It simply amazes me that companies–and individuals, for that matter, can think that sending unsolicited commercial email (aka UCE or otherwise known as SPAM) to try to get more clients. I understand that if you send out 1 million of these emails that you might actually get .01 percent to respond to your “offer”. However, it’s now against the law to send unsolicited commercial email, and there’s a good chance that you will annoy more people who will either a)complain about you or b)write a blog post about the fact that you send out unsolicited commercial email to companies. I chose the latter.
We need do something about SPAM and companies who call themselves “search engine marketers” or “SEO Companies”. If you’re going to do business in this industry then you need to realize that sending UCE is not acceptable. By sending junque like this you’re giving the Search Marketing Industry a black eye.
What’s even more hilarious is that a company that calls themselves an “SEO Company: Search Engine Marketing Experts: Search Engine Optimization Los Angeles” is trying to promote their “profitable internet marketing” services to one of their competitors, me.
What proof? I checked my email today, and got what I would call an “unsolicited commercial email” from someone named Neal Stone, the Executive Vice President of a company called NetSuccessUSA:
From: “Neal Stone”
Subject: Suggestion re: billhartzer.com
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 16:45:02 +0530
Dear Website Owner,
If I could get you five times the RELEVANT traffic at a substantially reduced cost would you be interested? NetSuccessUSA can place your website on top of the Natural Listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Our Search Engine Optimization team delivers more top rankings than anyone else and we can prove it. We do not use “link farms” or “black hat” methods that Google and the other search engines frown upon and can use to de-list or ban your site. The techniques are proprietary, involving some valuable closely held trade secrets. Our prices are less than half of what other companies charge.
I would be happy to send you a proposal using the top search phrases for your area of expertise. Please contact me at your convenience so I can start saving you some money. Please do not hesitate to email or call me if you would like further information.
Executive Vice President
26500 W. Agoura Road
Calabasas, California 91302
Phone â€“ 866-669-8789
Toll Free â€“ 866.446.2885
Profitable Internet Marketing
I’ve chosen specifically not to list this guy’s gmail address in the above email. What’s interesting is that they specifically do not list their company’s URL and they don’t list; apparently it was sent from a gmail account, but most likely not.
The reason I’m talking about this unsolicited email I got today is not to promote this company called NetSuccessUSA or even pick on them. I’m getting sick and tired of companies in this Search Engine Marketing industry say that they don’t use “blackhat” methods to promote a company’s web site. But apparently it’s perfectly okay to send out unsolicited commercial emails? This is exactly why the search engine marketing industry suffers a “black eye” and why people like Jason Calacanis have turned against the SEO industry. There are too many “snake oil salespeople” in this industry who “promise the world” to companies and do not deliver. I hear stories from companies every single day that talk about how they got burned by their last search engine optimization or search engine marketing company.
I have been in the search engine marketing industry for a long time. In fact, I’ve been doing organic search engine optimization since 1996–long before Google even existed and a long time before Goto.com came up with their “pay per click” business model. So, needless to say I’ve “seen it all”.
After I got this unsolicited commercial email from some guy named Neal Stone, I thought I would look into them a little bit more–and examine some of the company’s practices. First, I took at at their backlinks. I like to look at a site’s links by using the linkdomain:domain.com -site:domain.com which tells you all of the backlinks a site has–minus the links from that particular site (their internal links).
Once again, I found that the majority of the backlinks to this “SEO company” is from their clients, companies like the “San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council” and “Magic Kids USA”. Why is this interesting? The links are not on-topic and have absolutely nothing to do with the SEO Company. And I would gather that the SEO company put those links there, Magic Kids USA nor the San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council wanted to link to their SEO company. Furthermore, this violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines that can be found here:
You should never have to link to an SEO.
If you haven’t read the Google Webmaster Guidelines, then you should go over here and take a look. Google does a good job of outlining what you should look out for, and they even talk about the fact that you should be wary of companies that email you out of the blue:
Be wary of SEO firms that send you email out of the blue.
In this case, NetSuccessUSA and some guy named Neal Stone emailed me, a Search Engine Marketing Expert, pitching their SEO services. Now you have to admit, that’s kind of funny.
No wonder the SEO industry has such a black eye. What are we going to do to fix it? Any suggestions?