On a daily basis my inbox is filled with SEO and web design scams and cons. A client just forwarded the following to me asking if I thought this was a legit company and whether or not they needed their services. I got the same one six times in the past three weeks. I’d like to rip into this one as an example to all on how NOT to take these things seriously.
I hope you’re doing well!
After looking through your site: , we found that neither it was making visitors attract towards your site and nor to your business/services.
If you are interested we want to increase the number of visitors to your website as it is important that you have a top position in search-engines.
Our search-engine-optimization experts will run a ranking report showing you exactly where your website currently stands in all the major search engines. Then we will email you our analysis report along with the recommendations of how we can increase your ranking, and improve your websites traffic dramatically.
We strictly work on performance basis and can assure you of getting quality links with a proper reporting format for your site as well.
We wish you the best of luck and looking forward to a long and healthy business relationship with you and your company.
Please do let me know if you have any questions.
Note the colon and comma without a site name in the second sentence. That’s a clue that this is a form letter, not personal, and worth dismissing or marking as spam immediately. I usually mark these as spam. I recommend you do the same to add these to the filters that keep this crap out of your inbox.
…we want to increase the number of visitors to your website as it is important that you have a top position in search-engines.
Sorry, the only way you can increase the number of visitors to my site in regards to search engines is to rewrite or write new content on my site. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the SEO games over the years and trust me, content works. This is my site, my content, and I don’t want you touching it. That’s my job.
I also don’t want to be in the top position on search engines. Think about this a moment. I want to be in the top for the things I want to be known for and the matching content I have on my site, but not necessarily at the very top. Others are wiser than I, so they deserve top ranking. If I write the answers they need to the questions they ask, they’ll find me, usually after a bit of digging, but they’ll find me if they need me.
If they aren’t finding me, I need to notch up my content to feature the words they use to look for my answers. That’s me paying attention to the words I write and choosing wisely.
Our search-engine-optimization experts will run a ranking report…
There are tons of those free on the web. Why would I need you when I can do it myself?
We strictly work on a performance basis…
Well, so far, your performance sucks. This is the same form letter I get from hundreds of different “we fix your page ranking and SEO” sites and services. Has your company undergone a domain name or company name change? Twelve times in the last week? No. So this is a form letter that anyone can copy and paste into an email spam bot and spread around the world. Lose many points on that one, in addition to the point lost for not identifying my website in your bot.
Other points lost? Search engine is not hyphenated, nor is search engine optimization (go on, call it SEO). You start off personal without knowing anything about me or my site or business. There is nothing original or personally directed at me or my site. They haven’t done their homework. If they did, they would know they have picked the wrong person.
Part of the expertise in SEO is attention to details. The little details can make or break the success of your site. The words are part of it, but so is the user experience, what people see, what they notice, how they move through your site, navigation, and how calls to action are not just perceived but acted upon. No auto-bot report is going to give you that feedback. You want someone truly vested in the details, the little things.
Don’t Be Led Astray By SEO and Page Rank Scams
There are fantastic companies out there doing good things with keyword optimization and search engine optimization techniques. There are thousands of websites offering great tips on how to optimize your site yourself, at no cost and a little bit of homework.
Google killed off their PageRank public information a few years ago because of the abuse and misunderstandings around how it all worked. People used it as a score card and baseball bat to their heads rather than another piece of the puzzle. Whole advertising markets were based upon your PageRank score, not taking into account the bigger picture. Many lost money over Google’s changes in PageRank – for reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of their sites, content, and audience. It was a joke, and Google took it off the table accordingly.
Basic SEO is easy. Treat it organically. Let search engine algorithms do their work. You concentrate on producing easy to understand and read content, make it findable, and you’ll just saved yourself a thousand dollars. When you’ve optimized your own site, then go to the experts to get it fine tuned, relying upon their expertise to guide you through the big picture maze, not the small minded fixes.
Here are some quick tips to avoid being lured into these SEO scams:
- If they don’t know who you are, what you do, or can describe your site in detail, ignore it.
- If they send you a cold calling email, ignore it. Only choose companies you know, trust, and that come highly recommended by people you trust.
- If there are gaps in the text or spelling mistakes, spam it.
- If they make promises you know aren’t true, spam it.
- If you have received these in the past with the names changed, spam it.
Again, do not take these personally. They haven’t checked your site. They don’t know anything about you. This is a phishing exercise and by the sure bulk of the mass emailing they do, they manage to pick up enough suckers to keep themselves employed. Don’t be one of them.
Oh well said. I get these emails all the time and not only are they annoying and can potentially be ripping off some “unaware” businesses they are doing much harm to the SEO industry as a whole. I know there are some excellent SEO guys out there and people will just lose faith in SEO because of all the garbage that is put out.
Sadly as you say they manage to keep themselves employed which only means they manage to rip quite a few businesses off along the way.
Guess you could say its the business owners own fault for not doing his research properly and protecting him/herslef.
If you are in business on the web then you owe it to yourself to search out good posts with good information and LEARN what not to do and how to avoid being scammed.
Sometimes it goes a lot further than emails! There is a long standing “local listing seo” chop shop that has been robocalling scraped numbers and claiming to be “Google Compliance Department” for years! They say it will cost hundreds to get your site on the front page and then string the customers along as long as possible. First saying it takes 3 months, then that it will be ready next month, then that the next month will be free, then that they will be refunding a few months of payments… all because they want to rack as many monthly charges up as possible. When the client finally gets fed up they stop answering his calls or emails and when he attempts to reverse the charges through the bank they submit the contract and terms the client has agreed to which of course stops them from being able reverse the charges and who reads the 12 page “terms of service” from companies claiming to be a partner of Google?!?!
I started a blog in hopes of slowing or stopping these scammers. I agree that the owner should do some research but when they are lied to and the company publishes thousands of fake news articles, financials to inc.com to be listed, and lots of fake reviews it is hard for the customers to find the truth!
Bottom line, buyer beware! Always try to get an email from the person and then take the firstname.lastname@example.org and google “company.com reviews” and “company.com scam”. Remember if they truly are great at seo you should be able to see nothing but sparkling reviews and their websites at the top of important searches like “YOURSTATE SEO Services”
Best of luck and I hope nobody else is scammed!
Pingback: Happy Holidays and Onward! « Lorelle on WordPress