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 time the email came in from ‘Traci’ who was using an gmail.com address which had her name and some numbers in it! The subject was “Your site will be on google 1st page” and went:
We would like to share our observations related to your operational website. Though, your website is great and has all the information that prospective customers of your niche will search for. However, it has a lot of scope for getting optimized in line with Search Engine Guidelines so as to come on the first page in search results.
We have conducted a meticulous SEO audit of your website and found that it can give you more return than it might be giving you at present.
We would be happy to share our detailed SEO audit report so that you can have a clear picture of what can be done to make your website more search engine friendly and optimized.
Once you complete the analysis of the report, you can discuss how we can help you in driving substantial traffic to your website by making it Search Engine Optimized.
Respond to this mail with contact details (Phone, Skype) so that we can discuss the possibilities for your website and share the testimonials of our esteemed clients.
A NEW 15 day’s trial offer on any of your project!
Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our SEO Packages and price list, Methodologies, past work details and client Testimonials.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Although the sender said it was ‘Traci’, the emails from this spammer are signed from ‘Quez’. This is the end of the (probably fake) last name of the spammer but I’ve never known anyone use this type of nickname, especially in ‘official’ business!
Anyway I replied and got the following reply:
Hope you are doing great.
I am sharing the audit report of your website. Kindly find my attachment for the same.
The company details are as under:
Name: Speed Infosystem LLP We are an India based company. (we are the only company that can provide you first page ranking in 4 months. We also ensure white hat work)
Please share your Skype id or whatsapp number with me for easy and further communication. Please feel free to ask me if you have any queries for me.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
This email was cc-ed to a @thespeedtechnology.com email as well. Attached was a PDF ‘report’ which we’ll look at in the next section.
I’ve replied asking ‘Quez’ why they use spam to get business, but I’ve not had a reply to that yet!
Their Report & Recommendations
When Quez said in her initial spam that “We have conducted a meticulous SEO audit of your website and found that it can give you more return than it might be giving you…”, what she really meant was “we’ll put your site into a free online tool, download a PDF and attach it”. That takes less than 2 minutes, which doesn’t seem very ‘meticulous’ to me…
I know this because their ‘SEO Report’ was created using the same auto SEO tool which several other SEO spammers have used to send me reports. Some of the spammers had put their own logo on it, but not ‘The Speed Technology’!
So I’m not sure that Quez has even visited my site…
At the top of the report were several ‘scores’. There’s an overall SEO Score (my site got 89/100 – so pretty good already!) and then scores for various ‘SEO Checks’ that have been run.
My site passed 41/48 of the checks, had 6 failed checks and had 1 warning (making up the other 7 not passed checks!) So let’s 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 42 requests but it also loads VERY VERY quickly. (And if we look at their own site it has 148 requests – so if my site is a ‘failure’ on this, their site ‘fails’ 3.5x 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…).
It’s odd, this checker always seem to throw these ‘errors’ when they’re not really there…
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 was the warning.)
This is the ‘warning’ and is really quite amusing as it is precisely because the http version of the site correctly redirects to the http version! Again this is something that a decent SEO person would have checked and noticed wasn’t actually an issue. So again, this is WRONG.
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’.
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://thespeedtechnology.com/
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 26 errors – not a great start.
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 44 errors and 40 contrast errors – that’s really not very good. My site has no errors of either kind!
Using the GTMetrix speed test tool their site gets:
Overall Grade: F (F is the lowest ranking)
It’s rather ironic that an ‘SEO company’ called ‘The Speed Technology’ has such an incredibly slow site…
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is rather better!
I thought it would be interesting to run The Speed Technology site through the same auto tool they used for my ‘report’. Remember, my site got 89/100 with 6 failed checks and 1 warning.
Well, their site gets 62/100 and has 15 failed checks and 4 warnings! (Some of these failed checks are pretty bad SEO wise and would be things that any half decent SEO company would have sorted out as part of a normal site set-up.)
So again, my site is MUCH better than their one, but the SEO spammers are the ones wanted to help my site out…
And taking a deeper look at their site things get worse, much worse.
Their site doesn’t have a meta description tags – which are one of the most important items within SEO. This is the second SEO spammer in a row now to have these set-up – that’s rather astonishing!
The alt of their main logo is ‘SEO Marketing’ and NOT ‘The Speed Technology’. This looks to be because within WordPress they’ve set their site name as ‘SEO Marketing’. I can think of two reasons you might do this. 1 = incompetence; 2 = trying to manipulate search results by having ‘SEO Marketing’ appear next to your site as much as possible. Neither is a good look.
There are social media icons in the header and footer of the site for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, only the LinkedIn one is actually linked to go anywhere. Perhaps they don’t know how to remove the other icons?!
In their footer, there’s an ‘About Us’ header, but below it is a contact form. Erm, something’s not right there!
The copyright in the footer says 2012. And the two blog posts on the site are from 2018. However, their domain was only registered in September 2019 – again, something’s not right there!
They use the same off the shelf theme, SEOcify, as the SEO spammers Zthinkers who we looked at last week…; and guess what, there’s also the same number of clients (32,548 – which is also on the demo site for the theme), as well as the same dummy text left in various parts of the site (although Zthinkers seems to have changed slightly more of the dummy content…).
The intro words on the contact page are “Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right”. Dummy copy anyone?!
There are several call to action buttons throughout the site that don’t do anything.
On the home page there are supposedly some testimonials (or ‘love from clients’ as it’s called on this theme!) but these too are also the demo ones with come with the theme.
The ‘heading 1’ on the home page (one of the most important parts of SEO) is ‘that cover every aspect of technicality……’ – I have no idea what that’s all about.
So it appears that The Speed Technology really haven’t done much to edit the dummy content which came with their off the shelf theme. And what they have changed, they’ve done rather badly!
The Speed Technology are like pretty much all SEO spammers in that they’re happy to hide behind random email accounts and (probably fake) names to send out their spam.
And also like most other SEO spammers, they also don’t seem to know some of the basics of SEO. But The Speed Technology seem worse than most!
And remember that the title of the original spam from ‘Quez’ was ‘Your site will be on google 1st page’ and Quez also said ‘we are the only company that can provide you first page ranking in 4 months’, well Google has something to say about companies who make claims like that:
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 The Speed Technology want to ‘help’ with your site, Google’s advice seems pretty good to me…
But, as ever, the choice is yours.