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Have you found many of your customers are being targeted by SEO Companies (residing outside Ireland - usually UK or India)? Its become such a guaranteed scenario within about a week of a new site going live, that we have to educate all our customers to expect it.
Depending on the size of your customers sometimes they've even been hooked in by the slick sales pitch and the small monthly fee, by the time you hear about it.
 

link8r

New Member
Yes, for a couple of years now. Some are touting for SEO and others are PPC companies selling fixed price PPC but as SEO. The only new one was a Facebook ad company who was guaranteeing "33,000 impressions for €150 per month". Seeing as many ads have 228,000 impressions for €1 per month I thought that was odd until I was told that they tracked each impression as though it was a click.f
 

Michael Brookes

New Member
I have heard of this happening but I wasn't aware people actually signed up for their services. Mostly I find they contact people via email. Automatic emails at that contain some generic content with [insert name here] [insert domain here] kind of waffle.

Main issue I have with it is that if people are signing up for these spammy seo services, when it comes to a legitimate SEO company discussing potential benefits of SEO work on a site, it is viewed in a light of suspicion as they have been taken advantage of in the past. But I would imagine it is the same in a lot of areas not just optimisation.
 

link8r

New Member
Its the telephone ones people subscribe to. Several of the UK companies setup Irish call centres (although I suspect they were outsourcing) - sign up rates were quite high.

I heard recently that one of them went *slam*

There were even forum posts in the UK - one former employee even posted that he needed to make money and that while there were only encouraged to sell it as SEM they all knew they'd get better sign up rates by saying it was SEO. Used to trade for about €150 a month or thereabouts...
 
The challenge I find is they target new sites in particular, and you spend all your time trying to educate a client a new site will likely take time to climb up the ranks, an argument they never fully appreciate for obvious reasons, then some clown rings them usually in week 1 or 2 when things are raw, promising them page 1, then you're left with another lengthy education conversation. Its a real time killer.
 

Michael Brookes

New Member
Something I have found good in the past is to let Google advise them rather than me.
A great advice page from Google that really gets to the point is :

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Webmaster Tools Help

The highlight from the article for me is the following :

"Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
What's your experience in my industry?
What's your experience in my country/city?
What's your experience developing international sites?
What are your most important SEO techniques?
How long have you been in business?
How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?"
 

link8r

New Member
"Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
What's your experience in my industry?
What's your experience in my country/city?
What's your experience developing international sites?
What are your most important SEO techniques?
How long have you been in business?
How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?"
You got to give these guys credit (no, not Google) - they've read these. The typical sheet from caller will include

1. We GUARANTEE (i.e. money back, so if they fail you get your money back)
2. They have been granted special positions negotiated by the British Government back in 2004 when Google was achieving Global Dominatrix [sic]
3. They offer plenty of advice
4. They are Google certified (Google AdWords Certified that is)
5. They have plenty of clients in every sector - in fact they claim tens of thousands
6. Years in business - usually 5

Thing is - if you an average business in Ireland, and you've nothing to lose [sic] and they show you a Google Page with their logo and a link to them - well, its pretty easy to understand why people fall for it.
 

bober

New Member
Here's one for you, got this just a while ago:

Subject: Up to 10 times your Targeted Traffic

'We strongly believe that we have an excellent opportunity to increase the number of visitors to your website through our white-hat SEO services. Please simply reply to this message and we will be delighted to send you further information'

Came from an odd looking gmail account. left no name, website address, nothing!
 

Satanta

New Member
Came from an odd looking gmail account. left no name, website address, nothing!
Dang, I meant to offer you a gajillion facebook fans for $5 in there too as a "loyal potential customer" bonus. Let me resend the mail ;)
 
Had a Mr Sam Gold call my wife today about her site. She's an artist an so this clown "noticed her site doesnt rank at all" that "it looks amazing, lovely paintings, so promising, should be selling tons" and "guarantees to get her #1/page1 on Google for €2 per month". Im half listening to this conversation and then I hear her ask where he's from to which I hear her repeat "you said Google?" My ears pricked up so I asked her to ask few questions and thats when Mr Sam Gold started going nuts! He started freaking out and got abusive and after a pretty heated exchange he ended the call by saying "actually your art is crap and I cant see anyone buying it even if you did get to page 1". Charming sales technique. So watch out for a Sam Gold, with an English accent, and the phone only displayed CALL when he phoned, no number, no nothing. Losers.
 
Thats what I thought too, but she simply said she wasn't interested and he started getting very very irate. Happened twice during the call, there is no way in hell he's an employee of Google thats for sure.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
Exactly :)

There will always be "snake oil" salespeople .. there's plenty of them around .. some even work for legitimate companies, but manage to degrade their own products and services
 

unrealindeed

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah these guys have been around a while, took one or two clients from us for SEO on Joomla sites, then requested FTP Access. We had to explain to the client, admin access was all they needed, and if they didn’t realize it was a joomla site SEO can be done from within, they should get a slap! Maybe that’s why they are in India or the UK!!! The worst is, they email us regularly about a previous site we have done for a client, not knowing we are a web design agency who offer SEO as a service!!! Planks, the lot of them!
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah these guys have been around a while, took one or two clients from us for SEO on Joomla sites, then requested FTP Access. We had to explain to the client, admin access was all they needed, and if they didn’t realize it was a joomla site SEO can be done from within, they should get a slap! Maybe that’s why they are in India or the UK!!! The worst is, they email us regularly about a previous site we have done for a client, not knowing we are a web design agency who offer SEO as a service!!! Planks, the lot of them!
We get spammed once every few weeks by "companies" in the US trying to sell us hosting :)
 

Byron

New Member
I find saying stuff like 'I'm a fraud expert, and 'when I worked for Google' gets fun responses
 
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