Today I was contacted by a customer that got an unsolicited email offering to get them to the top of Google.
Since their website was new they had not got such offers before and thought they should follow up on it.
As a web developer we are listed as the tech contact for hundreds of websites so we get emails like this several times a day – in fact our spam filters are full of them.
I thought it prudent to write this blog post to advise people on why to never reply to such an offer and the reasons why these offers are more likely to harm then help their site.
Below are the contents of the email the client got back on what their service would include.
It will give us immense pleasure working with you and building a long term and mutually beneficial relationship. We’ll feel honored to establish a business relationship with you.
We are excited to have you on board to Optimize your existing website and increase traffic and online presence according to your targeted area. We will make sure by increasing the online visibility of your website we will get your website ranked on the Google page in 3 Months.
As per our discussion, please find the list of deliverables for SEO mentioned below:-
- Targeted Number of Key Phrases – 10
- Keyword, Competitor Analysis – Yes
- SEO Friendly URL Structures – Yes
- Unique Meta Information – Yes
- Images & Alt Tag – All of them
- XML Sitemap Creation – Yes
- Robots.txt – Yes
- Google Analytics Installation – Yes
- Directory Submission – 1000
- Social Bookmarking – Entire Site
- Blog Commenting – Yes
- Quality Back links – 20
- Article Submission Directories – 40
- Back links & Forums –30
- Back links from question and answers Sites – 30
- Search Engine Submissions – Yes
- Community Creation in Social Networking Sites – Yes
- Blogging – Yes
- Classifieds Submission – Yes
- Press release Submission – Yes
- RSS Feed – Yes
- Video Sharing, Photo Sharing (if any) – Yes
- Social Media Optimization – Yes
- Google Map – Yes, we will optimize the map listing
- Keyword driven unique website content – Yes (if required)
- Map Listing
- Page & Email Removal
How can they Guarantee getting my site into Google?
Companies that promise they can get your website to “number one on Google” are misleading their customers.
To a potential customer “number one on Google” means getting number one on Google for their site’s most relevant keyword.
But what these companies could mean is one of the following:
- They will get you number one with Google AdWords, which is Google’s pay-per-click advertising system that enables your business to appear on the first page of Google as a sponsored ad – as long as you keep paying.
- They will get you number one for your company’s brand name, which in many instances could be relatively easy. Example take our name – iSeek that is a fairly unique name and not many others use it, and no one else in Ireland, so it should be fairly easy for us to be listed for the keyword “iseek” on google.ie searches – yet most businesses should already be listed for their name if fairly unique.
- They’ll get you to the top of the rankings for a keyword few people search for, which may not be profitable for your business. Example for iSeek it might be a phrase such as “WordPress garden centre web design in cork” I would guess this phrase gets 0-2 searches a month so not very beneficial for us to be listed number one.
Providing a Google guarantee is something that is completely made up and is not endorsed by Google. It is highly advisable to stay away from such companies.
See what google says:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
What is it about the service they claim to offer that is dangerous?
Availing of a service from any company that sends you unsolicited email is always a bad idea.
In this particular case there are two aspects that are of issue:
- A lot of the items on the list are legit steps in search engine optimisation but they go into no detail exactly as to what they will cover under that general heading and how they will implement this change. Example XML Sitemap Creation – this is something we do for every website we design. But if your site does not have an xml sitemap – this company can auto-generate one using any number of online services such as https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ – the problem with this sitemap is it will not auto update when you add and remove pages from your website and this will in turn lead to issue with Google trying to index pages that no longer exist or Google not being unaware of newer pages added to the site
- Items 9-15 on the list above are all similar and are about generating links from other websites to your site – often called back linking. The issue with this is they use automated scripts to get the links from link farm or similar type websites. These websites have very poor reputations and as such by having a link on them to your site your reputation will be lowered as well. What is worse is the links can have a very short term benefit so for a few weeks your ranking may increase but over time it will likely drop below where you started and removing these damaging links to your site can be very very difficult and some time impossible. We have seen cases of a client with very toxic back link profiles and the best solution for them was to drop their current domain and go with a new one and develop the ranking from this all over again – in essence, starting from scratch.
If you are ever concerned about your search engine ranking or have questions on how to improve it, iSeek.ie are happy to review and give you our advise.