Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keep your dodgy SEO tactics to yourself!

I love it when I know someone's job better than they do themselves, and they're trying to "sell" me something. If it's a genuine thing, fine. If it's dodgy or they don't know what they're doing and try to mis-sell it or they're trying to cheat at SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), they've got another thing coming. Then I'm not going to play nice with them, because they're likely to cause other people real issues more than they're trying to help. And I'm not cool with that.

So here are a couple of warning examples:


From: Person
To: Traxy
Subject: Link exchange request with [URL]
Date: Sat, February 12, 2011 12:34


Hello

I am an seo consultant for http://www.someshoddyecommercewebsite.com

We would like to exchange links with good quality web sites such as yours at [film review on a different blog]

First of all we create a new dedicated page for your site link with a thumb image of your web site home page
Plus we also add your site link to a category page (no more than 25 sites per page) related to your site so your site is in good company
We then submit both these pages to Google for indexing using site maps each day
We also RSS feed all links to RSS aggregators for even more back links for your site

We will link to your site first, and if you accept this free reciprocal link exchange offer, please click this link as we have already prepared your details. You will see you link on our site.

You will then automatically receive an email confirming your link details and our link details to be added to your site - also see our web site details below

If you wish to exchange 3 waylinks, or exchange links manually by email. Just reply to this email with your web site details; title, description, url
We can exchange reciprocal links, 3way links and deep links

Our site details:
Url: http://www.someshoddyecommercewebsite.com/pushchairs/
Title (anchor text): pushchairs
Description: shop online for pushchairs prams and buggies at low internet prices and fast home delivery service - someshoddyecommercewebsite.com

With best Regards

Person
SEO Link Building Team
http://www.someshoddyecommercewebsite.com



From: Traxy
To: Person
Subject: Re: Link exchange request with [URL]
Date: Wed, March 30, 2011 17:00


Hi Person,

Thanks for your email - sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

As an SEO consultant, I would've thought you'd be aware of how page ranking actually works.

For sites sharing links, Google places a high value on sites of similar topics. A baby accessories ecommerce site and a movie review blog post (that doesn't even mention the word "pushchairs" anywhere, nor is it about babies) are not similar content useful for users of both sites and will therefore not be of any particular page ranking value for either of us.

If I had been blogging about babies and children in general, yes, it would be another matter, but the blog in question is about Arts & Entertainment.

Your link exchange page (http://www.someshoddyecommercewebsite.com/infosites/index.php) looks more like a link farm than anything else, and as the only purpose of it is to boost search engine ratings, you're likely to get penalised by Google sooner or later.

A better way for you to optimise someshoddyecommercewebsite.com so that search engines can find it would be to look more into the copy of the site itself and the meta keywords and descriptions listed, as they need improving.

Another thing, which I'm wondering about as a user, is that when you click "Blog", you get transported to the URL /reviews/ but there are no reviews. There are other people's blog posts, taken from other people's sites. And you've not taken the whole posts, you can't click to read more and you've not had the courtesy to link back to the original post.

So, all in all, the site needs a lot of work but instead, you're trying to cheat at SEO - and for that reason, as the Dragons would say, I'm out.

Good luck with the site and I wish you a nice day,

Traxy @ Blog
(who, in real life, works with online marketing)



This was a lot like when we got phoned up at work by someone wanting to sell us something that would get us on top of Google. The call was passed on to me, because I actually knew what he was on about, which admin didn't.

The bloke I spoke to was very shady with his explanations on exactly how this service would work and he assured me it was "not SEO", nor would the website coding need to be touched. Err, what? He also spoke about them having "Google technicians" and all manner of things and we could try them out for free for a month. It was something to do with analysing the text on our website and from that, find unique key phrases that our competitors don't use. Which is what SEO is about anyway, so he lied, and you'd still need to put those keywords in meta tags or something on the page to make it work which means the "no coding required" bit is also a lie.

I really should've noted down where he was calling from so I could make it publicly available that they're more or less a scam. People who don't know about online marketing or SEO would likely be impressed and buy the service off them, and that would be sad, because they'd be paying for a big fat lie. He couldn't fool me, though. Not when I knew more about what he was trying to sell than he seemed to do himself. So there.

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