This is one in a series of posts reviewing and looking at how some of the SEO companies which use bulk emails/spam with ‘we can help your terrible site’ type emails really can (and actually mostly can’t!) help your site.
This email came from a Patricia who was using an outlook.com email, although a subsequent reply came from Anubha from iMark Infotech with a imarkinfotech.com email address.
Here’s the initial email from Patricia:
I know you get 100s of these emails every week if not every day.
Why you should read this further, because we are giving you technical facts about us and not just a sales pitch.
We work with 150+ digital marketing firms across US, Canada, Aus, UK and some parts of Asia.
We provide 360 degree SEO service, I.e from competition research, keyword analysis, backlinks analysis, sorting out complete onsite, high PA, DA backlinks, conversion rate optimization, reputation management and more.
We provide a dedicated account manager to each agency client, sole aim of this account manager is to help you grow your business.
We also provide you with leads(people looking for digital marketing service) in your area, so that you can convert these leads to grow your business.
All in all working with us is a great opportunity to grow your business.
Interested? Send us your Skype/Phone Number or reply to this email to get the conversation started.
There is lot more to us then what you have read above, talk soon.
Business Development Manager.
Patricia is right that I’ve had lots of emails like this! But I’m afraid she’s wrong about iMark being different (it seems a lot of SEO spammers are saying they’re not like other SEO spammers at the moment!)…
Anyway, I replied to Patricia, saying that I couldn’t do Skype and I got a reply from Anubha. Attached to the email was a PDF of their SEO Report for my site (more on that beneath the email…).
Thank you so much for the response 🙂
I am Anubha, the Senior SEO Project Analyst at iMarkinfotech. Shameka just asked me to get in touch with you to discuss your requirements and queries.
We received your below-mentioned reply:
Hi Patricia, It sounds like you think you can do a lot for my site. I can’t do an online meeting, but I would be interested to see what your recommendations are! Why do you think my site needs your help? James — James Cooper – JPC-DESIGN 0208 12334
I’ve attached the onsite audit report below mentioning the issues that need your attention, have a look.
[There was then a series of links to some of the results they’ve got for their clients – I wonder if their clients know they’re sharing information like that?! There were also link a like to an ‘SEO Report’ which didn’t work, a link to their ‘SEO Process’ PDF – which included several images I know are from other and well known SEO blogs/companies, so they’re breaking copyright by using them… and their ‘SEO Price list’ – which is a screenshot of the pricing table which is also on their SEO Proposal! So not very professional! Their prices range from $200 to $400 a month.]
P.S. Off-page SEO is a thorough process where we create backlinks for your website on a daily basis. It takes 5-6 months to build the domain authority using off-page to rank you in the top 10.
Anyone who says that can rank you in less time is practicing black hat SEO.
Here is the brief explanation of our work and organization:
iMark is one of the biggest Whitelabeled outsourcing company in India having 200+ full-time employees.
Our services are 100% white label backed by a non-disclosure agreement, with the delivery center in India we are able to offer services at about 50% lesser cost than our local competitors.
Our Whitehat SEO process is devoid of any kind of Google penalty whether it be Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird or more subtle ones like Google slaps.
A few key benefits of working with us:
We can take care of 100s of projects, all white labeled under your brand.
We use tools like Basecamp, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Moz, Semrush, Serpbook, Google Analytics, Search Console etc
We provide 1st-month money-back guarantee.
We are always 24X7 available on Skype.
All our work is manual, no automated software. Our SEO process inculcates of building backlinks is 100% organic and manual.
We understand the importance of on-site SEO and keyword research and make sure to always get our suggestions approved by you before implementing it on the website.
Looking forward to the positive response 🙂
Talk soon 🙂
Their Report & Recommendations
The PDF SEO Report was clearly automatically generated (which proves their claim “All our work is manual, no automated software” is incorrect…) At the top of the report were several ‘scores’.
There’s an SEO Score (my site got 89/100 – pretty good!) and then scores for various ‘SEO Checks’ that have been run.
My site passed 44/51 of the check, had 6 failed checks and 1 warning (making up the other 7 not passed checks!) So lets look some more at the failed checks and the warning.
Inline CSS – Your webpage is using inline CSS styles!
Yes, they are right, there is some inline CSS on the site. (That’s when CSS is in the HTML file rather than in a separate CSS file.) However, sometimes having inline CSS can be an elegant way of speeding up a site (which is why my site has it); so saying you should never have inline CSS is not good advice… We’ll say this is ‘Not Applicable’.
Google Analytics Test – A Google Analytics script is not detected on this page. While there are several tools available to monitor your site’s visitors and traffic sources, Google Analytics is a free, commonly recommended program to help diagnose potential SEO issues.
Yes, again they are right but this is a misleading ‘failure’. I don’t have Google Analytics on my site. I used to, but now I use a different, server based, analytics tools. There are a couple of reasons for this. The UK Government has updated its advise about how tracking cookies can be used on sites and this affects things like Google Analytics. I don’t want visitors to my site to have an annoying pop-up and I like privacy, so I’m happy to now use a non tracking system… And not have Google Analytics installed will not directly affect SEO on a site. So basically this is WRONG to be a ‘failed’ test.
Page Objects Test – Your page uses more than 20 http requests, which can slow down page loading and negatively impact user experience.
Again that’s a true statement. But again, it’s very misleading simply to say having more than 20 HTTP requests is a ‘failure’. My site has 34 requests but it also loads VERY VERY quickly. (And if we look at their own site it has 151 requests – so if my site is a ‘failure’ on this, their site ‘fails’ 4x as much as my one!!!) So again we’ll say this is ‘Not Applicable’.
CSS Minification Test – Some of your website’s CSS resources are not minified!
Again, This is simply WRONG. All the CSS on my site is minified (unlike on their site…).
Nofollow Tag Test – Your webpage is using the nofollow meta tag. You are advised to use this tag carefully since search engines will not crawl all links from your webpage.
Again, this is technically correct. However, there’s a VERY good reason that one link has the ‘nofollow’ on it – it’s the ‘back to top’ link – which SHOULD have the nofollow on it! This is more proof of automated tests and then people not checking them properly… So again this is ‘Not Applicable’ and not a real ‘failure’.
URL Redirects Test – Your URL performed 1 redirects! While redirects are typically not advisable (as they can affect search engine indexing issues and adversely affect site loading time), one redirect may be acceptable, particularly if the URL is redirecting from a non-www version to its www version, or vice-versa.
This is the ‘warning’ and is really quite amusing as it is precisely because the www version of the site correctly redirects to the non-www version! Again this is something that a decent SEO person would have checked and noticed wasn’t actually an issue. And the really ironic thing is the next ‘check’ in the list is one saying that you SHOULD have a redirect JUST LIKE I HAVE – and I passed that check!!!!! So again, this is WRONG.
So out of the six ‘failed’ checks, three are ‘wrong’ and the other three are ‘not applicable’; and the ‘warning’ is also ‘wrong’! So I’m guessing my site should really get a 100/100 SEO Score!!!
Looking at Their Site
With SEO spammers, I also like to look at their sites, to see if they practice what they preach (I mean would you trust a plumber who had leaking and rusty pipes all over their own house?!); and also to compare their site with a site they say they can help…
Their site is: https://www.imarkinfotech.com
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. I’d love to be able to tell you if their site has errors. But it’s got something wrong with it that’s stopping the online HTML validation checkers from being able to access the site – not a promising start!
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Mobile: 17/100 (that is not good…)
My site gets:
Mobile: 97/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
There’s another Google Tools called Lighthouse which measures a number of factors, not only the site’s speed. My site gets 100/100 on all four tests!
But for their site gets:
64/100 Best Practices
On GTMetrix their site gets:
E(59%) / E(56%)
On GTMetrix my site gets:
A 100% / B (89%) – so again much better!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 55 errors and 133 contrast errors. My site has no errors of either kind!
On the site, they use some ‘fancy code’ to try and make the site scroll better. Only it doesn’t. It makes the site REALLY annoying to use and also it would be very tricky for users with movement impairments to use their site…
On the home page it says ‘Servicing Clients Like…’ and then has a list of five big companies including the England Rugby Team and a US Health Broker. But it says serving clients ‘like them’ not that those companies are their actual clients! To me this is at best misleading (although I actually think it’s pretty dishonest); and it’s probably breaking the use of the trademarks of those organisations!
If they can work with amazingly big companies like that, why do they need to spam people with mis-information behind random email accounts?!
[Update September 2022: iMark Infotech are still spamming from random email accounts! They’re also now using @imarkseo.com emails.]
On their site, they do have lots of videos from happy customers from around the world. So it seems that iMark Infotech can do some good work.
However, the fact that they spam to get customers, from random email accounts; and the fact that the ‘failures’ on their SEO Report are not failures at all if you actually looked at what’s going on with the site, does make me seriously wonder about them…
And although Anubha said “It takes 5-6 months to build the domain authority using off-page to rank you in the top 10.” (which is correct), claiming that they can get you into the top 10 at all is somewhat of a warning sign… Google themselves say
Beware of SEO companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.from Google’s “Do you need an SEO?”
So if iMark Infotech say your site needs help, I’d seriously question whether it does (well, at least from them)…
But the choice, as ever, is yours.