July 7th, 2010 Add Your Comments Bookmark and Share

I still own a couple of domains that rank very well for SEO related search phrases even though I don’t actually sell any SEO services or even do anything with those websites anymore. It never ceases to amaze me though how many e-mails I get sent from Indian SEO firms who want to sub contract work (at least a dozen a week). I never reply to them, if they were that good they should be easily capable of shifting a dormant website from the top of the rankings, after all that’s how they’ve found me? What has started to annoy me now though is that lots of those same firms are now bombarding my sites and the websites of people I know with un-asked for SEO reports, want to know why this annoys me?

It’s simple, IF you are selling SEO services then people should be able to find you via the natural search results. If you can’t rank your own business for relevant organic traffic then why in hells name should anybody trust you with their website? Would you trust a website designer to build you a website if theirs was crap, I know I wouldn’t? E-mail marketing to sell SEO services is a massive no no in my book, if you’re good enough people will come to you. If you can’t position yourself so people can find you then you have no right to be selling SEO services. It’s the main reason why SEO has a smoke and mirrors reputation.

The type of report you’ll get usually contains some nonsense about on-the-page factors that you are missing, some directories that they can “guarantee” you an entry in and how few links you have showing in Yahoo. If you don’t know what you’re doing I can see how you could get caught up in this, don’t. All that matters in SEO is rankings and traffic. Your site has 2 backlinks but you’re number 1 – who cares! You want to rank for relevant phrases that deliver traffic.

Just to stir the pot a little, yesterday I took the liberty of replying to one of these spam mails (Background – the website in question ranks top in Google for all it’s target phrases and gets somewhere in the region of 3000 unique visitors a day).

My reply went like this:-

“Thanks for your mail, I am really interested in ranking better for the search phrases xxxxx xxxxx, xxx xxxxxxx, xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx and xx xxxxxx. Could you please let me know how you plan on improving my rankings in Google for those phrases and any costs that may be involved.”

From Their Reply:-

“…We guarantee that we will be able to rank you at number 1 for all the searches you have given. We will achieve this by increasing your backlink count and reviewing your page content…”

Cheers lads, don’t go into too much detail now. Whilst you’re at it would you like to explain how the hell you’re going to improve the rankings for a site that already ranks number 1 for those phrases. You didn’t even bother to check the current position did you? Or maybe you did and just assumed that I didn’t know? You were going to take my money and then take the credit for something that was already in place you leachy bastards.

Don’t fall for it, if you’re not happy with your rankings and don’t want to spend the time learning how you can improve them be sure to treat SEO the same as you would any expensive service. Combine the search engines with any local recommendations you can get. Shop around, never respond to spam SEO e-mails promising this and that, anymore than you would respond to something that was promising to double the size of your schlong. There are legitimate SEO specialists out there, I don’t know any that use e-mail marketing to promote their SEO services.

Update: To prove that this isn’t just something originating from Indian SEO companies I’ve just contacted several UK firms. The criteria I used to select them was simple, “SEO” companies that were taking full advantage of Adwords yet had no natural rankings. Why these? Because if they are hammering Adwords then there is obviously a return in it for them, however, if they have no rankings then they have no real skills or SEO knowledge to speak off. They are selling smoke and mirrors. When questioned why they were using PPC to advertise SEO services the reply varied from “Sorry I’m not the best person to speak to” all the way to “fuck off”. It’s not like I was looking for global rankings, I drilled down to their local areas for relevant searches and still nothing. If an SEO company can’t rank for long tail SEO terms in their own town then what the hell does that say? I don’t even know why I’m letting this bother me, perhaps I just hate seeing people ripped off.