Those of us relying on SEO are often frightened when we see a big Google update announced in the news, like we saw with the “Fred” update in March. We feel like we can lose lots of business at the whim of Google. To be fair to Google, they are usually updating to just push down sites blatantly breaking the rules with bad content or links. However, sometimes it seems like they kill an ant with a sledgehammer, even if it is a really annoying ant.
We may see dips in our search traffic right after a major update or even because of our own technical issues that come up. It is important to remember to follow the general trend. Though there are definitely a lot of unethical people promising SEO get rich schemes, if you have a good SEO that has shown productivity and effectiveness over time, let them work you through the ups and downs. There will always be some blips in the radar here and there. As long as you have a general upward trend, you are doing it the right way.
In general, if it feels sketchy, it probably is. If your SEO says they have a “trick” or a tool that pushes you immediately to the front of Google, they are either going to get you in trouble or are just lying. Make sure your SEO has a good solid history if they are new to you, or if you have been with them, successfully growing for years, let them adjust to the latest situation. Google often makes adjustments to the algorithm, and it may just mean you need to pivot a bit to stay away from things Google is overly sensitive to.
Anything that works in SEO also spawns entire industries devoted to shady versions of that same practice. Reviews are important so companies offer fake reviews. Links are important so every good way to get quality links has been hijacked at some point to be a shady way to do it as well. When Google punishes these shady links or content, or whatever their intended target is, they sometimes devalue real links that are on the edge of what that unethical stuff is. A good SEO will pivot away from this a bit and work on building different relationships or cleaning up your content. You may need to re-write that service page to provide a better user experience. That makes sense.
The point is that if you have a good relationship with your SEO, the algorithm change or dip in traffic is the most important time to rely on them. That is when they roll up their sleeves and adjust to make sure you are doing everything that needs to be done to keep that long-term upward trend.