<< by on August 11th, 2011
Yesterday, while checking my inbound leads at Search Mojo, I received an unsolicited offer from an individual claiming to be an “SEO Sales Consultant.” While I, a Search Marketing Sales Consultant myself, understand the need to reach out to potential clients, I couldn’t help but notice how non-targeted and false this email’s accusations truly were. For starters, I work for an SEO company–sheesh! But it’s spammy SEO offers such as this that give the search marketing industry such a bad rep.
While this is not the first bulk offer I have received, which is sad, most emails have similar formats. Here are 4 ways to spot a fraudulent email offer and protect yourself from being burned.
1. Is their email address from a legitimate company?
This should be a dead give away. If you have an individual contacting you trying to offer their services and you notice their email is email@example.com, then this should be a clear indication that this is NOT a reputable person.
Look for an email that is from a legitimate organization. This way you can research the company if you plan on moving forward with the offer–but tread lightly.
2. Do they give you an SEO ranking?
In the email I was referring to earlier, the individual explained how Search Mojo’s “SEO score is 73%.” He continued with, “we can bring it to 100% by implementing on and off-page factors which will fetch better results in major search engines.”
First of all, how does this “score” process work? Why is Search Mojo 73%? Let me tell you, none of this makes any sense.
If someone comes to you trying to explain that your website has a specific ranking and they can GUARANTEE you specific results, it’s time to delete this email and forget about it. That’s not something you want to mess with.
3. Do they give you a valid inbound links count?
This one can be hard to spot if you’ve never done it before. Usually, these phony offers will have you believe that your site has a puny amount of inbound links. However, there is a way to protect yourself.
If you’re curious about the amount of inbound links you have, try using Yahoo Site Explorer to look more in-depth. This will show you the actual amount of links that are linking back to your site.
4. Do they offer a 100% money back guarantee?
Again with the guarantee. If I had a quarter for every time one of these emails threw around the word “guarantee”, I’d be rich. But in this case, my last email said, “we give 100% unconditional money back guarantee.” That’s just outrageous! With an industry that has a very hard time guaranteeing specific results, that’s a pretty outlandish statement.
I know it sounds enticing, and you’re thinking to yourself, “hey, if I don’t get the results I like I can get my money back.” Wrong!
When in doubt–Don’t! If the message seems to good to be true, well, it probably is. If you’re not careful you could end up with an unethical agency that’ll end up not doing any work for you at all or, worse yet, get your site banned from Google.
What types of unsolicited SEO offers have you experienced?