far.

    Thanks again for sharing!