Dishonest SEO "Agencies" are actually appalling.

20 replies
  • SEO
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Today, I found out that Google contacted one of my clients, promising him number one rankings for £150. Funnily enough, he rang me all excited mentioning that Google had actually rung him, and wanted to take him to the top of the SERPs for just a mere £150. Naturally, he was more than ready to pay such a small price tag.

Found out, that in the end, it's some SEO firm based in Manchester who cold-call around the UK, pretending to be Google. They lure people in through stating that their Google, and that they can rank anybody for anything, for £150.

It's a pretty shady tactic really, and one that destroys the market, especially since I'm 110% sure their work will be awful (if they do any work at all).

Anybody had any similar stuff happening?
#agencies #appalling #dishonest #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Slin
    Hahahaha wow, no offense to any company, but I can't believe anyone would fall for that. Man if only google would call me....

    But seriously that's a pretty dang low move.
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    Sure all the time. When there is money to be earned the vultures show up. This isn't just IM its anything.

    IM & Social Media tend to be prime targets right now as everyone thinks if they've tweeted once they are Social Media guru's. A person who I was interviewing for a Social Media position actually called herself a "guru". When I asked how long she had been using and working in Social Media she said 9 months.

    Watch out - the vultures are circling
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  • Profile picture of the author kaytav
    LOL.... I guess your client doesn't know who Google is. Why in the world would Google need to rang up to people.
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  • Profile picture of the author denysapu
    Anybody had any similar stuff happening?
    No so far.
    And they will only be a waste of time, because I would never get caught in that scam tactic. So funny
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimerson Farveez
    It is spammy way of getting people into trap. But I don't think people may go for it. Anyhow, the people who have no idea or SEO or who does not know the existence of SEO industry may just fall for it.

    But, I am sure LEGAL actions can be taken to such guys. Specially Google can take such legal action. If your client can say YES to them and collect their information or at least their phone number, LEGAL actions can be taken against them.

    I think, legal actions SHOULD be taken
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  • Profile picture of the author tech84
    Google called, they told me to lower down my music or they'll call the cops
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Originally Posted by Icematikx View Post

    Anybody had any similar stuff happening?
    Yes, this stuff has been going on for a long time.

    It's the tactic of desperate people that are now in a competitive market and can't always just rip people off as easily as they used to.

    When I started doing SEO/SEM for small businesses in 1999 almost no-one knew about it and as time went on I would get some clients saying "this other company called me and say they can promise x,y,z", which of course I could see straight through but the clients would say "but surely they can't be making it up - aren't there laws about mis-selling?" and I'd have to remind them how sneaky people are in their use of words.

    Many of these companies promising "top of Google" results are just selling PPC services, but a lot of small businesses don't realise this and think that their website will be showing up at the top of the organic results. Then there's the ones that will just rank them for some obscure term that has no competition (or searchers), and then say "well for 'other' terms we'll need more money".

    The blatent flat-out lying to them saying "we're from Google" is just the next level down the spiral to the bottom of the barrel.

    Interestingly, several of my clients were getting hassled by a an SEO company from Manchester, I even called them up to ask what they were selling because my client said "they promised I could get 3 times as many customers as I do now", and since I know how many customers they get and the specialised niche they are in (which is B2B) I know there literally aren't 3 times more customers, so it was a promise not even Google could keep. It turned out that they were selling PPC and SEO and their "promise" was based on a generic "well, we can get any website more visitors and more visitors means more customers" - so they had zero understanding the businesses they were making these promises to and were just telling everyone they could treble their customers with no reality to it and just relying on people taking the bait without thinking about it.

    This stuff makes me sick as it ruins our marketplace, makes our customers have unrealistic expectations, want stupidly low prices, and makes honest marketers have to work hard just to establish the fact that they are NOT like these idiots. So rather than starting from a position of being an expert who can help people, you have to prove you're not an unethical liar like the last people they dealt with.

    As for the "I'm an expert - I've been doing this for 9 months now", I also see a lot of that.

    It's not completely surprising because many people getting into this field have never build a proper profession for themselves before and think 9 months of reading ebooks and playing with Fiverr gigs makes them a "professional" or even a "Guru", because they're setting their position based on comparing it to people who are clueless, rather than with some higher standard.

    Imagine if you said you were an expert dentist because you read some books and practiced on your friends. It's incredible but seems to be an increasing reality.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      Many of these companies promising "top of Google" results are just selling PPC services, but a lot of small businesses don't realise this and think that their website will be showing up at the top of the organic results. Then there's the ones that will just rank them for some obscure term that has no competition (or searchers), and then say "well for 'other' terms we'll need more money".

      The blatent flat-out lying to them saying "we're from Google" is just the next level down the spiral to the bottom of the barrel.
      Like Andy said, this has been a common practice for several years now. Companies promise top rankings, but they are just using AdWords.
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  • Profile picture of the author phuongle
    Based on the deadline, seo agency oftens use black hat seo to boost rank, it's so risky with anti spam update from google.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidfrankk
    I don't really get calls but I get mails on my work account all the time. These mails are usually from people claiming to be great SEO companies from UK / US with emails accounts from @gmail.com. Its quite easy to tell the difference between these authentic companies and spammers.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Did Google request payment from untraceable gift cards?

    Sounds legit, lets do this!
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  • Profile picture of the author Icematikx
    Think I might give them a ring today, stating that my client has a phone recording of them saying their from Google and I'll be forwarding it to Manchester Police as well as Google's Copyright team. I'm sure their Manager will be willing to talk to me. I'll promise them that I won't take action for £150.
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    • Profile picture of the author options
      I have had the same kind of thing happen to me, they actully say ''we have a opening on page 1 of google and we are only offering it to one company''

      I just laugh down the phone...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Silly how people are so gullible, not just SEO, but anything & everything imaginable. Reminds me of the Nigerian scams & how people still fall for that in 2013. Everyone wants a good deal, even If it's not realistic, lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author options
      I guess you can see how it happens, people want their business on the first page and have no idea how search engines work, then i quess you could get lured into it. Not knowing anything about it.

      O yes the nigeian emails, now you really do have to be a few bricks short of a load to get lured into that.
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      • Unfortunately these types of scams happen in every industry.They will continue doing this until they get caught and shut down. Then another company will come along and do the same thing. People who don't know much about SEO may fall victim to these scams. This is bad for the industry as these low life "companies" give real SEO agencies a bad name. Good SEO agencies that actually can improve rankings do actually exist.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Silly how people are so gullible, not just SEO, but anything & everything imaginable. Reminds me of the Nigerian scams & how people still fall for that in 2013. Everyone wants a good deal, even If it's not realistic, lol.
      I worked for 8 years at one of the larger financial institutions in the U.S. It was amazing how often, even in a small town, people would come in to cash checks saying they won the Canadian Lottery.

      "Have you ever been to Canada?"

      "No."

      "Then how exactly do you think you won? And they want you to wire them $2300 because they 'accidentally' printed the check for the wrong amount? Don't you think it would have been a lot easier for them to reprint a check then printing all these wire instructions?"

      Some would actually get mad at us saying the letter told them we would accuse it of being a scam.

      What is scary about this stuff is that fraudsters wouldn't be doing it if it didn't work at least once in awhile.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgetsmoneyy
    Originally Posted by Icematikx View Post

    Today, I found out that Google contacted one of my clients, promising him number one rankings for £150. Funnily enough, he rang me all excited mentioning that Google had actually rung him, and wanted to take him to the top of the SERPs for just a mere £150. Naturally, he was more than ready to pay such a small price tag.

    Found out, that in the end, it's some SEO firm based in Manchester who cold-call around the UK, pretending to be Google. They lure people in through stating that their Google, and that they can rank anybody for anything, for £150.

    It's a pretty shady tactic really, and one that destroys the market, especially since I'm 110% sure their work will be awful (if they do any work at all).

    Anybody had any similar stuff happening?
    I had almost given up on SEO because I didn't trust anyone I hired. I think one of the problems is most people hiring someone to do SEO don't know enough about SEO to know what the person they hire should be doing or check up on their work. That was the case with me. I hired a guy to do on site and off site SEO and paid a pretty penny. While I recently hired a new company and this guy didn't do half the stuff he claimed too he left out H1 and H2 tags which I was told is very important and very basic and he didn't do that.

    Fast forward I recently talk with my supplier who tells me about an SEO company out of INdia. Apparently he had been paying a US based firm $1500 a month plus a $9,000 fee upfront to do SEO for him. He noticed some traffic from India nad investigated. Found out this US guy was basically charging him a fortune and turning around paying the Indian company under $500 a month for SEO. Nothing necessarily dishonest abuot that or fraudulant if you can charge a markup and resell a service more power to you but as a consumer you want to find the lowest price and get the most bang for your buck so you dont want to go with these companies.

    Anyhow I'm really impressed with this new SEO company. They put together over 40 pages of a proposal for me doing a review of my website nad telling me about current google penalties and SEO problems. I'm really impressed with their knowledge and price. I'm also having them do a whole site redesign for me. I'm really impressed after several confrence calls we have a whole team working for us for really cheap.

    Only reason I found these guys and trusted them was because my supplier recommended them after his SEO fiascos. Point being dont pay for SEO unless you know how to check their work or have heard about them from a trusted friend or acquantance who has used them and is happy
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  • Profile picture of the author jtuttlechiro
    Don't be a fool so you won't be fooled.
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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Jonbones
    One born how often?
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