Bill Hartzer

Shady Search Engine Optimization Firms Still Hurting SEO Industry

I am still amazed that shady search engine optimization firms are still relying on what I would call shady marketing techniques like sending UCE Spam (UCE stands for Unsolicited Commercial Email), trying to get more search engine optimization business. It is the companies like the ones detailed below that send emails like the one below that is truly hurting the search engine optimization industry as a whole.

If you receive an unsolicited email from company (or from ANYONE) claiming that they can help you rank better in the search engines, then I would delete the email and mark it as SPAM. And if you are so inclined, I would even complain to their ISP (Internet Service Provider) for sending out spam. If you don’t know how to find a website’s ISP, then you can do a WHOIS lookup and look at who owns the domain name. I would then look at the nameservers of the web host and send their web host an email.

Mike Stewart, a good friend of mine here who is based in the Dallas area, who runs a Small Business SEO firm, sent me the following email he received today from a company who did just what I am describing here. In fact, it makes it even more hilarious that they are using their spam techniques to drum up business–from another search engine optimization firm.

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:21 AM, Chris B. wrote:


I was doing some competitive analysis for one of our Search Engine
Optimization clients and came across your site. I noticed that your
website ( is in a good position to rank competitively for “internet
marketing dallas”. Do you currently have an active SEO campaign
underway? I noticed that you are also doing some PPC advertising as well.

Let me give you a quick background about REDACTED, the company that I
work for. We are a performance based Search Engine Optimization company that
only charges our clients once we’ve achieved rankings for them. We offer
upfront pricing on our website, and have zero start up costs.

I’d love to tell you more about our company and what we can do for your
website when you get the chance. I can be reached at 877-726-XXXX x
7014, or if you’d like I can give you a call. Which numbers best for you?

Look forward to speaking with you soon…

SEO Specialist
*Direct:* (877) XXX-XXXX x7014
*Support:* (877) XXXX-XXX
*URL:* www. REDACTED .com
*Blog:* blog. REDACTED .com

To which my friend, from another Dallas SEO firm, Mike Stewart (from responded:

Are you serious or is this some sort of automated email?


Atleast you didn’t call and bug us on the phone like 29Prime!

Meat and potatoes vs the “concept” of ranking for the term… which I
understand completely fine.

What are you going to do for us Chris?

*Mike Stewart*
creator / Director of Search Marketing | 214-267-9553**
*”small business HIGH RANKINGS”

*Watch The smbSEO YouTube Overview Video
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.”

I am no way saying that this company is at all shady. I have never used their services, nor do I intend to use their search engine optimization services. But, I can tell you that I have been in the search engine optimization industry, have spoken on a regular basis at major search engine conferences worldwide, and have never heard of this company. However, I can tell you that sending out unsolicited commercial emails (AKA spam emails) is just a technique that is hurting the search engine optimization industry as a whole. I do not condone it, and do not recommend that emails like this ever be sent out–no matter what industry you are in.

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