Dodgy SEO Company Marketing Tactics

A client of mine forwarded an email (let’s be honest, spam) he received from an SEO company in the north-west last week. I thought I’d write about it here, but I’m not going to name names because frankly I can’t be bothered getting hassle from talking to a company who uses these tactics.

The email is quite long, but I shall give you an overview of my main areas of concern (which of course made me quite angry at the time, as it is effectively questioning my services to the client):

  1. “Your website is probably underperforming in the major search engines… I struggled to find you in the first couple of pages of Google…”The email doesn’t state what search terms the sales chap was using. So, um, exactly how does he define “underperforming”? The site is in the top 10 (mostly the top 2) for all the target phrases I agreed with the client, based on solid keyword research and the client’s target market. Very misleading, but to the uninitiated, it sounds very serious.
  2. “I ran a back-link check on your site… Your website has 2 back-links, meaning it’s not very popular.”
    Riiiiight, exactly what did the sales idiot use to get this information? I’m guessing Google’s link: command, which has been broken for longer than I can remember. The only way to know what links to your site Google knows about is to use Webmaster Tools, which this guy can’t have had access to. After that, it’s Yahoo’s Site Explorer, which reports 204 links to the site in question. Way to go, salesboy… You’re scaring my client and wasting my time as I explain the real situation to them. Thanks.
  3. “Right now, your site has only 6 pages indexed by Google, which is quite low. This can be down to many reasons which our service can help resolve.”
    Um, yeah, the main reason is there are only six pages on the website, genius! Now, I agree that more content will generally help with SEO, but for this particular client it isn’t necessary (see above point about being in the top 10 for all target phrases).

As you can tell, I’m not very impressed with this “research” and these guys are frightening people and causing trouble for other reputable SEOs as a result. The email states that they’re prepared to enter into a 12-month contract at £175 per month to promote five phrases, so basically they want £2100 a year to SEO five phrases for your site. I’ll leave you to decide if that’s good value or not, considering they don’t appear to be able to do even basic SEO research properly.

5 thoughts on “Dodgy SEO Company Marketing Tactics

  1. I get cold calls all the time.
    Had one person call me to say “We have a position 1 space available on Google – are you interested?”. When I asked for clarification re what it was that was “available”, she just repeated herself. When I said that the only options were either pay-per-click or organic, and asked what exactly it was they were offering me, they hung up!! Clearly relying on complete ignorance!

    Another call… they wanted to charge me £500 per phrase per month, to be on page 1 of Google. I don’t pay anything till I get to page 1. When I asked what would happen if I stopped paying. They said I would drop right off page 1. Hmmm…. interesting. So what techniques would they be using to put me on page 1? 😮

    There are some very very dodgy ‘practitioners’ out there…

  2. Sadly, those stories are all too familiar from many companies I talk to! 🙁

    I suppose if you’re being generous, you could say they’ll be running AdWords campaigns for you (no doubt at twice the cost or more of doing it yourself), but if they’re suggesting they can get you at the top of organic results, they’re either lying/hoping, or using something nasty and linkfarm-related that really won’t help you in the long run.

  3. I had several cold calls from a north west based company regarding my adwords. They also told me I was underperforming, my ads weren’t showing etc. etc.

    I think I knew more than the guy who was hassling me anyway so he eventually left me alone lol.

  4. This kind of stuff really gets to me, cold calling especially! These companies are just looking for easy hits and targeting the vulnerable, but when they come up against someone like Kiran who challenges them, they put the phone down :S Obviously not the kind of companies you can trust to ever do any business with, and will be here today, gone tommorow businesses without a doubt!

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