Home – New Forums Tech talk Shonky SEO Services. Spam email report #001

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  • #988016
    JohnW
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    Hi All,
    I’m prompted to start this thread because of all the people on FS who report having been burned by shonky SEO services.

    This is a quote from a spam SEO email I received today (28 May 14):

    “is your Site Optimized with the Google latest methodology called LSI to Rank High?”

    I’d be interested to hear if this is an isolated SEO claim or whether it is the latest “magic answer” bait espoused by shonky SEO proponents.

    (Techno BS: “LSI” is an acronym for “latent semantic indexing“. The term goes back to the 1960s, long before there was a Google.)

    People have been speculating about whether Google uses a form of it for best part of 10 years. So much for the so called “latest methodology” claim.

    Any beginner level SEO consultant will know that G has been recognising/associating synonyms, singulars/plurals, typographic errors in its search results for years.

    This can be discussed by “boffins” calling it G using “LSI” in its algorithm.

    I’m just a simple marketer. Why hide behind jargon and unknown acronyms when simple words like “synonyms”, “plurals” and “typos” will communicate better for most of us?

    Google Webmaster Tools even tells you the synonyms G recognises on your website. A bit of commonsense, basic English skills and a few test G searches will show you many of the synonyms it recognises.

    What is this SEO spammer going to do about LSI on your website?

    The answer is there is nothing special this overseas SEO can do! A good Australian-English speaking copywriter (or SEO) should be able to provide better suggestions for “LSI” improvements to a web page’s content aimed at Australians.

    We know G recognises synonyms in its algorithm but we don’t know what rank weighting it applies to them or how. In any case, G could change all these weighting elements every day to deliver better results.

    In short “LSI” as a claim for SEO is IMHO, a scam and a sham.

    Here is a video of what Google Engineer Matt Cutts said about LSI at a recent conference:

    Here is an early SEO reference to LSI by Danny Sullivan:

    Google’s Feb. 2005 Update

    “Major Google Changes: Latent Semantic Analysis? from our forums recounts one popular bit of speculation that first drew a lot of attention last year. Is Google doing some type of analysis of pages to understand overall topics of what they might be about…”

    Danny is reguarded by many as the father of SEO. He is the one sitting beside Matt Cutts in the video linked above.

    If you receive a spam offer of SEO services, I invite you to post a new thread on FS asking for the SEO folk here to comment on its authenticity.
    Caveat Emptor
    JohnW

    #1165262
    John Romaine
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    I think if you’re getting an email from any SEO agency, you can just about bin it immediately.

    Reputable firms don’t cold email.

    #1165263
    bluepenguin
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    John Romaine, post: 191332 wrote:
    I think if you’re getting an email from any SEO agency, you can just about bin it immediately.

    Reputable firms don’t cold email.

    …and the funny thing is, that the better you rank, the more emails they send you telling you that they can’t find you on Google.

    #1165264
    JohnW
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    John Romaine, post: 191332 wrote:
    I think if you’re getting an email from any SEO agency, you can just about bin it immediately.

    Reputable firms don’t cold email.
    Hi John,
    We know that but it appears many small business owners don’t. I’m regularly asked by my clients, “what do I think of…” (insert spam email)?

    Maybe if we provide them with concrete examples and insights into just how inaccurate and misleading some of the common spam SEO offers are, we will have provided a service to them that will help them spread the word among their contacts.

    Have you got another example you could throw out as a new educational thread? Shonky SEO Services for Spam email report #002?

    What do the FSs reading this want? More examples with debunking info or to kill the idea?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1165265
    JohnTranter
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    JohnW, post: 191338 wrote:
    What do the FSs reading this want? More examples with debunking info or to kill the idea?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    I’d much rather hear some success stories.

    I only ever hear negative things about the SEO industry, I don’t need to hear about more shonky SEO companies (even though it’s usually funny)

    #1165266
    JohnW
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    JohnTranter, post: 191360 wrote:
    I’d much rather hear some success stories.
    Hi John,
    I suspect there are two main barriers to providing SEO success stories.

    1. We don’t have our client’s approval to use them as examples.
    2. We would not won’t to expose a client’s SEO success to its competitors.

    With one exception where I do have permission to use the client’s name and I know there is little that competitors might do, all other examples I offer have to be so vague that no one could pick them.

    Even with the client I named, a couple of SEOs attempted to knock it off its top spot for a major search phrase for no better reason than to see if they could and to then promote that in FS.

    The latter reason is a very real issue.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1165267
    John Romaine
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    JohnTranter, post: 191360 wrote:
    I’d much rather hear some success stories.

    I only ever hear negative things about the SEO industry, I don’t need to hear about more shonky SEO companies (even though it’s usually funny)

    Agree.

    My advice to any business owners is to ignore any email that hits your inbox unexpectedly from an SEO agency.

    These places are mere sausage factories with boiler rooms.

    Email, call, churn, burn.

    Repeat.

    Instead, get referrals from friends, colleagues, listen to experts in the field, watch what people are doing, saying etc.

    #1165268
    Luke Jones
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    bluepenguin, post: 191335 wrote:
    …and the funny thing is, that the better you rank, the more emails they send you telling you that they can’t find you on Google.

    So true!

    #1165269
    JohnW
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    bluepenguin, post: 191335 wrote:
    …and the funny thing is, that the better you rank, the more emails they send you telling you that they can’t find you on Google.
    Sometimes true but there are so many spam emails that I receive that start like this:

    “I’ve been tracking the success of your website while doing some research on your industry—I’m impressed with your company”

    I should explain that I have a one page website that only lists my contact details.

    These parasites don’t look at your website. The emails come from trolls who are recruited to send out emails using scripts. The “gmail mules” who send them know nothing about SEO.
    Regs,
    JohnW

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