Many business owners have a very understandable reason for being highly cynical about search marketing. That’s because they get bombarded on an almost a daily basis with unsolicited phone calls and emails about SEO and related services from people often claiming to be affiliated with Google.
We totally sympathise and share their frustration!
The people doing this are a scourge and their actions tarnish the entire search marketing industry. Many of the people behind this frustrating avalanche of emails and phone calls are unscrupulous and some, downright scammers. Beyond wasting business owners’ valuable time dealing with these interuptions, the so called services offered are more often than not too good to be true and so end up being a total waste of money. In some cases, it’s even worse with sites being hijacked by spammers or penalised by Google.
The ironic thing is that even Google gets these calls and emails offering to improve their search engine rankings!
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”
As Google states in their guide to hiring an SEO “Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue. Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.”
An even bigger pest in the US is robocallers (automated phone call that delivers a pre-recorded message to sell or market services). Callers commonly bombard recipients—usually small business owners or individuals—with misleading offers and promotions for improving Google Search and AdWords rankings, or to improve their Google My Business profile.
Google’s been criticised over the years for not taking a more proactive stance, however the good news is that’s finally changing. Last week Google announced its first legal move to combat robocallers and filed an action against an SEO company in California.
Why should you care?
If you’ve been bombarded with calls and emails, then no doubt you’ll be pleased to hear this news. Certainly it’s something we, like other legitimate search marketing professionals, welcome and hope Google expands their efforts. The sooner these time wasters are stopped the better for everyone.
Of course it’s wildly optimistic to think that this is the beginning of the end of these annoying phone calls and emails, but hopefully it will start to turn the tide.
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).