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By Carl Weinschenk

This blog at WebProNews is a worth a look, especially by small businesses that aren't steeped in the complex world of search engine optimization, website creation and other emerging cyber arts.

The blog describes a situation in which an SEO that charged a client a high initial fee added a monthly charge that the client claimed to not have been told about. The firm excoriates the company for removing the existing backlinks when she refused to pay the recurring fee.

The blogger, who is addressing SEO experts, is right to be angry. Beyond that, there also is an important point for small companies not likely to be regular readers of WebProNews: Researching prospective vendors grows in importance as what they do becomes more difficult for outsiders to understand.

SEO is a good example. It's impossible for an untrained outsider to truly know what's going on without making a big effort. And this effort should be made. Small businesses need to know precisely what they are buying and have bought. This goes beyond the type of due diligence used when buying a telephone system or other product or service in which bad performance is obvious on day one.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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