Generally, I like to write about what to do in SEO. Today, I want to write about what not to do.
- Lesson #1: Don't spam people with your SEO services.
- Lesson #2: Definitely don't spam people who write for SEW and have close relations with spam blacklist owners about your SEO services.
This morning I got an email (my 10th) from a company that hadn't read my rules: National Positions, an “SEO” firm out of California, promising me “five times the RELEVANT traffic at a substantially reduced cost.”
The site, which I've linked to above using a 302 redirect so as not to give out any of my link juice, said they could place my “website on top of the Natural Listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN” using their “proprietary techniques” and “valuable closely held trade secrets,” without using “link farms or black hat methods.” And they charge “less than half of what other companies charge!” Awesome.
So I checked out their site, and their SEO service includes: Keyword Market Intelligence (umm…keyword research), Meta-Data Optimization (sweet), Title Optimization and a Best Practices Doc. Considering most companies give away most of that info for free, their prices must be excellent.
Their “proprietary trade secrets” don't seem to include, as far as I can tell, any blackhat techniques, so there is no need to worry about National Positions being the next Traffic Power (who cold-called me back in the day), but it's still a rip-off.
They're charging people who know nothing about search to do nothing about search for them. And they're advertising through pure spam methods; they contacted me via an email posted on my site that I have never used to sign up for anything.
One of the latest emails claimed that “Our services and proven strategies are all ethical.” Perhaps no one bothered to tell them SPAM is unethical – and illegal. I've received 10 emails from them so far, without ever opting in.
According to the law, any company that "harvest[s] email addresses from Web sites or Web services…for the purpose of sending email,” as National Positions did to me, is liable for a fine up to $11,000.
I opted out after the first email I received, and I continue to receive emails from them — some from Gmail accounts! The law gives 10 days to honor an opt-out, and prohibits “another entity send[ing] email on your behalf to that address.”
It's been more than 30 days; that's another $11,000.
I'm going to do all I can to make sure they get hit with those penalties – and I urge you to help me out if you get spammed too. Look out SEO Spammers – you pissed off the wrong group.