SEO Scams

SEO Scams

SEO is the art of getting your web page on to the front page of Google. Since I run so many domains, I get contacted by these types of people at least once a week. I know most of them are scams so I’ve been trying to get one to reply back with the basics of what they offer. For the first time, one did.

(Hint, if you’re soliciting work online, make sure you actually reply to people who contact you.)

Today I was contacted by Asha Ram of EarnBySEO, and followed up my Anand Pal of the same company.

The website they contacted me about today was my Old and Vintage Photos site. This is merely a collection of pictures I’ve scanned in from 35mm slides I’ve collected over the years.

In the first paragraph they say “We can definitely Place your business on Google’s first Page so that the people looking for ,“Vintage Photos, Seattle Space Needle,vacations around the world, trips to Disneyland and other amusement parks,” they can find your website on first page and can contact you for the business.”

First problem – no one, and I suspect even people at Google, can place a business on the first page. Those few who can are using black-hat techniques that will destroy the longevity of any website. The cost to do so is usually so high that it is reserved for either outright scam sites collecting credit card numbers or places like Viagra sellers.

The second problem, if they had bothered to read my website, is that not only are those not the keywords I’d be tagging, I’m not selling a product or service there. Their lack of reading comprehension shows that they didn’t do even a cursory examination of the site to understand the business model and to define the work that actually needs to be done.

“We have GOOGLE CERTIFIED professional & expert to run a successful SEO campaign & they follow Latest Organic Google Certified Procedures and Algorithms.” Certified by whom?

The next section of the email is a table of actions they’ll take. Some of these may be needed, but taken all together they just took a long list of SEO tasks and put them into a table.

On-Page work activities :-
Keyword research/Analysis
Meta tags/Title & Description tag Optimization
Competitor Analysis
Anchor tag Optimization ( H1, H2 etc.)
Alt tag Optimization
Content Optimization
Robots.txt Optimization
Fixing Canonical Issue
Fixing Broken Links
Creating Custom soft 404 page
Fixing HTTP and HTTPS
Fixing Non-WWW and WWW urls
Removal of unnecessary Redirects
Removal of Unnecessary tags
Create 301 Redirect
Update copyright year
Making URLs SEO friendly
XML site map creation and Submission
HTML Site Map creation
Perform an online plagiarism review.
Place social media badges on website

Off-Page work activities:-
Classified Ads Submission
Classified Ads Promotion
1 unique, 450 word article
Article Submissions
Article Promotion
1 unique, 500 word Blog
Blog Submission
Blog Promotion
1 unique, 500 word press releases
Press Release Submissions
Press Release Promotion
Image Submissions (Needed from client side)
Image Promotion
Social Book marking Submissions
PDF/PPT Submission
PDF/PPT Promotion
Google Local Listing/ Mapping
Search Engine Submissions
Directory / Citation submissions
Video Submissions (Needed from client side)
Video Promotion

Social Media activities
Facebook Account setup
Facebook Profile Promotion
Twitter Profile Setup
Twitter Profile Promotion
Google+ Profile Setup
Google+ Profile Promotion

Pretty straight forward, but any halfway competent website owner does most of these actions these days.

If you want to avoid being scammed by an SEO company ask these questions:
– What page will I get on Google/Bing/Yahoo. (Answer: they will never say guaranteed or first page. They’ll give an answer that says they can increase visibility, but should explain that everything else is up to Google’s automatic algorithms and the best they can do is to optimize for it.)

– How will I measure success? (Answer: increased click throughs, increased sales for those with sales sites, increase in visitors to the site, etc.)

– How long will this SEO campaign go for? (Answer: if they say indefinitely or can’t pin down an answer, dump them. True it may take a while to get going, but they should give a six month or a year number with specific performance deliverables.)

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