For those that are new to SEO and the Online Marketing world, here are some tips to help you spot a phony SEO/Online Marketing firm. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them out there and it’s just a matter of time until they contact you making compelling but fraudulent claims.
One method of finding you is through the use of Google AdWords. However, there are spammers that send out an email to every address they can scrape. Furthermore, they are very clever regarding this process as they address you by name and use your URL in the boilerplate copy.
Using the common sense approach here will not only help you with SEO spam but spam of all kinds that flood your inbox.
If you see any of the following warning signs, Delete, Ignore, Hang-Up, or report as spam because it is all fraudulent! All of this effort is designed to do one thing and one thing only, take your money and produce no results.
Without further a due, here are the top 10 ways to spot a fraudulent SEO firm.
10) They “Guarantee” 1st place or 1st page placement on Google.
9) They have been kind enough to “take the time” to review your site and think it’s fantastic. However they cannot find you on the front page of Google and are “very concerned” about you. They can turn this around with organic front page listings.
8) They will quickly build links from all over the web that point back to your site.
7) They offer ridiculously low fees or just a one- time fee to get you on the front page of the search engines.
6) Want to redesign your site for “SEO purposes” without a valid reason. Note: There are still valid reasons to redesign a site that is search engine un-friendly. However, these scammers never look at your site to determine if it needs a redesign.
5) Offers to provide massive traffic to your social media sites.
4) No Website listed or phone number is listed in their contact info.
3) They state you were contacted because you don’t place for your top keyword phrases even though they don’t know what your top phrases are. Even if you currently have excellent positions in search, the pitch will be the same.
2) They use a free or third party email address to contact you. (@yahoo, gmail, etc.)
1) Finally, the number 1 way to spot a phony SEO firm. They Initiate contact! That’s right. Any firm that is worth hiring will not use unsolicited email (SPAM) and/or phone calls.
A final point to consider, I have had people call me and actually state that they were from Google and could guarantee my company 1st place position, not realizing they called an actual SEO agency. When pressed with real questions about SEO, they crumbled and hung up.
I have also had customers that “went to SEO seminars presented by Google Representatives” This will never happen. A Google rep will never try to sell you an SEO package!
Legitimate firms have all the work they can handle which is driven to them by referrals, online articles, community involvement and of course legitimate SEO efforts.
The following are just a few of the real spam solicitations that flood our inbox. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
I have bold comments next to identifiers that should instantly raise a red flag.
———————————————–Actual Spam Examples———————————————–
Anatomy of a Spam Email: Subject – Phony SEO SCAM
From: [email protected] (Throw Away Address)
Owner of YourDomain.com,
I would like to request your consideration for Search Engine Marketing opportunity with your Business.
Would you like to rank YourDomain.com on top page of Google Organic Search, for ANY keyword of your choice? (Wants give us front page Rankings for ANY keyword – Impossible Claim)
1. Redesign YourDomain.com with Richer Content and W3C Validated. (Our site already has Rich Content and Validated – Site Not Reviewed)
- Optimize YourDomain.com for top page ranking in Google, Yahoo & Bing by a link-building campaign at relevant Portals. (Again with the top Rankings. Also, link building at the wrong portals can cause a penalty)
- Promote YourDomain.com massively in Online Social Medias and B2B portals for direct inquiries from your Customers. (Social Media is built slowly through your actual customers . Social media is not a big drivers of traffic that converts)
- Bring YourSite.com to the top 5 Organic searches in Google, Yahoo & Bing, for any of your desired keywords. (Again with the top Rankings – This cannot be Guaranteed)
Your Customers find you when YourDomain.com is on the top of Google. Having a beautiful Website as well as being on the top left of Google (#1- #5 Organic positions) is the best thing you can do for your company’s Website traffic and Online Reputation.
Due to the recent changes in Google’s SEO policies, there are a lot of improvements for top page ranking of a Website. I can provide you a detailed analysis in the form of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Report for YourDomain.com to let you know those areas of improvement.
Sounds interesting? Feel free to ask questions or you can provide your phone number for me to call you.
Sam (Sam Who?)
———————- (No WebSite)
———————- (No Phone Number)
———————————————-Spam Email Example 2———————————————–
From: [email protected] (Throw away Email Address)
Would you like to be listed at the top of every major search engine such as Google, Yahoo! & Bing for multiple search phrases (keywords) relevant to your products / services?
Our Steps and the Activities to Rank You 1st Page on Google! (1st page lie and cannot create a coherent sentence)
1. Keywords Research
2. Competition Analysis
3. Optimized Content Creation
4. Keywords Optimization
5. Back Link Creation/Link Building
6. Submission to Search Engines and Directories
7. Submission to Article Directories (Old SEO technique – no longer used in modern SEO)
We are a team of 80+ professionals which includes 50 full time SEO experts. (Obvious Lie)
We are proud to inform you that our team handled 250+ SEO projects. We will be glad to assist you with offering our services. ( Probably true. Ripped of 250 people at least)
Contact us for the best quote for your website & we’ll place your website on 1st page Google ranking for targeted keywords. (1st page lie again)
Online SEO Consultant
———————– (No Phone)
———————– ( No Website)
——————————————————-End Spam Email————————————————–