I frequently receive forwarded messages from clients and friends asking advice or clarification on messages they have received in email that promise them incredible traffic or fantastic results in Google search listing positioning. Sometimes I’m advised “You should offer something like this” or sometimes I’m asked “Can you do this?” or even “Is this spam?”
Here’s one such email I had forwarded to me recently:
I would like to get your company on the 1st page of Google anytime a potential client was searching for your product or services.
Within a week I can have your company listed in the top spots of Google for less than $5 a day. I do not bill my clients for our month to month services until they see their company listed on the top of Google and 100% satisfied.
To avoid any conflict of interest I only list one industry professional on the top spots of Google per city! Areas are filling up fast must inquire asap!
For more info Call 24/7 Pre-Recorder Message 888-xxx-xxxx or you can simply reply with the best way to contact you.
Thanks, <name removed>
Here’s my response to this and many other messages I’m sent:
Yes, SPAM is extremely prevalent in the SEO fields. Also, extremely misleading statements. What many of these spammy companies are doing now is setting up a PAID Google Adwords campaign for ONE specific keyword (think an exact match to “Spanish Translations in Sacramento” as opposed to “Sacramento Spanish translations” or “Spanish translations” etc). Then they set a LARGE pay-per-click bid to try to get the top paid listing (up in “Sponsored Listings”) for that one and only one keyword. I’ve been seeing a lot of solicitations to this affect and know a couple of people that bought in.
Problem is, if your ad is actually CLICKED and someone actually visits your website and the company has a maximum daily budget set(to keep their expenses down), your ad won’t display anymore that day. But they are counting on people only checking for their listing that first time, get them sold on the sale, and just letting the pay-per-click ad coast- meanwhile being charged for doing no additional work. Also, they have a built-in “excuse” to not accept industry professionals in fields that are far more costly than “less than $5 per day” allows — they will just tell them they already have “the” spot filled for that industry.
Setting up an Adwords campaign like this is simple enough for anyone to do on their own, so you’re better off setting your own budget. Or having a certified Google Adwords Professional (like me) set up a more effective campaign using a broad range of keywords to get the best traffic for your money.
I usually try to educate people and send them to Google itself for advice on how to tell if they are dealing with a legitimate SEO company:
Most these spammers (including the one above) violate several bullet points that Google warns against.
Remember, SPAM is defined as unsolicited email messages of a promotional nature. Many times we forget this when we get an offer that seems interesting to us. Every once in a while, out of the thousands of emails the spammers have indiscriminately sent (to retired grandmas, 7-year olds, college students, and anyone else that has an email address) they manage to hit someone in the target market (you, as business owner). It may even sound personal (they have mail merges insert your name if they have it) but if you didn’t request the information, its SPAM nonetheless.