Predatory Jerks Give SEO a Bad Name

Posted in Agencies, SEO

sales.jpg

<Rant> I’ve wanted to write this post for years. A couple of times a month one of our clients or partners forwards us a laughable cold call sales pitch they’ve received from some bulk email scamming SEO-weasel who’s grubbing for business from the unaware. Though most serious search marketing agency-types provide an honest day’s work, as in any industry, a percentage of unscrupulous snake oil throwback-types give SEO a bad name.

Easy to Spot
These noisy jerks [author’s editorial opinion] blur the lines between paid and organic products with misleading jive, offer improper, unverifiable or, in some cases possibly fake claims to be AdWords Certified or a Yahoo Ambassador. Some offer “free” services, prey on fears and misconceptions, provide no unsubscribe in their aggressive solicitations, and point to 1998 looking “agency” websites that claim credentials by methods that break Google’s rules.

This Will Make Your Day
Below is an unsolicited “Promotional” email our attorney received this week. The AdWords Certification on the vendor’s site does not link to Google’s verification page and there is no listing for “SEMME,” “Customer Pal,” or “Search Marketing Me” in Yahoo’s Ambassador Directory. You will particularly enjoy the misspellings and grammatical errors amongst the content. Read it and weep…

-—-Original Message—–
From: todd@customerpal.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:07 AM

Hello,
There are hundreds of people searching for Lawyers and their Legal Services via Google, Yahoo, and many other search engines every month in your area.

Your website is simply being missed by over 99% of searches if you’re not at the top of the Search Engines. I can make those search engines find you at the top of the list on the first page every time. I can keep you there as long as you want.

The public will see your website and services first!!!!

There is no charge for this until I deliver. When you are finding yourself sitting at the top in first place I will bill you per month. This is a monthly arrangement with no contract and you may terminate at any time. ( you won’t want to)

You will be found on over twenty search engines including: yahoo, google, excite, altavista, lycos, infospace, web crawler, etc.

Call Todd toll free 1-866-998-3068

Talk to you soon-

PS If you would like to see for yourself how you’re ranked on the search engines, simply go to www.Google.com and do a search for “your geographic area” followed by the word “lawyer” or “injury lawyer”

(example: SanJose personal inury lawyer). Let me know where you come up. If you’re not on the first page….you need my service badly!! I’ll put you number one on the first page or you don’t pay!! I only take one lawyer from each town or city search.

Call me now!

Toll Free 1-866-998-3068

[Here’s the website you get if you follow the trail.]

</Rant>

  • Michael Dorausch

    LOL!!!
    Let it out Marty, let it out!
    Change a keyword and that’s exactly the type of marketing I’m getting frequently.

  • Todd Mintz

    So Marty, you aren’t always a nice guy:.)

    I wouldn’t even call those folks SEO’s…they’re email spammers pushing SEO (as opposed to pill/porn).

    BTW, I’m not the Todd that sent that email…

  • Marty

    There is no need to be a gentleman in this case Todd…and I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by….and can you prove you’re not the Todd? :)

  • Jane

    I like it when they write to me via one of my non-SEOmoz sites, using these awful cold-calling emails. I usually reply (yep!) with my SEOmoz signature on the off chance that they realize they’ve emailed an actual SEO by accident. Needless to say, no matter what my reply, they never write me back.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Jane, just for grins and giggles I actually requested information from the cold-caller and gave THIS blog post as the site I want to market. No word yet…Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • Canadian SEO Expert

    As my boss at Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning has always said, “Never hire an SEO who can’t rank himself”. And I can’t agree more, SEO shouldn’t have to go out and look for work. Finding work should be organic skilled SEOs, we receive multiple new leads every day.

  • Michael Dorausch

    Back in August I received a cold call from a telemarketer SEO. They had some ‘secret’ relationship with Google and we’re going to put their best search guy to work on creating a report for me.

    The “report” was an old article by Danny Sullivan. I almost wanted to take it further to see what would happen but decided I was too busy working on real stuff. Here’s a summary of the event…

    http://blog.planetc1.com/2007/08/29/you-give-search-engine-marketing-a-bad-name/

  • Jake

    Oh gosh.

    It’s sad that people fall into trash-ploys, still to this day, and that this is still out there.

    Believe it or not, Now and again, I receive junk mail (USPS) in official looking blue envelopes with red copy, from “Internet Listing Service” stating that I can be listed in all Internet Directories and search engines for $25/year. Next time I get one of these, I’m scanning it and posting it.

    Please SAVE US!!! PLEASE..??

  • Dave Davies

    Off of Google’s site:

    Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

    “Dear google.com,
    I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

    Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

    I love that. :)

  • Marty Weintraub

    We’ve heard the “special deal with Google” pitch several times…BARF

  • Clickfire

    But Marty, give them credit for no spelling and grammar errors :)

  • Marty Weintraub

    Clickfire…LOL. All of you…LOL. I like that you’ve posted other flim flam examples.

  • Michael Dorausch

    Just got a call today from a company in San Diego called Superior Internet Solutions. Sales rep told me they are “partners with google.” LOL

  • Marty Weintraub

    Yeah, I’ve heard the “special deal with Google” on several times to where I pushed it until they had to hang up on me…

  • Mr. Lawyer

    I actually work for one of the companies who’s logo this nutcase stole and put on his site to gain credibility. I’m going to sick our legal department on his on Monday….watch how fast this sucker disappears….

  • Marty Weintraub

    Mr. Lawyer, YAY-Go get em’.

  • Kathryn

    I am a lawyer who received this spam mail recently. I was considering calling the number as we are looking for SEO assistance, and appreciate the warnings given by this blog as it appears I have avoided a disaster.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Good Kathryn,
    You made my day.

  • SEO Steve

    SEO’s only get bad names if they dont follow through the work. Also everyone the builds a websites thinks they are masters on the internet. I have built plenty of sites in my time and I have to turn to an seo expert if I need too. People need think respect SEO more.

  • Jason

    “SEO’s only get bad names if they dont follow through the work. Also everyone the builds a websites thinks they are masters on the internet. I have built plenty of sites in my time and I have to turn to an seo expert if I need too. People need think respect SEO more.”

    Yep, it takes a lot more than building a site to make you an expert on the web. And even experts need help with some aspects of marketing. One person can’t do it all.

  • alex

    Mr. Lawyer, YAY-Go get em’.

  • oneninetwo

    Although this post is really old, you still see the same stuff going on in the industry. The best is when people promise results in under a week! I think I could post about 5 different e-mails similar to this.

Join the Conversation